Hugo Wolf was particularly interested in writing Lieder from poetic sources not explored by other composers, such as Möricke, the Spanisches Liederbuch, or the Italienisches Liederbuch. When he began to work with a poet, it did it intensively, and so we have the fifty-three Lieder of the first cycle, the forty-four of the second or the forty-six of the third. And one day, on 27 October 1888, he began with Goethe; that's the Lieder series chronologically placed between Möricke and the Italienisches Liederbuch.
A year ago, I talked about the exceptional nature of Saint George's Day; there was a day we lived in the middle of the hardest lock-down, when we all were confined at home. Everything was exceptional last year. This year the situation is better, that's true, but we are exhausted and confused (pandemic fatigue will be an issue for a long time); while I'm writing this post, there are just a few days left until the 23rd, and we still don't know what will be allowed.
Legend has it that Richard Strauss wrote Traum durch die Dämmerung in twenty minutes. His wife went to look for him for a stroll, he told her he was busy, and she gave him twenty minutes to compose the song. The anecdote is reproduced in many publications (often alluding to Pauline de Ahna's strong character), but the truth is that I didn't find the source.
"Ordre et beauté". I haven't gone into Charles Baudelaire's poetry in depth, but these words, "order and beauty," are one of my mottos, as the readers of this blog know; I talked about it a long time ago in a post about L'invitation au voyage by Henri Duparc, composed on a poem by Baudelaire. Back then, I only mentioned in passing the troubled life of the poet and, given that April 9 marks 200 years since he was born, I thought that I could talk about him this week before we listen to one more song, again [...]
Last week, I mentioned a few recently published albums, all of which were characterized by an unpublished or almost unpublished repertoire. Among them, a recording with songs by Charles Villiers Stanford, and we'll listen to one of them this week.
Songs of Faith, Op. 97 is one of the almost unpublished works; there is at least one partial recording but this one with Roderick Williams and Andrew West is the first complete recording.