My dearest all, August and the 2016-2017 season are both ending this week (and I hope many of you are still on holidays!). Other years, we arrived at this point with those posts dedicated to the Schubertíade Vilabertran, but this year it wasn't possible because of the festival's schedule. So, I had to think of something short and light (summer posts are supposed to be short and light) and I remembered a few things I‘ve gathered and could share with you.
This cartoon that my friend A sent to me, for instance; A variation of the catch phrase of the 50s, no alien could contact the earthlings with other words! According to the outfit of the alien and the impassive librarian, I would say the cartoon is from the very same time...
And don't you like this lovely misprint, an involuntary tribute paid to the pianist? No, that day, Deutsch did not play alone either, Jonas Kaufmann was with him.
Another pianist, Julius Drake, tweeted these final measures of Erlkönig with a slightly modified text ("and at the end his arm was dead" instead of the original "in his arms, the child was dead"). Absolutely justified, of course, but thank God that Goethe didn't see it!
Well, this is obvious...
We also have a sound document that I love, starring Gerald Moore and Victoria de los Ángeles: The adorable version of Ich grolle nicht that ends The Unashamed Accompanist, the CD from the pianist's book. The recording technician said that he left his tape running during a break in the recording session (and the artists were unaware of it). I would say that Victoria was better at playing the piano than Moore at singing!
I have left to the end the cartoon that heads the post, Donald Duck's nephews singing Du bist wie eine Blume. I don't remember where I got it but I couldn't find any clues about it and I must admit that I'm intrigued: why are these three ducklings singing Schumann among the snow? We all know them, and by their faces some naughty thing was going on... Does any kind reader know the context of this frame and can share it with us? According to the drawing and the paper, it seems a fairly old edition, and as per the quotation marks, a German one.
To make up for the lack of enthusiasm of the ducklings, we will hear Du bist wie eine Blume performed by Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau. Much better! The Lied is no. 24 of Myrten, Robert Schumann’s wedding gift to Clara; it might be a bit oversweet but... who cares?
With this beautiful song and performance, we end the atypical posts of the last few weeks. Next Wednesday we will start the new season with a maritime scene.
Du bist wie eine Blume
Du bist wie eine Blume,
So hold und schön und rein;
Ich schau’ dich an, und Wehmut
Schleicht mir ins Herz hinein.
Mir ist, als ob ich die Hände
Aufs Haupt dir legen sollt’,
Betend, dass Gott dich erhalte
So rein und schön und hold.
Thou art so like a flower,
So pure, and fair and kind;
I gaze on thee, and sorrow
Then in my heart I find.
It seems as though I must lay then
My hand upon thy brow,
Praying that God may preserve thee,
As pure and fair as now.
(translation by Emily Ezust)