Composed in the early days of March 1824, Schubert's final four settings of the poetry of his friend Johann Mayrhofer (“Der Sieg,” “Abendstern,” “Auflöösung,” and “Gondelfahrer,” D. 805–808) revolve around a shared narrative: corporeal limitation, when ruptured by outward-seeking forces, yields a desirable state of spiritual transcendence. This narrative, common in the philosophical, theological, scientific, and medical texts of several major contemporary writers, treats the body as a disabled limitation which must in turn be “heroically overcome.” In Schubert's settings, energized musical gestures are “released” at poetic moments of corporeal death, and chromatic mediants—particularly the flatted submediant—are used as centrifugal harmonies that breach diatonic limitation. “Auflöösung,” though positioned third within the set of four songs by Otto Erich Deutsch in his chronological catalogue of Schubert's music, was probably composed last. This adjustment has significant ramifications for a cyclical or collective consideration of the four final Mayrhofer settings, because in many ways this virtuosic song acts as a reservoir of the gestural and aesthetic ideas developed in the previous three.

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