Yellow Green - Mark Rothko
Yellow green - M. Rothko
The year 2018 has just arrived so the first and most important thing is to wish you a wonderful year. The Lied seasons are putting together very interesting (a priori) song recitals, let's see what we say a posteriori! For instance, next Tuesday, the first song recital this year in Barcelona (as far as I know), is given by an experienced singer, Anne Sofie von Otter, with Christian Bezuidenhout at the fortepiano. And, as wrote down in my notebook, this year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of my beloved Leonard Bernstein.

But, as you know, our Christmas Season is not over on Liederabend yet, given that the Three Holy Kings are on their way to our homes, therefore, this is the third and last Christmas post of this season. We're listening to a Lied by Hugo Wolf and Eduard Mörike, with a poem that greets the first light of the year with a lovely image, an angel with rosy feet. The poem’s subtitle is Kirchengesang (Church Song); Mörike, as well as a poet, was a Lutheran minister, a circumstance which is reflected on his poems from time to time. So, we will finish our Christmas posts as we started them: with a prayer.

Wolf musicalized some of those religious poems written by Mörike; a year ago, for example, we heard the beautiful Schlafendes Jesuskind, and today, we will listen to Zum Neuen Jahr, written a day earlier, on October 5, 1888. The composer was so enthusiastic about Mörike at that time that he wrote to a friend that he was "gemörikelt", that we could translate as "möriked"; The result of that enthusiasm are the fifty-three Mörike-Lieder, of which Zum Neuen Jahr is No. 27.

It's a very short Lied; the poem has only two stanzas and Wolf wasn’t given to lengthen the poems (Schlafendes Jesuskind, where he repeats the last verse, is an exception). Here, in fact, he repeats the first two words of the last verse, "Sei alles". It's also a happy Lied; When I listen to it, actually, when I listen to most of Mörike-Lieder, I think that his Sunday sermons weren’t to be missed, so sincere, close and fun. It's too late to attend his services, but we still have his words and Wolf's music. Please listen to Zum Neuen Jahr, with Olaf Bär and Geoffrey Parsons.

The Three Kings are arriving the day after tomorrow so, if you're waiting for them, remember: behave yourself and go early to bed! Hopefully, when we wake up, we’ll get everything we wrote in our letters to them!
Zum neuen Jahr
Wie heimlicher Weise
Ein Engelein leise
Mit rosigen Füßen
Die Erde betritt,
So nahte der Morgen.
Jauchzt ihm, ihr Frommen,
Ein heilig Willkommen,
Ein heilig Willkommen!
Herz, jauchze du mit!

In Ihm sei's begonnen,
Der Monde und Sonnen
An blauen Gezelten
Des Himmels bewegt.
Du, Vater, du rate!
Lenke du und wende!
Herr, dir in die Hände
Sei Anfang und Ende,
Sei alles gelegt!
Please visit this link if you need an English translation.
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