|Ossian on the banks of the Lora - Francois Gérard 1801|
I've been listening to Loda's Gespenst D150 (1815). Der bleiche, kalte Mond erhob sich im Osten. Fingal's soldiers sleep, their blue helmets glittering in the moonlight. But Fingal doesn't sleep. He looks toward Sarno's tower (see it in the pic?) . Suddenly ein Windstoß rips down from the mountains. It's the phantom Loda, umringt von seinen Schrecken. Defiant, Fingal raises his sword. Schwach ist dein Schild, Kraftlos dein Luftbild und dein Schwert. You're a windbag, Loda! The text is heroic declamation - no ornamentation in the piano part, little lyricism in the vocal line.
|Fingal defies Loda - Asmus Jacub Carsters 1754-98|
This song is unusual because it's not strictly speaking by James Macpherson but by Edmund, Baron von Harold, born in Ireland, but resident in Düsseldorf from a very early age. When the craze for Ossian swept Europe, von Harold might have spotted an opportunity to "translate" yet more manuscripts that weren't lost so much as non-existent. Indeed, it seems that von Harold didn't actually speak Gaelic, so his sudden discovery of Dark Age documents is improbable. Fingal and Ossian represent the creative spirit, precursors of the 19th century fascination with strange lands and myths. So Loda was an apparition? Loda, Fingal and Ossian served a purpose even if they were fantasy.