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Thomson's aeolian harp - William Turner
Thomson's aeolian harp - W. Turner
 
This week, the review of recitals at the Schubertiade Vilabertran (which, remember, begins tomorrow) is focused on two concerts that will take place on the same day, Friday 28th of August: Oddur Jonsson and Julia Pujol at 18:30h, and Dorothea Röschmann and Malcolm Martineau at 21:30h.

We’ve already heard quite a few of the songs included in these two concerts on Liederabend so let's get started. It's a happy coincidence that both, Jonsson and Röschmann, are singing part of the songs that Schubert wrote on Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship; Jonsson will sing the harpist’s songs and Röschmann, those of Mignon, of course. Therefore, you have several options:
 
  • If you’d like to recall those two characters and their songs within the context of the novel, you may want to review the whole Wilhelm Meister's songs series. We listened to all harpist's songs and also Mignon’s, except for one of the latter.
  • Among the harpist's songs by Schubert that Jonsson is singing, we listened to Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen aß, peformed by Simon Keenlyside and Julius Drake.
  • In that same recital, Keenlyside and Angelika Kirchschlager sang together Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, that's the version that Schubert wrote, as described in the novel, to be sung by the harpist and Mignon. I link it because Schubert wrote later a very similar second version of this Lied to be sang only by Mignon (the version we're hearing in Vilabertran).
  • Finally, one of Mignon's songs that Dorothea Röschmann we'll sing and we previously listened is Heiss mich nicht reden, performed by Gundula Janowitz and Irwin Gage.
Oddur Jonsson is also singing Schwanengesang; from this cycle, we’ve heard two lieder:
 
  • Abschied, no. 7 to accompany our moving from Blogger to this website. The performers were Matthias Goerne and Christoph Eschenbach.
  • The beautiful Ständchen, no. 4, one of the most famous lieder by Schubert, in the version of Peter Anders accompanied by Michael Raucheisen.
Dorothea Röschmann's program includes, in addition to Mignon's Lieder, a selection of Mörike Lieder by Wolf and Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn as well as Mahler's Rückert Lieder; we’ve already heard one song of each cycle:
 
  • From the Mörike Lieder, Gesang Weylas. Do you remember Orplid, the imaginary land? We listened to this song with Simon Keenlyside (who is really active on this post) and Malcolm Martineau.
  • From Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Rheinlegendchen, we listened to that ring history sang by Sarah Connolly not long ago; it was the orchestral version, with the Champs Elysées Orchestra conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.
  • From the Rückert Lieder, one of my favorite songs ever, Liebst du um Schönheit, with Thomas Hampson and Wolfram Rieger.
Four of the artists who perform these eight songs will take part in Schubertiade 2015 and three more have already participated in previous editions. Pretty good, isn’t it? Now, we should listen to one new song chosen among the songs included in the two proposed recitals. You know my criterion, I have to particularly like the song. This time I chose a Mörike Lieder, the no. 11, An eine Äolsharfe (To an aeolian harp) This post was supposed to be short so I'll only say that Mörike wrote his poem in memory of his brother August, who had died at seventeen, seven years earlier. And I'll write this poem down in my notebook, I'll go over it early in the new season on the pretext of the beautiful song that Brahms also wrote from it.

Today we're listening Wolf's An eine Äolsharfe performed by Dorothea Röschmann and Malcolm Martineau. Enjoy!
 
An eine Äolsharfe 
 

Angelehnt an die Efeuwand
Dieser alten Terrasse,
Du, einer luftgebornen Muse
Geheimnisvolles Saitenspiel,
Fang an,
Fange wieder an
Deine melodische Klage!

Ihr kommet, Winde, fern herüber,
Ach! von des Knaben,
Der mir so lieb war,
Frischgrünendem Hügel.
Und Frühlingsblüten unterweges streifend,
Übersättigt mit Wohlgerüchen,
Wie süß bedrängt ihr dies Herz!
Und säuselt her in die Saiten,
Angezogen von wohllautender Wehmut,
Wachsend im Zug meiner Sehnsucht,
Und hinsterbend wieder.

Aber auf einmal,
Wie der Wind heftiger herstösst,
Ein holder Schrei der Harfe
Wiederholt, mir zu süssem Erschrecken,
Meiner Seele plötzliche Regung;
Und hier—die volle Rose streut, geschüttelt,
All ihre Blätter vor meine Füße!

Leaning up against the ivy-covered wall
Of this old terrace,
You, an air-borne muse,
A lute melody full of mystery,
Begin,
Begin again,
Your melodious lament!

You come, winds, from far away,
Ah! from the boy
Who was so dear to me,
From his hill so freshly green.
On your way, streaking over spring blossoms
Saturated with sweet scents,
How sweetly, how sweetly you besiege my heart!
You rustle the strings here,
Drawn by harmonious melancholy,
Growing louder in the pull of my longing,
And then dying down again.

But all at once,
The wind blows violently
And a lovely cry of the harp
Echoes, to my sweet terror,
The sudden stirring of my soul,
And here, the ample rose shakes and strews
All its petals at my feet!

(translation by Emily Ezust)
 
 
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