Sunday, May 11, 2014

NEWS FROM THE HINTERLANDS



My friend Ben is on a Schubert kick, he reports, and last week sent along this splendid youtube.

From the wikipedia entry for Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin:

"There are twenty songs in the cycle, around half in simple strophic form, and they move from cheerful optimism to despair and tragedy. At the beginning of the cycle, a young journeyman miller wanders happily through the countryside. He comes upon a brook, which he follows to a mill. He falls in love with the miller's beautiful daughter (the "Müllerin" of the title). She is out of his reach as he is only a journeyman. He tries to impress her, but her response seems tentative. The young man is soon supplanted in her affections by a hunter clad in green, the color of a ribbon he gave the girl. In his anguish, he experiences an obsession with the color green, then an extravagant death fantasy in which flowers sprout from his grave to express his undying love. (See Beethoven's Adelaide for a similar fantasy.) In the end, the young man despairs and presumably drowns himself in the brook, although it is not absolutely clear if it is indeed a suicide or a more abstract fusion between the man and the brook. The last number is a lullaby sung by the brook. The question remains: is the brook really the miller's friend or is it a fiend, like Mephistopheles in the Faust legend, who leads the miller to his downfall and destruction?"

"Des Baches Wiegenlied"  (The Brook's Lullaby), sung above by Fritz Wunderlich, begins like this:

Good rest, good rest, 
Close your eyes! 
Wanderer, tired one, you are home. 
Fidelity is here, 
You shall lie by me, 
Until the sea drinks the brooklet dry.
OBSESSED WITH GREEN.
ALONG OTTAWA'S MADAWASKA RIVER

2 comments:

  1. And here I thought it was going to be a post about Combermere ;-)

    P.S. Stripped has shipped or so the online store thingy reports.

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    Replies
    1. Owen, thank you for your ongoing support. I've been drinking Combermere in, enjoying some much-needed silence and find I don't have much to say! I gave a couple of talks at Madonna House over the last couple of days and the response/exchange lifted my heart. It's been chilly but yesterday on my walk I felt some of the biting flies that apparently arrive as soon as the weather turns warm. Lot of beauty, lots to ponder in this little corner of Canada. Back to the States tomorrow. Peace!

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