Kreutzer’s Wanderlieder and Schubert

Schubert was familiar with Kreutzer’s Wanderlieder song cycle (written in 1817). Spaun twice told the following anecdote of his friend’s reaction to the Wander-Lieder shortly after their publication: “We once found him playing through Kreutzer’s Wanderlieder, which had just appeared. One of his friends [ Anselm Hüttenbrenner] said ‘Leave that stuff alone and sing us a few of your songs instead,’ to which he replied tersely, ‘But you are unjust; the songs are very beautiful, and I wish I had written them.'”

Deutsch, Memoirs, 135, also 27 (Spaun’s obituary for Schubert). In the obituary, Spaun writes, “Once, when he was playing the Wanderlieder by Kreutzer, and one of his friends expressed himself disparagingly about them, he replied quite quietly: ‘I wish I had written them.'”

Cited in: Youens, Susan (1991) Schubert’s Winterreise. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, p.32.