Auf dem Strom, Op.119, by Franz Schubert
Obbligato transcribed for Bass Flute by C. A. Vater
Piano Score and Parts for Voice and Bass Flute, PDF $9.50
The great Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828) was a master at creating extremely beautiful, melodic, emotional lieder. His song Auf dem Strom (On the River) provided a musical setting for the text of the eponymous poem written by the German poet and music critic Ludwig Rellstab. The lyrics tell the story of a sad parting, of the yearning and loneliness that sets in as the narrator bids farewell to a loved one on shore, while his river journey carries him away towards the sea. The premier performance of Auf dem Strom took place in Schubert's 1828 public concert, during which the obbligato part was played by Josef Lewy on horn, the instrument for which the obbligato was written and which undoubtedly can provide an appropriately mournful, sentimental character to the piece. However, an alternate obbligato version for cello was also published. Now, with all respect, and at the suggestion of our flutist colleague Peter H. Bloom, we offer a bass flute version of the obbligato. Most of the transposed horn part falls nicely within the sweet range of the bass flute, and very few adaptations were required. Though clearly having different sonic qualities than a horn, the bass flute lends a forlorn, haunting, earthy tone that can well do justice to this Schubert song. After giving the bass flute obbligato a try, Mr. Bloom commented: "Fabulous! // The tone-color of the bass flute for this number is gorgeous."