It was not Schubert's idea to collect the seven songs written for Rellstab's poems and the song composed for six Heine poems into a cycle, known as the Swan Song today;
the idea came from the publisher, Tobias Haslinger, endowed with an excellent business sense, who has published Schubert's last works posthumously. As he was rather superstitious and thought the number 13 to be unlucky, he added a 14th song to the cycle: the famous Die Taubenpost (Pigeon Post), based on Johann Gabriel Seidl's poem. All these songs were written in 1828, during the last year of the composer's life; in spite of his illness, Schubert was working with an unbelievable creative power at a very quick pace. In his memoir, Rellstab has written that originally he asked Beethoven to compose music for the poems but „he did not feel well and forwarded the poems to Schubert”; however, it is not verified if this story is true.
On January 11th Zoltán Megyesi singer and Balázs Fülei will perform Schubert's Swan Song within the framework of the series 'Musica e Parole' in the Marble Hall of the Hungarian Radio.