Toggle navigation. Back 0 Marked Mark Options. Holdings In. Subjects subject. Songs with piano. Vocal duets with piano. More Details author. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix, Hensel, Fanny Mendelssohn, Rietz, Julius, Six songs actually composed by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel op. German words; English translations by Stanley Appelbaum printed separately as text on prelim. A Look Inside Summaries. Main Description. Includes song settings of lyrics by Byron, Goethe, Schiller, Heine, and other poets.
This handsome, convenient compilation contains 89 songs, among them such masterpieces as "Wartend," "Fruhlingsglaube," "Neue Liebe," "Auf Flugeln des Gesanges" and many more, including 6 songs by Mendelssohn's sister, Fanny, plus one duet Op. Stanley Appelbaum has provided excellent new English translations for all the works in this collection, including song settings of lyrics by Byron, Goethe, Schiller, Heine, and other poets.
This fine collection will be a must for pianists, singers, and any lover of art songs. Text Translations. Alphabetical List of Poets. Alphabetical List of Song-Text Openings p. All Rights Reserved. He then recites this poem as if such an experience had happened to him, not in the distant past but a short time ago. In dem Mondenschein im Walde Lately in the forest, by moonlight, Sah ich jungst die Elfen reiten [reuten]; I saw the elves ride by; Ihre Horner hort ich klingen, I heard their horns resounding, Ihre Glockchen hort ich lauten; I heard their bells ringing.
Ihre weien Rolein trugen On their little white horses were Goldnes Hirschgeweih und flogen antlers of gold, and they flew Rasch dahin, wie wilde Schwane swiftly through the air, Kam es durch die Luft gezogen. Lachelnd nickte mir die Konigin, Smiling, the queen nodded to me Lachelnd, im Voruberreiten in passing.
Galt das meiner neuen Liebe, Does this signify my new love Oder soll es Tod bedeuten? Dance, Heine continues, is characteristic of spirits of the air, and Mendelssohn sets Heines poem as a specimen of his scherzo style also famil- iar from the Rondo capriccioso for piano, the third movement of the op.
This song poses more difficulties for the performers than Auf Flugeln des Gesanges, whose suitability for amateurs is part of the point: the presto accompaniment is demanding, and the broken-chordal contours of the singers line are difficult to keep in tune. What makes the piano part more of a challenge than most of his songs is the ringing of elfin chimes in the guise of measured trill figures, appearing first in mm.
The fantastic-musical worlds in Mendelssohn are charged with an animistic vitality that conveys a sense of the superhuman, even perhaps particularly when the sounds are soft.
The introduction alone is enough to tell us that the elves music is located in the piano, its simulacrum of fairy horns, horses hooves, and bells devoid of words. The Other which can deal out death does not traffic in the ratioci- nation of mortal speech. Consequently, the personas vocal line is harnessed, helplessly, to the other-worldly music throughout the song; he can only sing to the elfin companys strains and in their rhythms. It is the verb lauten to ring, to resound in mm. In Mendelssohns imagination, the persona realizes at this very instant that the sounds he hears are deathly and leaps up an octave in alarm.
Mendelssohn: Complete Songs Vol. 1
The realization transforms the vocal line into something extraor- dinary. Every downbeat is accented in a fashion counter to correct prosody; this is the collision of the supernatural with the mortal, and coercion is implicit in the singers inability to make the speech accents accurate as mor- tals measure such matters Example Here, Mendelssohn emphasizes the poets trochees by prolonging the initial accented syllable of each foot in order to underscore the words which tell of sound and hearing Horner, hort, klingen, Glocklein, hort, lauten ; Heine repeats words to incanta- tory effect, and the composer repeats them even more often.
The high A in. Mendelssohn was fond of the varied strophic format in which literal repetition of musical strophes is followed by a final varied strophe, and the third and last stanza of Heines poem is given special treatment in accord with that particular formal design. The composers imagination was clearly piqued by the painterly image of the elfin procession riding by, for which he conceived the felicitous juxtaposition of the fairy horses hoofbeats in the piano part with the words im Voruberreiten set as half-notes in the vocal line, one per measure until the final two syllables, prolonged even more.
When he ponders what the vision might mean, whether Eros or Death Galt das meiner neuen Liebe? The entire song is brilliantly conceived. Although the horn-call motifs and hoofbeat figures seem to contradict Mendelssohns stated disdain for pictorialism, the composer might well have noted and approved the personas inability to define what the apparition means, or in musical terms, what the sounds in the piano signify.
Music and the super- natural lie beyond the scope of mere language, even of Heines witchery with words. If Neue Liebe is a glittering specimen of scherzo-esque virtuosity, it is not as brilliant as Andres Maienlied op. The young composer was clearly fond both of Johann Heinrich Vosss original poetry and Vosss popular edition of Ludwig Holtys poetry, the latter being Mendelssohns source for the text of Andres Maienlied the.
Voss took considerable liberties with Holtys verse: the entire fifth stanza, in which the demonic is made comic A fiery dragon flies around the roof and brings us butter and eggs; the neighbors see the sparks flying and cross themselves by the fire.
Given the association between virtu- osity and diabolism a la Paganini, one wonders whether Mendelssohn wrote this song as a humorous send-up of the phenomenon. Cliches of musical horror are put to gleeful use for example, the conven- tion of ascending chromaticism that is bone-chilling, awe-inspiring, in the Schiller-Schubert song Gruppe aus dem Tartarus Group from Hades is mock-horrific in Andres Maienlied Example Lightning-bolt arpeg- gios shooting upwards and then back down in a flash, tremolos, drum- roll patterns, menacing unisono figures, grace-noted low bass scalar figures leading to an accented pitch, octave leaps to high pitches for the singer Did I leave anything out?
That he could indeed be pictorial in song is evident; that he does so here as a special event, with humor aforethought, is also evident. I have already asserted that there is more variety in this composers song oeuvre than some have admitted, and the point can be demonstrated from within this same opus. The fourth of the twelve songs in op. Each of the first five stanzas, with its catalogue of floral beauties doomed to extinction, culminates in the warning, Hute dich, schons Blumelein!
Hute dich! Beware, lovely little flower!
The dread denouement has not yet happened to us, and we steer clear of Deaths tonic pitch, at least with the singers own breath. The piano goes on to predict the future and it is not far off. With the final stanza of the poem comes willed, defiant metamorphosis of dread into joy Come here, Death, I do not fear you. I shall be in the heavenly garden we all await. Rejoice, beautiful little flower, rejoice! In his imagining, music gives the sounding lie to the assertion made in words, telling us that the fear of death is not so easily overcome Example Immediately after the Erntelied in op.
This in turn is followed by a Fruhlingslied Spring Song in Swabian dialect on a poem by the beautiful, talented Friederike Robert a friend of Mendelssohn and Heine , its vivacity complete with trilled birdsong in the piano. Variety indeed, and yet the opus clearly has an overall design, with spring songs at the beginning and end enclosing a religious core.
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Mendelssohn mostly shunned song cycles of the Schubertian or Schu- mannian kind, except in part-songs, such as the op. Heines three linked poems entitled Tragodie Tragedy ; one scholar has also proposed what he calls a shadow cycle an original cyclic design which does not subsequently appear in publication in the first three songs of op. For example, the op. However, the six male choruses of op.
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We will take leave of Mendelssohns solo songs with a brief consid- eration of a prophetic late song, one which anticipates music composed half-a-century after his death. Mendelssohn is so often characterized as a conservative composer that it is useful to be reminded of his originality, his capacity on occasion to see into the future. Perhaps because he spent much of his life in the gray climate of northern Germany, Mendelssohn was particularly attracted to spring songs and composed numerous specimens of the genre to texts by poets medieval Ulrich von Lichtenstein, Jacob von der Warte and modern.
Most of them are joyous celebrations of springs arrival; one thinks of the exultant, fanfare-like strains of the Fruhlingslied op. But on 7 October , only a few weeks before his death, Mendelssohn created a spring song in another vein: the Altdeutsches Fruhlingslied Old German Spring Song , published posthumously as op.
Its text is a heavily rewritten segment from the Trutz-Nachtigall of Friedrich Spee , a Jesuit mystical poet famous in his own day for his opposition to the burning of witches. In its original form, the poem is entitled Anders Liebgesang der gespons j e s v. Zum Anfang der Sommerzeit and tells in twelve ten-line stanzas of mys- tic marriage with Christ as the only source of healing for a wounded spirit.
Mendelssohns song-text uses only verses 1 and 6 and completely alters their meaning. There is no mention of anything religious, and one can understand the extract in a wholly secular sense a means for Mendelssohn to recount the loss he had suffered the previous spring when his beloved sister Fanny died. In his setting of Spee modernized, Mendelssohn created what present- day listeners can hear as a foreshadowing of Mahlers Der Einsame im Herbst The Lonely Man in Autumn , the second movement of Das Lied von der Erde, composed sixty years later.
If the two poems hail from differ- ent seasons, they are sisters under the skin, both measuring grief against the gauge of the changing seasons and Mendelssohn too was an Einsamer im Herbst that last autumn of his life. Ceaseless rising and falling streams of equal note values sixteenth notes in Mendelssohn, eighth notes in Mahler in the same middle register, neither high nor low, flow through both works. In both songs, time flows in a gently inexorable stream of pitches, bearing the grief- stricken personae to their deaths in the wake of those lost and mourned.
In both the large and the small song, the vocal line is often disposed in equal note values of twice the duration of the moving accompanimental figuration eighth notes in Mendelssohn, quarter notes in Mahler , and this quasi-chant-like syllabic style conveys weary resignation in the face of the inevitable.
In both compositions, the texture is translucent, austere in a fashion appropriate to sad knowledge on the brink of the grave, and in both, the instrumental motion seems unpredictable in its twists and turns, not the regulated accompanimental patterns in songs such as Auf Flugeln des Gesanges but something serpentine. One is tempted to find metaphysical meanings in both Mahlers and Mendelssohns recourse to such figuration, with its artfully meandering contours and its ceaselessness: life and Nature go their way nonstop, whatever our weariness or sorrow, so says this figuration.
Altdeutsches Fruhlingslied, like so many of Mendelssohns songs, is strophic, and it seems evident that the composer took his cue not from the first stanza but from the second, with its quiet statement of grief beyond reparation. The darker minor harmonies in mm. Example The prolongation of the verb mute in m. This parting, Mendelssohn tells us, was forcibly compelled. This brief essay barely scratches the surface of Mendelssohns song oeuvre.
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Were there room enough and time, one could expound on the fascinat- ing comparison between Schuberts and Mendelssohns settings of Ludwig Uhlands Fruhlingsglaube Faith in Spring ; on the merry, folksong-like Warnung vor dem Rhein Beware of the Rhine , with its invocation of the recently invented Loreley myth; on this composers dabblings in the musical- exotic for his pseudo-Spanish Romanze op. If his emotional range in lied was narrower than that of Schubert, that is hardly surprising: Schubert composed many more songs than Mendelssohn across a wider spectrum, and the Viennese master announced his intent to modernize the song composition of his day when he was in his early teens.
This was not Mendelssohns mission, but if one understands his idiosyn- cratic approach to the lied, there is much to be gleaned from this music. There are, after all, reasons good ones for the fact that certain songs by Mendelssohn are chestnuts, beloved of both musicians and the public.
Others deserve to become so. Documents Divertissement Pop culture Musique 11 vues. Mendelssohn replied: I like to take music very seriously, and I consider it impermissible to compose something that I do not feel through and through. Writing to his father from Wales in August , he exclaimed, May ten thousand devils take all folklore: Here I am in Wales, and, oh how lovely, a harpist sits in the lobby of every reputable inn playing so-called folk tunes at you dreadful, vulgar, fake stuff, and simultaneously a hurdy-gurdy is tootling out melodies.
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