4 Songs on texts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- Froh empfind ich mich nun... (original: A-G, lower version: G-F)
- Wenn du mir sagst... (C#-E)
- Kannst du, o Grausamer!... (G#-F)
- Herbstlich leuchtet die Flamme... (C-F)
Duration 15:55 minutes
The Roman Elegies are not only called roman because Goethe was living in Rome when he wrote them but more importantly because he was very much engaged in studying Greek and Roman culture. As a consequence these verses are modelled after classical examples. There is a strict alternation of hexameters and pentameters - and this poetical form is called an elegy. In this case the title has nothing to do with the usual meaning of lament. On the contrary, these are happy and exuberant lovepoems, often with erotic overtones.
Just as Goethe found inspiration with the classical masters, so have I sought for inspiration with my own "classical" masters: the German Romantic Lied-composers. Not in imitation but purely out of affection.
Short contents of the poems:
1 - (Elegy no.5) I am happy here on classical soil and study the works of the old masters. But at night its Amor that inspires me, after all, he was also their inspirator - and he would be proud of me.
2 - (Elegy no.8) When you say that nobody liked you as a child then I can believe that, my love. Grapes are also best enjoyed when ripe.
3 - (Elegy no.6) The beloved speaks:
"How can believe this gossip that I would have cheated on you - and with a priest even! Never have I been unfaithful but now I feel betrayed."
Weeping she toke her child on her lap and I felt so ashamed! Fortunately the flames of love are not easily extinguished. Eventually they will burn with greater and purer might.
4 - (Elegy no.9) The hearth fire crackles cosily and when my girl arrives we will have a nocturnal feast. Tomorrow the fire will have turned to ashes but Amor will make my loved one stir it up again.
The song were premiered in october 2004 by Frans Huijts - baritone and the composer at the piano.