tercer aniversari de Liederabend
Dear all, this week we're celebrating the 3rd anniversary of Liederabend. Three years is a long time on the blogosphere! I don't often post (blogging gurus recommend posting, at least, twice or three times a week), but I always manage to do it on time and I am glad to say that I have established a bond with my readers. A longtime friend who lives far from Barcelona (so we don't often meet) recently told me that finding my post every week was a way to hear from me. I like it.

During last year, we moved from the blog’s first "home", the platform Blogger; it was useful for a while but it became too small. On June 5th, I published the first post on this new home; it was a big job to change platforms without losing any content but the effort was worth. Now everything is custom-made and we've grown with new sections. I'm really happy about my new web, I hope you are too. Other than this, we had few changes. We changed the posting day from Thursday to Wednesday; we're still in the good company of Wilhelm Meister and his friends; we began a buggy series, because there is Art Song beyond little birds and little flowers; we also have an "a posteriori" series about the songs that, at some moment, leap to a new Pop life.

I guess you noticed the figures in the title. From 2nd of February 2012 up to this week, we have listened to 173 songs, 62 composers, 103 poets, 100 singers and 95 accompanists (most pianists, of course). Comparing with last year, we added to the drop down lists on the right column, 63 songs, 14 composers, poets 33 poets, 31 singers and 32 pianists. Surprisingly enough, the figures are very similar to last year; I say surprisingly because I don't make any special effort to feed into new names; maybe when I'm choosing the song’s version, if I doubt I decide on a new performer, but that’s all. According to my blog notebook, it seems that the figures will continue to grow, but sooner or later, they should slow down…

Many thanks to all my readers for being there. Thanks for your feedback, here on social networks or at the bar; thanks for sharing posts, especially those singers and pianists who, unexpectantly, find themselves on my post. Thanks, of course, to the guests that were so kind and generous as to post on this blog. Salvador Pila and Emily Ezust are generous too. I've been using their translations for a long time; before translating the poems to Catalan, I always check Salvador's blog, just in case he previously did it and Emily and her web are my first source for English translations. So thanks to both of them and all the translators that allowed me to use their texts, and those friends that answered my questions about languages.

Three years deserve a fanfare, don’t they? Do we have a song with a fanfare? Sure, by Richard Strauss, who else? Strauss wrote some songs that he called "male songs"; among them Ich liebe dich, premiered by the heldentenor Heinrich Vogt. It's a passionate love song, a gift from Strauss to his wife Pauline when their son was born; so passionate it is that it begins with a fanfare, with the voice (the piano begins at the end of the second measure) singing a long phrase. The poem by Detlev von Liliencron has three stanzas that Strauss describes musically very differently; in the first, the poet says "we live a life of luxury" (hence the exuberance of music); the second, "if you would wander poor and exiled, I would wander with you"; the third, "If you die, I will die with you". If you don't know the song, you might think that the song’s ending is sad... You just wait to hear it!

It's quite an excessive song but I really like it. We’ve invited Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deutsch to our birthday party who’ll perform an outstanding version.
Ich liebe dich

Vier adlige Rosse
Voran unserm Wagen,
Wir wohnen im Schlosse
In stolzem Behagen.
Die Frühlichterwellen
Und nächtens der Blitz,
Was all sie erhellen,
Ist unser Besitz.

Und irrst du verlassen,
Verbannt durch die Lande,
Mit dir durch die Gassen
In Armut und Schande!
Es bluten die Hände,
Die Füße sind wund,
Vier trostlose Wände,
Es kennt uns kein Hund.

Steht silberbeschlagen
Dein Sarg am Altar,
Sie sollen mich tragen
Zu dir auf die Bahr',
Und fern auf der Heide
Und stirbst du in Not,
Den Dolch aus der Scheide,
Dir nach in den Tod!

Four noble horses
 for our carriage,
 we live in the castle
 in proud comfort.
 The early brightness
 and the lightning at night -
 everything that they shed light upon
 belongs to us.
 Although you wander forsaken,
 an exile, through the world,
 I am with you in the streets
 in poverty and shame!
 Our hands will bleed,
 our feet will ache,
 the four walls will be without comfort,
 and no dog will know us.
 If, fitted with silver,
 your coffin will stand at the altar,
 they shall bear me as well
 on the bier to you.
 And if, far away on the heath,
 you die in anguish,
 I shall draw my dagger from its sheath
 and follow you in death! 


(translation by Emily Ezust)


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