Saint Severin
Saint Severin III - R. Delaunay


If I tell you that the poem that inspired this week's song was written by a Cistercian monk you might think of a religious or contemplative poem, but it's actually an earthly love poem; it appears that our monk, Cristóbal de Castillejo, led a life that didn't fulfilled the vows he had taken. Born in Castile in 1490, he left the monastery in 1525 to become the secretary of Archduke Ferdinand, grandson of Ferdinand II of Aragon; as a result he traveled often through Europe, until he finally settled in Vienna; there he returned to the monastery shortly before his death in 1550.

His complete works were published in 1573 in three books, the first of which is De las obras de amores, a compilation of love poems; when we browse through it, we find that the poems are frequently dedicated to different women: "To a lady called Ana," "To a lady called Mencía," "To a lady callend Inés"... Our poem, however, is not dedicated to any lady, at least not explicitly, and its title is Villancico. Robert Schumann got to know this Villancico in the German version of Emanuel Gebel, and included it in his Spanisches Liederspiel, a cycle of songs composed in 1849 that joins the voices of four singers: two women and two men. Liebesgram, as Schumann called his song, is the third in the cycle (therefore, it's immediately before the beautiful In der Nacht), and is originally a duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano.

In Vilabertran, however, we're listening to this song performed by a soprano and a baritone: Juliane Banse and Konstantin Krimmel. Krimmel will be the special guest at this concert; he will join Banse and Wolfram Rieger to play some Schumann's duets, and this will be our concert this week. On the same day, immediately before, the second concert of the Academy, will take place, where we will hear two duos: soprano María Díaz Coca and pianist Jaesun Hong, and contratenor Constantin Zimmermann and pianist Mar Compte.

Before hearing Liebesgram (performed by Marlis Petersen, Anke Vondung, and XX), just one more thing about Castillejo/Geibel's poem: around forty years after Schumann musicalized it, Edvard Grieg did so. His Lied, much better known than the previous one, is Dereinst, Gedanke mein, included in Op. 48, and if you are in Vilabertran on the 23rd for Joanna Wallroth and Malcolm Martineau you can hear it as well.


Dereinst, dereinst
Gedanke mein,
Wirst ruhig sein.

Lässt Liebesglut
Dich still nicht werden,
In kühler Erden,
Da schläfst du gut,
Und ohne Pein
Wirst ruhig sein.

Was du im Leben
Nicht hast gefunden,
Wenn es entschwunden
Wird’s dir gegeben,
Dann ohne Wunden
Wirst ruhig sein.


(Please follow this link if you need an English translation.)


Thursday, August 25: Juliane Banse & Wolfram Rieger (Konstantin Krimmel, special guest)

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