Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Have To Go Again

Amazing performance of the SF Symphony.

Last night I went to the Symphony, a program of Beethoven's 4th, Barber's Andromache's Farewell and R. Strauss: Four Last Songs with Deborah Voigt, soprano.  AMAZING.  In fact, I got another ticket right away and am going tonight again.  The ensemble between Deborah Voigt and the symphony's first violin made the 3rd song an emotional dialog I want to hear again and again.

The Four Last are some of final songs that Strauss composed, written between 1946 and 1948.  His wife was a celebrated soprano and he wrote many pieces for that voice.   Three of the four songs are set to poems by Hermann Hesse.  The most hauntingly beautiful one was Beim Schlafengehen (Going to Sleep).  I don't have a recording of last night's performance, but you can hear a performance of it by Gundula Janowitz by clicking here. You have to hear it! Here is the libretto:

Now that the day wearies me,
My yearning desire,
will receive more kindly,
like a tired child, the starry night

Hence, leave off your deeds
mind, forget all thoughts;
All of my forces
yearn only to sink into sleep.

And my soul, unguarded,
would soar on widespread wings,
to live in a night's magical sphere
More profoundly, more variously.

-- Hermann Hesse