Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Mercoledi Musicale

Well Sidd listen to both Beethoven and Mendelssohn and decided that a bit of choral music wouldn’t go amiss. So Beethoven it is!

Composed with a dedication to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, it uses two of his poems as subjects for a brief cantata. It was premiered in Vienna in 1815 but wasn’t published until 7 years later. That young scamp Felix Mendelssohn was to use the poems as inspiration for his concert overture of the same name. It’s the better know of the two – which could account for Sidd’s choice! He can be a bit perverse that way.

Grosser Chor des Berliner Rundfunks, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin                                    
Helmuth Koch, conductor 1970                                    

Though we’re praying for “calm seas” when Goethe wrote his poem that was the last thing a sailor wanted - sailing ships needed wind.  We could do with a little less.

Calm Seas (Meeres Stille)

Deep stillness rules the water
Without motion lies the sea,
And sadly the sailor observes
Smooth surfaces all around.
No air from any side!
Deathly, terrible stillness!
In the immense distances
not a single wave stirs.

Prosperous Journey (Glückliche Fahrt)

The fog is torn,
The sky is bright,
And Aeolus releases
The fearful bindings.
The winds whisper,
The sailor begins to move.
Swiftly! Swiftly!
The waves divide,
The distance nears;
Already, I see land!
November 6 - 1917: World War I: Third Battle of Ypres ends: After three months of fierce fighting, Canadian forces take Passchendaele in Belgium.
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1 comment:

Ur-spo said...

I just finished a history course on WWI. Poor Ypres.