Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Gluck, das mir verblieb

Sheer indulgence! Marietta's Lied from Die tote Stadt. It's such an immortal piece. The song infuses the whole opera with a kind of glow. One day perhaps it will be appreciated for what it is, wonderfully balancing on the precipice of the modern. A bit like Strauss, linking past to future. Friends of Korngold père et fils, suggested the novel Bruges La Morte as a good subject. Perhaps they were trying to tell them something? The novel's about a man trapped in an unhealthy relationship that holds him back. It must have been uncomfortable reading, a bit too revealing. for comfort. Not really a surprise then that Julius had so much control over what went into the opera. How much of the libretto and ideas were his? what might Erich have written had he been older and more independent? In the adaptation lies a story. Indeed, it could be the subject of a drama in itself, but it would need to be written by someone with real psychological insight. It's quite deep! Read about the original novel HERE and HERE.

The tragedy of Erich Korngold is that in life and death he was pigeonholed. Far from being "forced" into film music, it was in film music that he found hiis outlet. Film music was a new art form in the 30's and 40's and there was EK in the vanguard. Along with Hanns Eisler. What odd bedfellows they make.

Das Lied vom treuen Lieb,das sterben muss. Ich kenne das Lied. Ich hört es oft in jungen, in schöneren Tagen. Es hat noch eine Strophe --weiß ich sie noch?
The song of true love that must die. I know that song, I heard it often in younger, lovelier times. It has but one verse - do I know it still?

Mußt du einmal von mir gehn, glaub, es gibt ein Auferstehn.
Must you once again depart from me? Believe, the time will come, we'll meet again.

There's a great version of the song by Joseph Schmidt HERE How high and clear his top notes are, even if it sounds like he's holding his nostrils tightly together. Schmidt's an interesting man, I might write more about him.

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