Lustvolle Fantasien: Wo Träume wahr werden (German Edition)
Der 6-Minuten-Coach - finde die wahre Liebe! Der 6-Minuten-Coach - erfinde dich neu! Einfach erfolgreich sein Meditationen und Affirmationen by Pierre Franckh 2 editions published between and in German and held by 11 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Zhe yang xu yuan jiu hui cheng gong: Einfach erfolgreich sein lebe deinen Traum by Pierre Franckh Book 3 editions published in in German and held by 8 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.
Die Antwort ist oft Schweigen. Das muss nicht sein, denn uns verbindet mehr, als wir ahnen. Die Partnerschaft kann so grundlegend erneuert werden und an Tiefe gewinnen! A short but massive bar of piano interlude, with trombone-like octaves in the left hand, returns us to Tempo I and a proclamation of a mass conversion is trumpeted to the skies. The effect, in Lieder terms, is of a massive orchestral tutti.
The brassy tune in the left hand employs a dotted motif of a falling interval preceded by a semiquaver anacrusis; a similar motif has been heard in the left hand to signify the miraculous workings of God over a vast canvas in Gesegnet sei, durch den die Welt entstund II. The poem goes on to its last line which describes the successful conversion of each and every heathen, but Wolf avoids yet more bombast.
Another bar of repeated left-hand notes this time Fs prepare us for a classic envoi. The postlude which follows aspires heavenward and concludes with a trinity of F major chords, as seraphic as the new-found faith which the girl has inspired. Mais le chanteur ce faisant est tellement pris au jeu qu'il y perd toute notion de blague. Die wiederholten Achteltriolen in der rechten Hand zeigen die alles durchdringende Verbreitung des neuen Glaubens an.
This miniature is as sparse and delicate as a song by Webern, with a similar sense of pointillist exactitude, the composer demanding that the performers should be in control of each tiny nuance. Indeed, the evolution of the twentieth-century Lied may be seen on the one hand as Schoenberg taking the rich harmonic world of Brahms beyond the bounds of tonality, and on the other Webern composing the tiny bejewelled fragments which seem prophesied in length, form and clarity, if not harmony, by Wolf in his Italian songs.
Tout cela ne peut avoir d'autre effet que d'enflammer encore plus son soupirant. Ist dies alles nur ein Spiel, und liebt sie ihn vielleicht letztendlich doch am meisten? Of all the great Lieder composers, Wolf was the cruellest. Or so it seems. It is almost impossible to find the truly malicious in Schubert and Schumann, and Brahms contented himself with outbursts of gruff anger. His female characters in particular are capable of great unkindness to their menfolk whom they needle and tease unmercifully, particularly in this set of songs. In this song, however, he seems to be on the side of the female protagonist in finding musical incompetence worthy of sarcasm and derision.
This little scena begins with the announcement of a falling three-note motif F—E natural—D flat which pervades the entire piece in one guise or another. It rises through three registers of the piano and settles for the fourth time high in the bass clef. This seems to be a musical analogue for a groan or grimace. The accompaniment to the first two lines of the poem consists of no less than five repetitions of this group of notes in the right hand supported by a left hand which rises imperceptibly in chords only a tone or semitone apart.
This varies the harmony in the most subtle manner, but the overall impression is of asking for the same thing again and again to no great effect. The third and fourth lines of verse aided and abetted by a modulating bar of interlude move into another key, D minor instead of F minor. At this point the singer has already seen the new man in her life and now prepares to parade him for our benefit.
He is not quite the type of musician that she had in mind. As this violinist is introduced into the picture by the fifth and sixth lines of the poem, the music moves into semiquavers in the right hand the same motif of F—E—D flat, in diminution this time as is appropriate to a little fiddler supported by staccato semiquavers in the left hand. This gives a conspiratorial air to the music as if a character in pantomime is making an entrance with dirty work afoot — if bad violin playing may be considered as such. Bad music-making always received filthy looks, and criticism, from Wolf. The limelight is suddenly thrown on to the pianist who has to stand in for a string player.
This is also one of the very few songs in the repertory which seem to demand something of a visual response from the accompanist as he diffidently finds his unpractised way around a slippery fingerboard; standing in for the violinist he winces at the appearance of sudden accents in unusual places, denoting the bow skidding off the strings. In the concert hall the singer too has a visual challenge here.
She had hoped for a beau with a reasonable beauing arm. This marking has disappeared from modern editions. Unfortunately it is not impossible that Wolf should have momentarily forgotten the Italian context of the words in order to echo the prejudices of his idol Wagner, and also those of many other Viennese of the period, in imagining this violinist, small and hunched of stature, as a racial stereotype.
On the other hand Wolf must have known that Paul Heyse was Jewish, and his admiration for the poet and co-begetter of the Italienisches Liederbuch, as well as other Jewish colleagues, was boundless and well attested. Pour la mauvaise musique, il ne faut attendre de Wolf que des critiques et un regard condescendant. Wir haben es hier nicht genau mit dem Musiker zu tun, den sie sich vorgestellt hatte. Das Nachspiel, in dem es um komische Koordinierung geht, ist eine von Wolfs schwierigsten Herausforderungen.
Once again it is the woman who puts the man in his place, but in this case with great good humour. It is a real moto perpetuo where the tempo only lets up at those moments when the music turns the corner into a new section or key. The pervasive dotted rhythm perhaps a deliberate follow-on from the postlude of the previous Lied and the jaunty syncopations off the beat in the first three bars of the introduction, cast the music in the style of a skipping song, the type of ditty made to accompany physical movement. The vocal moves dive in and out of the complexities of the accompaniment with the skill of someone too deft to get her feet caught in the rope.
The song after all is about independence and a refusal to be tied down, although subtleties in the music, fleet on the ear but manifold, imply that this complaint of being taken for granted is addressed to a young man who may, or may not, be guilty as charged. The introduction starts on the dominant seventh of the home key and in four bars the music rises by chromatic stages to the very moment when the girl gives voice to her qualms in G major. The effect of this is of someone blurting out something which has been on her mind for some time; pricked by some last straw, her feelings come bubbling to the surface.
Unlike some of the other female characters in the set she is not in a towering rage, but dotted rhythms in the piano part flounce and pout in a pique which has an element of pose. As in a number of the other songs, delicate little rallentandos seem to accentuate certain words and ideas, the better to lead the young man by the nose as he hears sentence being passed on his behaviour.
This section is in F sharp major, which is as far away as it is possible to be from the home key of G — a type of Sunday-best tonality to be brought out on high days and holidays. This emphasises the charge: The final two bars, a miniature gesture in which the young lady turns on her heels in a flurry of skirts, set the seal on the proceedings. The late Walter Legge likened the rush of these final nine notes to that of a smooth-furred cat streaking under the hand. Unlike other songs in the set, though, there is very little real cattiness here; this little minx may have set up the whole of this complaint as a type of game to elicit the fervent denials of her wretched and devoted cavaliere servente.
Es betont die Anklage: For the first time in the set we hear an outburst of anger from the tenor. It is hard not to imagine that the composer saw this as a male counterpart of XII written on the same day. The young man has had enough of this teasing and taunting and the introduction is similar to the opening of the previous song in that the expression of anger seems generated at first in the piano and catches fire in the voice. If we have doubted that the girl was truly angry in XII, there is certainly no dissembling here, and yet, as in many of the great Wolf songs of wrath, the emotions have more than one dimension.
If love is a game for the young lady, it is a thing of pain for the man, and we hear him being pulled two ways at once. This section is marked as slower than the rest, allowing the sneer of sarcasm to yield to audibly hurt feelings by the end of the phrase. This is a technique which Wolf has already used in Wer rief dich denn VI ; in both songs it is as if the errant beloved is being given a chance to interrupt with suitably soothing and contrite words. In the absence of these the tirade resumes with the sarcastic references to birth, class and position which occur frequently in these poems.
If this is so, he has presumably been refused for his lack of youth and beauty. This is an indication of how dangerous it is to imagine this book of songs as a dialogue between the same two lovers throughout the set, although Wolf himself could not resist building certain links and cross-references between adjacent songs. Is it only coincidence that both XII and XIII share the same metronome pulse of and that, as already noted, the introductions share certain characteristics? Wolf dropped a much longer original postlude to this song in favour of this short, sharp shock.
One of the things that gives such a restless atmosphere to this miniature is that although the song is written in F sharp minor, the very last chord is the first time we hear a tonic chord in this key This accentuates the impression that everything about this relationship has been leading to this conclusion. Up to this point we have heard only settings of rispetti, short and elegant.
He had composed it a few days before XIII, but it is possibly significant that he decided to place it in the published sequence directly after that song of unfulfilment and rejection. It is possible that Wolf knew it. He was certainly not above quoting the music of rival composers but usually in mocking parody. It is also possible that both Wolf and Strauss, who derived their language of motifs from the same Wagnerian sources, should have happened on a similar musical analogue for high-jinks and roguery.
The church in medieval times had the power of the social services today.
The singer and his mate proposing this scenario remain firmly seated in the local hostelry and are probably too drunk to go anywhere. This was a subject on which Franz Schubert also felt strongly. It was in Vienna, after all, where sexual hypocrisy and double standards were a source of pain and difficulty for Wolf as they had been for Schubert.
Franckh, Pierre [WorldCat Identities]
Everything about this music is fat and greasy, pomposo and bogus. The motif we have heard in the beginning slips and slithers in the left hand. Her tremulous piety is cruelly exaggerated in the telling as she cringes before the would-be priest. The bowing and scraping and embarrassment that the bread is not yet baked are all supported by an accompaniment of pious quavers; mention of her sick daughter turns these mezzo staccato as if one has to tread on vocal tiptoe so as not to disturb the patient.
His priestly function continues to be represented by the placid quavers of the right hand, but other functions leap to the fore with the left; as the rogue senses he is getting near to his prey he can scarcely control an outbreak of the excited semiquavering of lust. As with most fantasies there is no follow-through. Et comme la plupart du temps dans les fantasmes, il n'y pas de suite. Im Mittelalter hatte die Kirche die Rolle der heutigen staatlichen Sozialleistungen. Denn in Wien war es, wo sexuelle Heuchelei und doppelte Moral vielen Leuten Kummer und Schwierigkeiten bereiteten, unter anderem auch unserem Komponisten.
Seine priesterliche Rolle wird weiterhin durch die friedlichen Achtel in der rechten Hand dargestellt, andere Aufgaben tun sich jedoch in der linken Hand hervor. Wie bei den meisten Phantasiegebilden wird die Sache nicht weiter verfolgt. The male singer has had a substantial song, so Wolf now gives a more extended piece to the soprano in his carefully considered sequence. It is no less of an outrageous fantasy in its own way with a story-line of almost surreal imaginings.
They have a good laugh at masculine expense, and, if men only knew, it was ever thus. The use of hyperbole suggests that they egg each other on in exaggerating the deficiencies of the men they know; and yet because, after all, these men are their lovers, the tone is not vitriolic but affectionate. The governing motif of the song is the figure of a quaver phrased away, in finicking manner, to a semiquaver generally either directly above or below it.
As Eric Sams has pointed out, there is also a sense of restraint in this song, as if there is an order and dignity in being as small as this.
The vocal line, hushed and careful not to jump or move too suddenly to alarm the tiny specimen, is delicate and careful in the manner of a research scientist examining an exquisite find under the microscope. And then the fun begins with a catalogue of all the dangers to be endured by the Lilliputian. Wolf has tremendous fun in giving the accompanist whirring semiquavers for the fly and nose-dive runs for the bluebottle.
It is all perfectly imagined in the manner of a Disney cartoon half a century before its time. The final page is a coda with no less than six tempo markings hastening the music on and pulling it back as the girl veers between two moods: Despite the fact that he is scarcely built to come up to her expectations she has to bend to kiss him she loves him nevertheless.
The postlude resumes the music of smallness and self-containment and, as so often in this set, the final chords set the seal on the mood. Here two F major chords, one long and the other short, are married by the pedal in a manner ineffably tender. Wolfs Metronomangabe scheint genau richtig. Sie ist so zart und vorsichtig wie ein Forscher, der einen seltenen Fund unter dem Mikroskop betrachtet.
In der Art eines Disney-Cartoons ist alles genau geplant — seiner Zeit jedoch ein halbes Jahrhundert voraus. After the song of the miniature lover from Maremma, the set continues with the soprano once again a spokesman for a small lover not able to fend for himself. Like XV, it seems that the song is a joke whereby the girl imagines a little scene with soldiers and, to the amusement of her peers, acts out a scenario of ridiculous special pleading. The only real danger here is for the pianist for whom the quickly repeated notes represent a tricky, finger-tangling challenge. These young Italians march to the beat of the same drummer.
Wolf had already tackled this theme with perfect sincerity in Sie blasen zum Abmarsch from the Spanish Songbook after all, and the songs share the use of a fanfare motif in double thirds which denote companionable activity, the fingers walking in parallel rank. The vocal line runs alongside the accompaniment as if trying to keep up with it as the singer attempts to stop the soldiers to speak to them in mid-march.
There are a number of fleetly felicitous touches. Und die Lieder haben ein Fanfarenmotiv in doppelten Terzen gemeinsam, das auf leutselige Betriebsamkeit verweist, da die Finger in parallelen Linien marschieren. Nevertheless, there are a good many Italian blondes, and this rhapsodic outpouring of fervent melody is one of the most Italianate of the set in its tone and mood, if not its harmonic vocabulary. Spread chords here denote the act of combing hair — the five fingers separating the luxurious strands like a five-tooth comb. Wolf had already composed a song which mentioned the combing of hair — In dem Schatten meiner Locken from the Spanisches Liederbuch, but that had been written from the point of view of the coquettish owner of those tresses.
In a Wolf song this seems to add to the Italian flavour of the music. The use of the mediant C major, unconstrained by sharps and flats, emphasizes the untrammelled nature of this release from inhibition. A girl such as this would probably only undo her tresses in front of a man as a prelude to love; he knows this and can only dream. The girl, like her tresses, is as good and pure as gold, and throughout this song we hear both admiration for, and frustration with, her Madonna-like status.
The stirrings of longing in the loins are prefigured by the rustlings of nature, depicted by a ground swell of harp-like arpeggios drifting up the bass stave. Here similarly insinuating left-hand arpeggios are introduced at the magical moment when a static landscape is brought alive by the movement of breezes after a rapt opening section. In Ganymed we sense the god at work animating the whole picture, but here it is the human goddess at her toilette. The piano finishes off in two bars of short phrases, with a rising figure repeated in sighs without resolution — the masochistically sweet contemplation of unattainable beauty.
Dieses Lied wurde jedoch aus dem Blickwinkel der koketten Besitzerin dieser Locken geschrieben. Zu Beginn scheint die Gesangslinie hier fast gesprochen zu werden, sechs Achtel lang bleibt sie auf derselben Note stehen, und dies ist ein Merkmal der ersten Seite des Lieds. Both are for tenor and both are intimate love lyrics.
It is connections such as these which make one believe that Wolf planned his order for this set with much intention and care. This should give pause to modern performers who have a go at shuffling the pack in the belief that the composer has dealt them an unsatisfactory hand. This song must rank as one of the greatest in the book.
Just as the lover measures out each word as a precious pearl of sincerity and truth in order to be perfectly understood, the composer ensures that there is neither a note too many, nor too few. A perfect balance is struck between expressive intent and musical means: The rhythm of the accompaniment is unvarying — a gentle barcarolle propelled along by the ardour of a lover, but also held back by the gentle care not to shock or alarm.
Yes, because there is something prayer-like about this love-song in the form of a litany; the supplications and articles are paragraphed as if in a petition to the Virgin. This is, however, no game, for love such as this is to be taken in deadly earnest. He announces in advance how long his petition is and we hear him point to his heart the better to get across his message that it is breaking. One of the touching features of the accompaniment is how for each line of poetry the piano has three quavers of commentary after the vocal line has finished. With the art that conceals art a song of tremendous complexity sounds simplicity itself.
Just when we think that the last miniature modulation has gone as deep as possible into the emotions of singer and composer, another harmonic shift opens up new vistas of vulnerability and tender concern. This song is about love in the deepest sense; not only does it show a man attracted to a woman to the point of worship, but it also captures his open-heartedness and willingness to take risks in declaring his love. This enables us to imagine for a moment that most private and closely guarded state of affairs — the composer himself in love. Le rythme de l'accompagnement ne varie pas: Wolf schafft ein perfektes Gleichgewicht zwischen ausdrucksvoller Absicht und musikalischen Mitteln: Dieses Lied handelt von tiefster Liebe.
This song is in two sections, contrasted to show the difference between silence and speech, discord and harmony, barren strife and fruitful concord. At the beginning the music is tight-lipped and inhibited, the piano in sombre octaves which are ungenerous in their lack of harmony and which sulk within the compass of a tritone. The voice stays on an F which in this very slow tempo illustrates both the length of time during which the lovers have not been speaking, as well as the lack of music i.
The toneless grumblings of the first two bars are here replaced by a scale — in the minor key, but a scale nevertheless. As speech returns to the pair, chords fill out and blossom into harmony. This one word contains all the agony and regret of the strife, an encapsulation of the happiness shared in the past and temporarily forgotten. It is also set off the beat which powerfully suggests a tentative stumbling towards a solution involving apologetic smiles through tears.
It is only the greatest song composers who have the power to say so much in music for a single word. It is as if the angels are all playing viols in heavenly consort. This return to harmony sets the seal on the whole song. Wolf asks the singer to encompass a huge range from low B flat to F an octave and a half higher within the space of a bar. What is corny in description and would have been mawkish in other hands, is sublime with Wolf. This softening of tonal stance seems to say that peace is about yielding, compromising, giving in. All is back to normal. On a l'impression d'entendre des anges qui joueraient dans un consort de violes celeste.
Es scheint, als spielten die Engel alle Violen in himmlischer Gemeinschaft. Gott ist im Himmel, und alles ist wieder beim alten. Most songs in the Lieder repertory have accompaniments which reflect the viewpoint of the singer, which is to say that singer and pianist are one person. It is no surprise that an aspiring and frustrated opera composer should be impressed with the notion of an off-stage orchestra; Wolf seizes the opportunity to place a serenade outside the main texture of the song i. The piano part is like a Chopin mazurka with its elegant emphasis in the left hand on the second beat.
The young man outside weaves and sways, struts and woos, implores and occasionally demands to no avail. In the absence of his girlfriend it is fitting that it is quite possible to play this music without a singer, for it actually makes musical sense in its own right. The vocal line, more mournful and intense, with banks of quavers counterpointing the pianist's flitting semiquavers, straddles this mazurka faute de mieux and has an independent life of its own, joining and leaving the main current of the piano part at will.
It is a mistake, however, for performers to ignore the fact that the young man outside is ardent and impatient, and that the composer accordingly gives the song rather a fast metronome mark. A faster tempo also makes her seem angrier and more frustrated as if she longs to break out of her purdah and elope. Of course the whole point of employing the operatic ensemble technique of obligato whereby only we, the listeners, can hear the whole, is that voice and piano should be cunningly interwoven and that this vicarious musical love-making between the protagonists should produce planned clashes of great sensuality.
This postlude is made up of the four bars which have opened the piece followed by four rather disconsolate ones as if the paramour has decided to pack up his lute for the night and be on his way. He has received no response to his serenade and signs off with four rather dejected strummed chords. This is a song which admirably mirrors the emotional complexity of its singer. She does not know whether she is coming or going so, predictably, she is unable to decide whether her boyfriend should come or go either.
The music gives the impression of getting nowhere — it turns around on itself, retracing its steps, reworking old ground as it paces and doubles back on its tracks. The song begins angrily; certainly the dotted notes followed by triplets which form the tightly wound mainspring of the accompaniment suggest obsession and pouting disappointment. The fifth bar of the song contains an amazingly quick change of mind, but such is the unsettled nature of the opening that such quixotic mood-swings are scarcely a surprise.
Here is someone who does not quite know which card to play in order to keep her lover. She has tried proud independence on for size, but quickly finds he would be all too apt to follow her opening directions to stay away. This woman is not to be trifled with.
On balance I would advise the young man to stay at home with mother. It seems to me that this type of mirror-image programme-planning was typical of the subtle links Wolf built into his set, rather than the far more obvious story line built around a game of quasi-operatic consequences. Like many of the songs in this set, one has the impression that the scene is rehearsed in front of a mirror; it is always pleasant to give voice to what we would have liked to say, rather than what we actually dared to say at the time.
The idea of going out to serenade someone is like duelling — not as attractive as it seems to be in the story books, and probably not worth all the trouble.
The Awakening (The Marriage Diaries, Vol. 1) (Volume 1) by Erika Wilde (2013-02-07)
It is this that makes these little Italians endearing in their provincial timidity. Not for them the assurance and experience of a Byron, much less a Don Juan; they are simply everyday people like us, and we are reminded that throughout his career Wolf was interested in truth and reality as a bench-mark for his operatic plans. As the projected serenade progresses, the song gets faster and the lover ever more bold.
Once he has shot his bolt in an impressive climax the scenario evaporates at the end as if it has never taken place. This is probably because it never has. This is the Wolf of the Serenade for string quartet, which is also in 38 and also swaggers with music that suggests student jollity. That delightful work, later orchestrated as the Italienische Serenade, is related to the cheery Eichendorff songs of travel and adventure in the Italian sunshine. Although the Eichendorff Lieder are different in scale from the miniatures of the Italienisches Liederbuch, they share an uncomplicated bravura and zest for life with certain songs such as this.
There are many piquant touches here: Here the percussive nature of the piano comes into its own; it is difficult to imagine strings attaining this type of splashy exuberance. The young man has caused general uproar among his scandalized listeners and he seems to be hugging himself in congratulation at his very cleverness and boldness. Just at the end his bubble is pricked. He remembers that he is yet to set out on this serenade and that the whole thing is very much easier said than done. Comme le fantasme se poursuit, le tempo du lied devient de plus en plus rapide, et l'amant de plus en plus audacieux.
Obwohl die Eichendorfflieder eine andere Tonleiter haben als die Miniaturen des Italienischen Liederbuchs , teilen sie sich unkomplizierte Bravour und Freude am Leben mit Liedern wie diesem. Wolf told his friend Edwin Mayser that the second part of the Italienisches Liederbuch, composed five years after the first, contained more absolute music than the earlier set, and that many things could be equally well played by a string quartet.
It is true that the music looks different on the printed page — more uniform perhaps. In the first book the character of the poem dictated the texture and character of the accompaniments. In contrast the piano writing of the second book, with some notable exceptions, seems to be less interested in detailed and mischievous textually-inspired comment and more concerned to provide a flawless underlay for some of the greatest word-setting imaginable.
One should also not forget that between the two books of Italian songs stands the opera Der Corregidor with its complex strands of orchestral polyphony. The piano writing of the first set is airier, full of space and light; in the second volume it is generally darker and thicker. This is not to say that the pianist is not called upon to use all his skills; on the contrary, the challenges are manifold. If in the second book there is less mercurial and witty comment from the piano, there are many more passages which rely on seamless legato playing and sheer beauty of tone.
The first song in the set Wolf actually composed it last to set the seal on the achievement of the entire songbook is a case in point. It is every bit as much of a motto song as Auch kleine Dinge. No composer had more right to highlight the painstaking process of creation in this regard than Wolf as he completed his last great songbook. Auch kleine Dinge is one of them, and this, its counterpart, is the other.
This music for the raising of the curtain , as it were, is set in the middle of the keyboard and perfectly laid out in four parts. It looks nothing much on the printed page but its beauty is incontestable. It contains the seed of the big tune which will sing its way through the main body of the song, but because that tune is not yet fully formed the whole process of longing to create, of striving to find the mot juste, is implied in this introduction. This is music before the lifting of the veil: The mood here is seraphic and calm; huge claims are made for the importance of the music, but all as if the composer is astonished by his own gift and struck by the visitation of the Muse.
And then the singer stops in his tracks in order to listen to the music in the piano that he has just created, and which has been at the heart of this song throughout. Such a tune has been sleeping within him from the beginning and it is love which has at long last liberated melody from the sterility of illness. Es ist genauso ein Mottolied wie Auch kleine Dinge. In der ganzen Sammlung gibt es nur zwei Lieder, in denen Wolf dem Pianisten etwas wie eine viertaktige Einleitung zugesteht: Wir haben es hier mit Musik vor dem Aufgehen des Vorhangs zu tun.
Die Stimmung ist engelhaft und ruhig. Eric Sams rightly calls this a pantomime song. The tears which purportedly moisten the otherwise dry bread are definitely of the crocodile variety. It should be said here, however, that as in all his ironic songs it is the music which makes the jokes rather than the singer. If ever there was serious comic music this is it. These songs do not lend themselves to ham performances; it is enough that the vocal line moves in wailing semitones and that the accompaniment is made up of phrases falling away like wilting little sobs.
The over-the-top musical manners of an earlier age are employed to distance the singer from real tears. Throughout all this Wolf seems fascinated by his part-writing; in the accompaniment he gives the tenor voice the top of the bass clef a linear life of its own. Sometimes the pianist feels as if he is playing Bach.
As soon as the tempo picks up in jaunty quavers the sudden reality and earthiness of the mood in contrast to what has gone before is a miracle; we can almost hear sunlight flood the picture. But lofty suffering is replaced by exaggerations of another kind. We have a little march of the grotesques, for this is suddenly the Italy of Fellini rather than Heyse — a pantomime indeed. We have a parade of every little gnarled old man in Italy marching past rather creakily with enormous good humour and in hope of selection. The vocal line is teasingly feminine, the piano music cheeky and slightly gruff with bristly staccato semiquavers taking over from the smooth ones in the vocal line; one is reminded of Snow White and the seven dwarfs.
The audience cannot see how young the girl is until she gleefully blurts out that she is fourteen. The joke is on them as well as the singer who might well be three times the age. Et c'est vraiment une pantomime. Tout cela nous rappelle Blanche-Neige et les sept nains. In der Tat eine Pantomime. This is among the best known songs of the Italienisches Liederbuch and it is also one of the least intricate. One has the feeling that stylistically Wolf falls between two stools, for he reverts here to the type of setting in which he excelled in By the style has changed, however, and the composer is no longer writing songs which are pictorial in the way they once were.
That said, the song is tremendous fun and a good display piece for the soprano. Opinion is divided as to whether she is angry or amused. There is an element of cruelty and indiscretion in the telling who said that only men boast about their conquests? This male excursion into traditional female territory Italian men have nothing to do with la cucina was bound to be a failure in any case.
If the song is an allegory for love-making on the other hand, the grievance may well be more genuine. The opening two bars of the introduction consist of a repeated figure quickly moving from piano to forte, and which seems to burst into laughter as it reaches its apogee. Both hands are in the treble clef and this feminine tessitura suggests a bustling gathering of skirts.
Throughout the song the motif of staccato quavers in chords punctuates the proceedings like chortles of appreciative laughter. Each new point is greeted by this tittering which ceases in time to allow the narrator to continue her indictment. As the story progresses she seems to become enraged at the very cheek of it — how dare he? At the end voice and accompaniment, which have hitherto echoed each other, are in unison as if the girl has the whole female community behind her in outrage. The stone-hard bread brings forth chords in the piano to break your teeth on and the blunt knife perhaps an allegory for another weapon inexpertly wielded prompts four sawing quavers, each with an accent.
Walter Legge used to encourage the pianist to use two fingers on each note here in order to make a suitably ugly and abrasive sound. Wolfs Tempo ist hier — wo er die Pausen zwischen den Gedichtzeilen verringert, um eine gereizte Stimmung besser zu beschreiben — meisterhaft. Once again mention must be made of the ordering of the songbook.
No XXV is all about a dinner albeit an abortive one ; it ends with a loaf of bread too hard to eat, and a knife too blunt to cut it. This is juxtaposed I believe deliberately with Ich liess mir sagen, a song which continues the theme of food and in which loaves of bread also play a somewhat inelegant role. This is one of two or three songs in the set which are truly droll. This may not be exactly what makes us laugh, but the story of the self-dramatizing lovelorn glutton certainly had that effect on him.
We can imagine Wolf playing and singing this music to his friends; these must have been performances which were funnier because more daring than any since. He laughs at such pretence, and not at all genially. A few poems in this songbook give him the opportunity to indulge this propensity for sarcasm at the expense of those whose emotions are not genuine. Here the man who claims to be wasting away for love is revealed as a greedy hypocrite. A less attractive side of the composer was his impatience with ugliness and those less favoured. Wolf was trim himself, as lean as his forest namesake and sometimes almost as savage , and there is no reason to suppose that overweight people were not also the butts of his wit.
The streets of nineteenth-century Vienna must have given him ample scope for his scorn. Everything about this music is podgy and lugubrious. The trills in the piano part are of course stomach rumbles, but this music wobbles everywhere like loose flesh. There is also just the right mood of lachrymose self-pity ruthlessly parodied. The pain which follows is nothing to do with love, rather is it a massive case of indigestion with strangely hammered semiquavers and trills; the guardians of Lieder proprieties might throw up their hands but it would not surprise me if these violent ascending scales were meant to depict the throwing-up of food.
In any case the most Tonina could do under the circumstances is go around the corner for a bottle of Fernet Branca. The final chord, suddenly brutal and loud, seems to be a dismissive kick from the composer as if, once he has laughed his fill, he is ultimately disgusted by the whole picture. Il se moque de ces faux semblants sans la moindre indulgence. En tout cas il n'y a pas grand chose d'autre que Tonina puisse faire, hormis aller au coin de la rue acheter une bouteille de Fernet Branca. An dieser Musik ist alles dicklich und kummervoll.
Es folgt eine kurze explosive Figur aus vier Vierundsechzigsteln. Das Nachspiel baut auf den Klavierphrasen des Anfangs auf. Wolf has lavished much care and love on this masterpiece. For example, it is one of only three songs in the set where he has taken the trouble to find a new metronome mark for a second section. It has all the strong points of the later style and all the mercurial vividness of the earlier songs. In actual fact the contradiction of tired limbs and a heart racing with the joy of love is what the song is all about, and the heart wins of course.
We can hear the physical fatigue in the drooping chords of the very opening bar, and the vocal line at the beginning is too weary to move more than a step at a time. He is interested more in her reality than dreaming about her, however, and we are back in A flat after a few seconds. The pianist feels something familiar in these oscillating thirds under the hand in the key of A flat, with a tricky ornament decorating the notion of a lute gently plucked.
An earlier instrument comes to mind, and with it the pleasure which accompanies the recognition of an old love in a new guise: This sudden flattened seventh vividly suggests close listening, as if people in the streets had stopped in their tracks and inclined their ears in the direction of the music. We were right about the preening though: Wolf allows us to experience their emotion at hearing his music: Like an older man remembering his past adventures, the postlude muses affectionately on the melodies of youth.
Wir hatten jedoch mit dem Herausputzen Recht: The look of the music on the page is dense with notes. There is nowhere anything longer than a semiquaver rest to punctuate and ventilate the accompaniment which is in fact a self-contained piano piece, or more exactly a perfect little string quartet movement in piano short score. Typical of the late Wolf style, the piece is woven with a feel for the intricacies of counterpoint and the independence of the four parts.
Once the voice is added descant-like to the picture, however, the complexity of the whole becomes clear: For a moment we are sorry for the girl who seems to have been genuinely hurt. The final taunt goes back to the question of wheels. This has already occasioned trills and pomp with the earlier mention of the state carriage.
These noble trills of fantasy turn the corner and change into staccato semiquavers which scuttle up the stave like puny legs running behind the nineteenth-century equivalent of an Alfa Romeo. Although we suspect that this girl has given the man her heart, and that she still loves him, the final pianistic flourish at the end suggests that, for the moment at least, she has given him the finger. This is one of the songs which was a jewel in the Schwarzkopf repertoire towards the end of her career. In theatre and film, and no less the concert hall, many a fan finds it a thrilling prospect to see their favourite grande dame giving a dressing-down to some unfortunate even if invisible underling.
The ultra-sophistication of this music was ideally suited to the incongruity of the diva playing the village maid. Et par une raillerie finale, elle remet sur le tapis cette question des moyens de transport. Diese edlen Fantasietriller biegen um die Ecke und verwandeln sich in Stakkatosechzehntel, die das System wie mit kleinen Beinen hinaufhasten. Such is the tone of submission and self-abasement of these words, and because almost nowhere else in this cycle do the women strike this note of humility, there is a temptation to think that the text is meant to be spoken by a man.
A reading of the original Italian, however, makes clear that it is the woman who speaks. This weights the balance of true lyricism in the cycle in favour of the man, and this song, coming two-thirds the way through the set, goes some way to help redress that balance. The song scores points and wins hearts not because of any clever word-setting or even word-related psychological insight, but because of the sheer beauty of the music which could convey tenderness and infinite longing even if it were wordless.
As in the manner of many of the songs from the second set, the accompaniment is written in string quartet fashion: The very willingness of the singer to yield her autonomy and become part of the ensemble reinforces the notion of someone who stands in the background until needed. There is no doubt that Wolf had old-fashioned notions of the German woman in the home rendered more poignant for him by the fact that almost all his own relationships were conducted in secret for various reasons, and that he never knew the daily sharing of an acknowledged companion.
These words may imply the sort of masochism to anger feminists, but the music transcends them, and even contradicts them in a way rare in Wolf. The fact that the love is unconditional gives a wonderful grave dignity to the singer rather than diminishing her. In any case, despite what the words say, no-one capable of voicing love with this depth could possibly be in the thrall of handsomeness alone — this devotion has been inspired by something much more than a self-regarding Italian good-looker. The postlude, full-toned and eloquent, is amongst the most beautiful in the set; it is more a rapturous hymn of thanksgiving than the plaint of the downtrodden.
The composer was in fact himself the recipient of a devotion similar to that given to the lucky Italian recipient of this song. And the devotion was reciprocated: Wie bei vielen Liedern im zweiten Teil ist die Begleitung auch hier in der Art eines Streichquartetts geschrieben. Melanies hoffnungslose, aber beharrliche Besuche in der Heilanstalt an Wolfs Lebensende bezeugen dies.
Und die Verehrung wurde erwidert: The piece opens with an imperious upward scale G major, but starting on a D which depicts anger as well as introducing watery images of torrents and stream which lie at the heart of the text. At the top of this opening scale the right hand lands on, and holds, a minim D: Is he spurning her, or has his whole song come about because she has refused him? In any case he is fuming, but his anger takes the form of a sort of exaggerated politeness, full of wry lip-curling and sarcastic little bows.
Surging scales in the left hand sound explosively angry, but they are there to establish an idea which will soon come into its own. A footnote to the song gives us a geography lesson: The spurned lover bitterly believes that, in like manner, the woman will find herself without any lovers in lean times, despite the huge number she has now.
He builds up the tension in a masterly fashion with a succession of sequences which rise through a number of keys like a build-up of rivers flooding the Arno with increasing volumes of water; it is this passage which apparently cost him some little time in the organizing. Note that the demisemiquaver runs which signify the rush of the tributary streams are at this point flowing in an upward direction. This stormy bluster with upward surge answered by downward gush continues for the next two lines as if the singer helped by the pianist of course is himself diverting the course of these smaller rivers with his bare hands.
This postlude is grandiose as if he is mighty in his wrath — this is music for a Titan. In true Wolfian fashion, however, there is a greater depth to this commentary: En tous les cas il est furieux. Le postlude est grandiose, comme pour manifester l'ampleur de ce courroux — il s'agit d'une musique digne d'un Titan. Eine Anmerkung zu dem Lied erteilt uns eine Geographielektion: And then we are plunged into one of those outbursts, the spontaneous combustion of the emotions, which make Wolf's Italian songs such vivid and believable evocations of everyday life.
She turns on him and tells him exactly why she has been down in the mouth, singing with that mixture of anger and hurt pride with which the listener is now familiar. Grief over my absence had caused this transformation … she is beside herself and I fear the worst. The opening words are set to a tune which is sung in the first bar and then moves into the accompaniment where it is deployed in various transformations and disguises.
The opening rhetorical question is delivered almost operatically by a neglected woman of some grandeur. After these four bars the tempo changes and the singer is less successful in controlling her emotions; dignity slips somewhat as the tempo quickens and she is now simply a young girl who gives her lover a piece of her mind.
The various stops and starts in the vocal line are an astonishingly accurate evocation of a tirade interrupted only by tiny pauses for thought and emphasis, and in order to swallow tears. Of course this offends her dignity, but at least it enables her to blame someone other than the boy himself for the rarity of his visits. As the song progresses we can hear the singer struggling to regain her composure.
She realizes that she cannot win him back by accusations, but rather by an act of heroic, even religious, renunciation. Her sudden appeal to the powers of heaven moves the song into another dimension.
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It is as if she has taken the veil before our eyes, but surely only as a means to salvage her own dignity in a way to make him possibly relent and love her the more. The postlude is a grandiose, orchestrally inspired tutti. The song ends in the dominant: Sans toi, je ne le serai jamais. Le lied se termine sur la dominante: Ohne dich kann ich es nie sein. Das Lied endet auf der Dominante: From time to time Wolf allows himself to choose poetry for setting which has re-awakened in him a youthful passion for Wagnerian cataclysm.
At the end of XXXI there was the first of the tremolandi found in some of the postludes of the later Italian songs — a tell-tale sign that the composer has operatic dimensions in his mind. Wolf knew large chunks of the Wagner operas by heart, and these passionate rumblings became part of his song-writing vocabulary. This is an effect that can seem slightly comical as it breaks through the boundaries of what is effective in pianistic terms.
Wolf has tremendous fun here in writing music of a bigger scale, but in doing so he loses the focus on reality found elsewhere: The tone of self-righteousness could be seen as someone who protests her innocence rather too much, however. Such a devious viewpoint is certainly not beyond our composer. In this respect Wolf has placed his hallmark on a song which nevertheless seems untypical of the set.
L'inclusion dans le recueil d'un tel lied Verschling' der Abgrund , le no. Un raisonnement aussi tortueux n'est certainement pas impossible de la part de Wolf. Solch ein verschlagener Standpunkt ist unserem Komponisten sicherlich zuzutrauen.
Forbidden (Blaze) by Janelle Denison (1999-04-01)
This song is built entirely on an A flat pedal. This tonal anchor denotes both constancy and obsession. The gentle tolling of syncopated octave A flats in the left hand, no less than 84 of them, accounts for a sense of suspended animation — of belonging to another world, half-way between life and a romantic vision of what death might be.
The difference, however, between the dying girl of the Brahms song and the lovesick swain of the Wolf is that the Italian lover is expiring of nothing more sinister than love, and that the elaborate conceit of the poem is, like so many others in the work, a means of paying his girl the most elegant of compliments. It is easy for the performer to be wooed into this sort of self-indulgence. Over the repeated A flats in the bass, a succession of soft chords in the right hand droop and sigh, intertwining with the vocal line which within a relatively small compass suggests someone thunderstruck and almost incapacitated by a blinding vision of love.
Or perhaps a direct experience of it. Both songs, although from utterly different cultures, seem suffused with the dying golden light of an enchanted afternoon of love. But there is nothing smugly satisfied about this music; this has been the kind of love-making that magnifies longing rather than assuages it; she has entered his bloodstream and there is a need for deeper and deeper communion. The occasional addition of accidentals outside the key of A flat provides magical harmonic touches. The postlude murmurs echoes of continuing devotion. This brings to a close a masterpiece which brings tears to the eyes by its simplicity and its mood of vulnerability and solitude.
This song seems to say that however hard we try we can never ever get close enough to the objects of our adoration; having known the most profound love, we are destined to die alone. Mais il n'y a aucune auto-satifaction dans cette musique: An dieser Musik ist jedoch nichts blasiert selbstzufrieden. Auch wenn wir tiefste Liebe kannten, so sind wir doch dazu bestimmt, allein zu sterben. If a film director were to choose one song from the Italienisches Liederbuch to convert into cinema, he would surely select this.
After panning over the countryside and a radiant dawn there are wonderful opportunities for shots of beautiful Italian interiors — a bedroom and a church — and the heroine at prayer. And there is the voice of the narrator telling us what is happening, but — like every good guide — not getting in the way of the cameras.
Unlike others in the set, this song progresses, on the set, from one place to the next. We are taken, frame by frame, on a conducted tour.