Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Busoni's werewolves - Lieder for Halloween

Lieder for Halloween ? The choice is huge, some choices obvious, But here is one that isn't quite so well known : Ferrucio Busoni's setting of Goethe's Zigeunerlied.

Busoni is best known for Doktor Faust and for his piano music, but he wrote an number of lively songs. Listen to the demented piano part and the refrain "Wille wau wau wau, Wille wo wo wo, Witu hu !". This is a wonderful encore piece, ideally suited to low baritone, and will have audiences wondering who the composer is. The singer here (guess who!) lets his hair down and brings out the dark humour. One of the best versions I've ever heard.Enjoy the almost scat rhythms and play on words. A singer could have fun throwing his head in the air pretending to howl.

A man is out on a windy night and hears the howl of wolves. He takes a shot at a black cat. Not smart ! It's a witch's familiar. Instantly he's surrounded by werewolves. Even in wolf form he recognizes them as women from his village out on a hen night from hell.

 Ich kannte sie all', ich kannte sie wohl Die Anne, die Ursel, die Käth', Die Liese, die Barbe, die Ev', die Beth'; Sie heulten im Kreise mich an. Wille wau wau wau! Wille wo wo wo! Wito hu! 

Da nannt' ich sie alle beim Namen laut: Was willst du Anne? was willst du Beth? Sie rüttelten sich, sie schüttelten sich Und liefen heulend davon. Wille wau wau wau! Wille wo wo wo! Wito hu! 

photo : GCD Comics

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