Ständchen (Serenade)

an art song for my good friend, Zachary Lenox, on the occasion of his birthday

Music by Scot Crandal • Poem by Ludwig Rellstab (1799–1860)

At the world premiere • Portland, Oregon

Hannah Brewer, pianist  •  Zachary Lenox, baritone  •  Scot Crandal, composer

This art song was premiered on Sat, Feb 11, 2023 at the concert, "Songs for My Valentine" through Ping & Woof Opera. The concert was held at St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon. Soprano, Jocelyn Claire Thomas, rounded out the afternoon with splendid art song interpretations.

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“Ständchen” is a poem by Ludwig Rellstab (1799–1860) that was originally set by Franz Schubert as part of Schwanengesang (Swan Song), D 957, a collection of 14 songs composed in 1828 at the end of his life and published posthumously in 1829, a few months after the composer’s death. 

My setting of this text was inspired by the form Schubert used for this song in his song cycle, Schwanengesang—an ABABC form. I’ve focused on the drama inherent in the text, and brought out the melancholy nature at times, reflecting the anticipation and strong desire of the singer, amplified and answered by textures, melodic fragments, and harmony in the piano throughout.  –Scot Crandal (Dec, 2022)


Leise flehen meine Lieder
Durch die Nacht zu Dir;
In den stillen Hain hernieder,
Liebchen, komm’ zu mir!

Flüsternd schlanke Wipfel rauschen
In des Mondes Licht;
Des Verräters feindlich Lauschen
Fürchte, Holde, nicht.

Hörst die Nachtigallen schlagen?
Ach! sie flehen Dich,
Mit der Töne süßen Klagen
Flehen sie für mich. 

Sie verstehn des Busens Sehnen,
Kennen Liebesschmerz,
Rühren mit den Silbertönen
Jedes weiche Herz.

Laß auch Dir die Brust bewegen,
Liebchen, höre mich!
Bebend harr’ ich Dir entgegen;
Komm’, beglücke mich!


Softly my songs plead
through the night to you;
down into the silent grove,
beloved, come to me!

Slender treetops whisper and rustle
in the moonlight;
my darling, do not fear
that the hostile betrayer will overhear us.

Do you not hear the nightingales call?
Ah, they are imploring you;
with their sweet, plaintive songs
they are imploring for me.

They understand the heart’s yearning,
they know the pain of love;
with their silvery notes
they touch every tender heart.

Let your heart, too, be moved,
beloved, hear me!
Trembling, I await you!
Come, make me happy!