We’ve reached letter X of Liederabend's alphabet, the second-to-last post of the series. It wasn't easy to link this letter to a word; In fact, it was the hardest except for the letter Z. My options were "xarxes socials" (social media) and the "xiuxiueijos" (whispering). Have you realised how many songs there are where someone (or something) is whispering and murmuring? So far, I’ve found about thirty of them among the ones published. Finally, I decided that social media were more representative because they have become my most important channel of communication, along with table talk (or standing up, if that were the case).
I think my first social media account was on Twitter, a few weeks after creating the blog. I would have liked the user @liederabend but it already existed, so I added the extension 'cat'. At that time, a tweet could have a maximum of 140 characters, including images and usernames in RT, so having a name of fourteen characters wasn't really popular (eleven characters were considered long enough). Nowadays, with tweets of 280 characters not including images or usernames, a long username isn't a problem anymore; you could be able to write even a composition!
Then, I created my Facebook page, just because some of you told me it was an useful way to get Liederabend's posts. I don't use it for anything else, and Facebook algorithms don't like it at all... Anyway, I'll keep using the account as long as you follow the page. I also kept a Pinterest account for a while; I posted the pictures that illustrated the post and the covers of the albums I shared, but it was too much work, and the problem wasn't the work itself, but the time I spent... That's why I quit, as I did from Medium, which to me, could be interesting for Liederabend. For whatever reason, I didn't manage to create the habit of posting there. Now, the social pressure pushes towards Instagram, but I don't think it's for me; For the time being, I won't even try.
It seems that Liederabend's natural habitat is Twitter. In this site, I met other song lovers and eventually, I met some of them offline (it's always a fun moment, especially when “off twitter people” are present); I also get guest posts via Twitter, such as those written by Manuel Águila, Elisa Rapado, Estefanía Perdomo or Timothy Sharp, or suggestions to write about, such as this one about clichés. I always got help when I asked for it, for example, to identify the picture that illustrated Lied der Trennung, and a large number of comments that I sincerely appreciate. Moreover, I usually find lots of information, interesting articles, music, recommendations... Definitely, social media were worth their own letter in the alphabet.
As a practical example of interaction on Twitter, the music that illustrates this post. It's one of the historical recordings of Winterreise, from Josef Greindl and Herta Klust. It's usually said that Greindl's voice wasn't nice and he wasn't the best singer, but he was a great artist. Soprano Elisabeth Grümmer, who sang often with him, said once: "you can sing better, but you can't be more moving". He is also one of the singers who refutes one of the most famous clichés about Art Song, in fact, some days ago a young baritone reminded me of it: great voices can't sing song. Sure they can! This recording is from Greindl golden age in Bayreuth, where he sang uninterruptedly for twenty years; it was made in 1957 when he was forty-five. We all know that you need to listen to the whole Winterreise to fully appreciate it; I hope that this sample, Rast, will encourage you to do so.
A message to the readers who don't like Schubert and are beginning to despair after so many weeks, four actually, with his songs: next week we will have another composer. One of our "sole" composers is about to lose this status. And then three Christmas posts will follow, again without Schubert, and then... who knows?
Nun merk’ ich erst, wie müd’ ich bin,
Da ich zur Ruh’ mich lege:
Das Wandern hielt mich munter hin
Auf unwirtbarem Wege.
Die Füße frugen nicht nach Rast,
Es war zu kalt zum Stehen;
Der Rücken fühlte keine Last,
Der Sturm half fort mich wehen.
In eines Köhlers engem Haus
Hab’ Obdach ich gefunden;
Doch meine Glieder ruh’n nicht aus:
So brennen ihre Wunden.
Auch du, mein Herz, in Kampf und Sturm
So wild und so verwegen,
Fühlst in der Still’ erst deinen Wurm
Mit heißem Stich sich regen!