In 1911 Claude Debussy was questioned in the journal “Musica” on the ideal text to set to music. Having skeptically illustrated a number of possibilities, the composer declared his preference for rhythmic prose, adding that the composer himself should write
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) is famous for his one opera, Pelléas et Mélisande, an opera of seduction and loss. But this was not his only assay into opera. He started work after work, leaving them incomplete: Hélène (1881), Diane au bois
“Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt” (Only he who knows longing) is one of four Mignon songs in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister written in 1795. These songs are symbolic, because they are sung and not recited by the main characters. The episode
Goethe’s most famous lyric with refrain is undoubtedly “Heidenröslein” (Heath Rose). The poem is a sustained metaphor for the deflowering of a maiden, and it possibly originated during Goethe’s stay in Strasbourg. During his two-year stay, the 21-year-old poet fell
Goethe’s Wandrers Nachtlied II (Über allen Gipfeln) is considered by many to be the most perfect lyric in the German language. The poet is supposed to have written the poem on the evening of 6 September 1780 onto the wall
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) wrote his famous poem “Das Veilchen” (The Violet) in 1774 as an allegorical song for his theatrical play with songs Erwin and Elmire. He reworked it during his Italian journey in 1787/88, and this second
With the possible exception of William Shakespeare, no other poet had such a profound influence on song as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). For Germany’s greatest poet, music was an essential part of life, and it brought solace and redemption.