Schubert's Lieder: Settings of Goethe's poems
Schubert's Lieder: Settings of Goethe's poems

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Schubert's Lieder: Settings of Goethe's poems

4.5 Two mythological songs: ‘Prometheus’ (1819) and ‘Ganymed’ (1817)

Goethe's poem ‘Heidenröslein’, with which we began, is a mock folksong; ‘Erlkönig’ is a mock ballad along the lines of Scottish models. They are, so to speak, poems in fancy dress. ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Ganymed’ are songs on subjects from ancient Greek myth, but they are in no way imitations of ancient classical models. In these two poems Goethe has taken myths and created modern meditations on them of startling, but quite distinct, kinds.

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