Friday, November 6, 2015

Gratuitous Friday – Luca Pisaroni Sings Schwanengesang Excerpts

It is a blessing to Liederlieber everywhere that Luca Pisaroni is one of our great opera singers who continues to perform in recital. Bringing some stage presence to the concert stage is never a bad thing. 

Here are the six Heine settings from Schubert's Schwanengesang, performed in Chicago this past September, while LP (and his entourage--apparently Tristan appeared again in his acclaimed portrayal of "the Count's Dog") were there for the Lyric Opera's production of Le Nozze di Figaro

I love the viewer comment on YT that LP is "clearly...a bit stressed..." D'ya think that's not stress, but maybe—oh I don't know—acting? I mean, these Heine poems are not exactly happy-go-lucky little ditties! (Are any Heine poems happy-go-lucky?)

Here's a bit of info from Wikipedia on the six Heine poems in Die Schwanengesang:

·        Der Atlas ("Atlas": the singer, having wished to experience either eternal happiness or eternal wretchedness, has the latter, and blames himself for the weight of sorrow, as heavy as the world, that he now bears)
·        Ihr Bild ("Her image": the singer tells his beloved of how he dreamed (daydreamed?) that a portrait of her favoured him with a smile and a tear; but alas, he has lost her)
·        Das Fischermädchen ("The fisher-maiden": the singer tries to sweet-talk a fishing girl into a romantic encounter, drawing parallels between his heart and the sea)
·        Die Stadt ("The city": the singer is in a boat rowing towards the city where he lost the one he loved; it comes foggily into view)
·        Am Meer ("By the sea": the singer tells of how he and his beloved met in silence beside the sea, and she wept; since then he has been consumed with longing — she has poisoned him with her tears)
·        Der Doppelgänger ("The double": the singer looks at the house where his beloved once lived, and is horrified to see someone standing outside it in torment — it is, or appears to be, none other than himself, aping his misery of long ago)

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