Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University Musical Society
Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers
Albert J. McNeil, Director-Founder
Virginia White, Administrator Byron Smith, Larry Farrow, Accompanists
Charlotte Neveu, Yvonne Farrow, Choreography
Cheryl Ascione Ralph Pettiford
Bradley Baker Michele Sorel
Carl Bell Marc Summers
Celeste Bembry Tommie Webb
Anne Dunn Virginia White
Cheryl Fox Michael Wright
Lisa Gray-Ashley Richard Wyatt
Thursday Evening, November 11, 1993 at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Rocka My Soul......................arr. Howard Roberts
Ralph Pettiford, Carl Bell, Basses
Don't You Let Nobody Turn You 'Round ............arr. Phil Mclntyre
Michael Wright, Tenor
Bradley Baker, Tommie Webb, Baritones
Crossin' Ovah ........................Richard Jackson
Cheryl Fox, Soprano
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah ...................arr. Lena McLin
Bradley Baker, Baritone
O Mary Don't You Weep..................arr. Albert McNeil
Celeste Bembry, Soprano
Cheryl Ascione, Anne Dunn, Altos
You Must Have That True Religion ..............arr. Roland Carter
Lisa Gray-Ashley, Soprano
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot ..................air. Larry Farrow
Virginia White, Contralto
Ezekiel Saw The Wheel ..................arr. William Dawson
CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN-AMERICAN GOSPELS
Try Jesus.............................Robert Ray
Celeste Bembry, Soprano Michael Wright, Tenor
Large print programs are available from your usher. Sixteenth Concert of the 115th Season 23rd Annual Choice Series
Worthy To Be Praised ......................Byron Smith
Cheryl Ascione, Alto
II AFRICAN AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN FOLK SONGS
Tataleo (Ghana, Ga) ...................arr. Jester Hairston
Richard Wyatt, Tenor
Umngoma (Zulu) ....................arr. Caiphus Cemanya
Women's Ensemble and Larry Farrow
Virginia White, Contralto
Marry a Woman Uglier Than You (Calypso)..........arr. Leonard de Paur
Richard Wyatt, Tenor
Travelin' Man (Southern) .................arr. Jester Hairston
Michael Wright, Tenor Tommie Webb, Baritone
World Goin' Down (Urban Blues) ..............Arthur Cunningham
Lisa Gray-Ashley, Soprano Virginia White, Contralto
AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE
From Carmen Jones ....................Bizet-Hammerstein
Michele Sorel, Soprano Stand Up and Fight
Marc Summers, Bradley Baker, Baritones
From Porgy and Bess .....................George Gershwin
A Woman Is a Sometime Thing
Richard Wyatt, Tenor It Ain't Necessarily So
Tommie Webb, Bass
Michael Wright, Tenor I'm On My Way
Ralph Pettiford, Bass
Ellingionia (A Medley) .....................Duke Ellington,
Lisa Gray-Ashley, Soprano arr. Larry Farrow
Virginia White, Alto
Michael Wright, Tenor
Tommie Webb, Ralph Pettiford, Basses
Heleylooyuh .........................James Furman
There's A City Called Heaven...................Robert Page
Celeste Bembry, Cheryl Fox, Sopranos
Softly flow through my soul
sweet sounds of love
sing little spring song,
peal forth into the vast distance
Flow toward that house, where the little violets bloom, when you see a rose, give her my greetings, when you see a rose, give her my greetings.
One Day, O My Soul
One day, o my Soul, you will find rest. From love's fires that give you no peace, in the cool earth you will sleep soundly, there without love and without pain you will find rest.
What you have not found in life, what you have not found in life, when life is ended will be yours then wouthout wounds and without pain you will find rest.
The Way of the World
Every evening I go out, and meander throught the fields, She watches from her garden house that lies right along the path. We have never yet planned this, it's just the way things happen, it's just the way things happen.
1 don't know it happened,
that I first kissed her,
1 did not ask, she did not say: yes,
but she also never said:no.
When lips willingly meet,
we did not think to prevent them,
we thought it best to let them be.
The breeze plays with the rose,
it does not ask; do you love me
The little rose cooling herself with dew,
and does not say, may I
1 love her, she loves me,
but neither says: 1 love you!
but neither says: I love you!
Wasn't That a Mighty Day ...............arr. John Wesley Work
Michael Wright, Richard Wyatt, Tenors
I Been in the Storm So Long ...............arr. Robert DeCormier
Michele Sorel, Soprano
Walk Together Children .................arr. Wm. Henry Smith
Cheryl Fox, Lisa Gray-Ashley, Sopranos Cheryl Ascione, Alto
Oh Happy Day (Jazz-Gospel) .................arr. Larry Farrow
Virginia White, Contralto
The Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers performance is made possible by arrangement with Harold Shaw, Shaw Concerts, Inc., 1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
About The Artists
The Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, a traveling company of 14, a resident group of 33, has garnered international acclaim and focused worldwide attention on the vast body of folk music termed "Afro-American." They have become one of America's finest exponents of the rich and vital body of music that is such an integral part of the Black experience.
Twenty-five years ago, the Singers undertook their first European tour. Today, after 16 sold-out European tours, 8 tours of the United States, tours of the Middle and far East, Africa and South America, they are among the most honored singing ensembles in the world. They were selected three times to serve the U.S. State Department and USIS Cultural Exchange Program in areas of the world including East Germany, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Iran, India and the United Arab Emirates.
Founder-Director Albert McNeil is well-known to the national choral community, having been honored on two occasions with "Command Performances" before the prestigious
American Choral Directors Association in 1981 in New Orleans and in 1985 at their Salt Lake City Convention. The singers were headliners at the First Choral Festival in Jaffe (Yafo), Israel, in April 1988. In 1989, they were honored to perform with the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The program was aired by CBS Radio and Television. They have had collaborative concerts with the Dale Warland Singers, Chanticleer, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, and Pro Musica of El Paso. In the Summer of 1992, the Singers made their first Far East Tour of Hong Kong (Cultural Center Concert Hall), Taiwan, six concerts including a gala performance in the National Concert Hall in Taipei, and six concerts in Japan. Travelling over 15,000 miles, the Singers went on to Spain to complete concerts at the XXIII Semana de Musica de Camara in Segovia, in the Real Coliseo Carlos III in El Escorial, performing not only their regular fare of spirituals but the Siglo de Oro Espafiol (Renaissance music of Victoria and Morales). The one week "command performances" included performances in Miraflores, Las Rozas, Montserrat and Valencia. Over 30,000 miles in seven weeks!
During the Winter of 1993, the Singers completed a six-week tour of Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and Luxembourg and culminated their Winter Concert Season with a performance in the Auditorium of Ambassador College, Pasadena, California.
Tonight's concert marks their Ann Arbor debut.
Once I dreamed a lovely dream:
a blond maiden loved me,
it was jn the vast green woods,
it was in the warm springtime:
the buds sprang into bloom, the forest brook swelled,
from the distant village pealed the bells
we were filled with wonder,
and overcome with bliss.
But sweeter still did once 1 dream,
a dream that then came true:
it was in the vast green woods.
it was in the warm springtime;
the forrest brook swelled, the buds sprang into bloom,
Bells pealed form the village;
1 held you close, I held you long
and never, never let you go !
Oh, woods green with spring, you live in me through all of time! There reality became the dream, there the dream became reality!
-translated b Carla Maria VerdinO'Siillwold
Memories of Lincoln
Beat! Beat! drums! Blow, bugles blow!
Thro' the windows thro' the doors -
burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church,
and scatter the congregation,
Blow, bugles blow! Beat! Beat! drums!
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in houses
No sleepers must sleep in beds,
You bugles wilder blow! Blow, bugles blow!
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd, And the great star early droop' in the western sky in the night, 1 moum'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring. Ever-returning spring trinity sure, trinity sure to me you bring. Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west, And thoughts of him I love.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weathered ev'ry rack, the prize we sought is won, But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
To What You Said
To what you said, passionately clasping my hand,
this is my answer:
Though you have strayed hither, for my sake,
you can never belong to me, nor I to you,
Behold the customary loves and
friendships the cold guards
1 am that rough and simple person
I am he who kisses his comrade lightly on the lips
at parting, and I am one who is kissed in return,
I introduce that new American salute
Behold love choked, correct, polite, always suspicious
Behold the received models of the parlors --
What are they to me
What to these young men that travel with me
20 Lieder und Gesange aus dem Lyrischen Intermezzo Buch der Lieder fur eine Singstimme und das PianoforteGedichte von Heinrich Heine
Im wunderschonen Monat Mai, Als alle Knospen sprangen, Da ist in meinem Herzen Die Liebe aufgegangen.
Im wunderschonen Monat Mai, Als alle Vogel sangen, Da hab ich ihr gestanden Mein Sehnen und Verlangen.
Aus meinen Tranen spriessen Viel bliihende Blumen hervor, Und meine Seufzer werden Ein Nachtigallenchor.
Und wenn du mich lieb hast, Kindchen, Schenk ich dir die Blumen all, Und vor deinem Fenster soil klingen Das Lied der Nachtigall.
Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube, die Sonne, Die liebt ich einst alle in Liebeswonne. Ich lieb sie nicht mehr, ich liebe alleine Die Kleine, die Feine, die Reine, die Eine; Sie selber, aller Liebe Bronne, 1st Rose und Lilie und Taube und Sonne.
Wenn ich in deine Augen seh', So schwindet all mein Leid.und Weh; Doch wenn ich kiisse deinen Mund, So werd ich ganz und gar gesund.
Wenn ich mich lehn an deine Brust, Kommt's iiber mich wie Himmelslust; Doch wenn du sprichst: "Ich liebe dich!" So muss ich weinen bitterlich.
Dein Angesicht, so lieb und schon, Das hab'ich jiingst im Traum geseh'n; Es ist so mild und engelgleich, Und doch so bleich, undso schmerzensreichschmerzensbleich.
In the lovely month of May, When all the buds burst into bloom, Then in my heart as well Did love unfurl.
In the lovely month of May, When all the birds were singing, Then did 1 to her confess My longing and desire.
From my tears will spring Many a flower in bloom, And my sighs will become A choir of nightingales.
And if you love me, little one, 1 will give you all the flowers, And at your window play The song of the nightingale.
The rose, the lily, the dove, and the sun; I once loved them all with wondrous bliss. I love them no longer. I love only My own sweet, pure, little darling; She herself is the fountain of all love, She is rose, lily, dove, and sun.
When I look into your eyes, All my pain and sorrow vanish; When I kiss your lips, I become whole and healthy.
When I lay myself on your breast, Heavenly bliss envelops me; But when you say "I love you!" Then I can only weep bitterly.
Y.our face so beautiful and dear, I saw last night in my dream; It was so sweet and angelic, And yet so pale, so deathly pale.
Und nur die Lippen, die sind rot; Bald aber lciisst sie bleich der Tod; Erloschen wird das Himmelslicht, Das aus den frommen Augen bricht.
Lehn' deine Wang' an meine Wang', Dann fliessen die Tranen zusammen, Und an mein Here driick' fest dein Here, Dann schlagen zusammen die Flammen.
Und wenn in die grosse Flamme fliesst
Der Strom von unseren Tranen,
Und wenn dich mein Arm gewaltig umschliesst,
Sterb' ich vor Liebessehnen!
Ich will meine Seele tauchen In den Kelch der Lilie hinein; Die Lilie soil klingend hauchen Ein Lied von der Liebsten mein.
Das Lied soil schauem und beben Wie der Kuss von ihrem Mund Den sie mir einst gegeben In wunderbar siisser Stund'.
Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome, Da spiegelt sich in den Well'n, Mit seinem grossen Dome Das grosse, heilige Koln.
Im Dom da steht ein Bildnis, Auf goldenem Leder gemalt; In meines Lebens Wildnis Hat's freundlich hineingestrahlt.
Es schweben Blumen und Eng'lein Um unsre liebe Frau; Die Augen, die Lippen, die Wanglein, Die gleichen der Liebsten genau.
Ich grolle nicht, und wenn das Here auch bricht, Ewig verlomes Lieb! ich grolle nicht. Wie du auch strahlst in Diamantenpracht, Es fallt kein Strahl in deines Hereens Nacht.
Dass weiss ich langst. Ich sah dich ja im Traume, Und sah die Nacht in deines Herzens Raume, Und sah die Schlang, die dir am Hereen frisst, Ich sah, mein Lieb, wie sehr du elend bist. Ich grolle nicht, ich grolle nicht.
Und wussten's die Blumen, die kleinen, Wie tief verwundet mein Here, Sie wiirden mit mir weinen, Zu heilen meinen Schmerz.
Und wussten's die Nachtigallen, Wie ich so traurig und krank, Sie liessen frohlich erschallen Erquickenden Gesang.
And only your lips are red;
But soon death will kiss them white;
And the heavenly light that streams from your dear eyes
Will be extinguished.
Lean your cheek on mine, So our tears may flow together, And press your heart against mine, So that their flames may beat in time.
And when the flood of our tears Flows into the great flame, And when I clasp you in my arms, Then shall 1 die of love's longing.
I want to plunge my soul Into the cup of the lily; The lily shall sound A song of my beloved.
The lily shall shiver and tremble Like the kiss from her lips Which she once gave me In a wonderfully sweet hour.
In the Rhine, in that holy river Is mirrored in the waves, With its towering cathedral The holy city of Cologne.
In the cathedral there is a picture, Painted on gold leather; Into the wilderness of my life It shone with friendly radiance.
Flowers and little angels float Around our blessed Lady; Her eyes, her lips, her cheeks, Are like those of my beloved's.
I bear no grudge even if my heart does break, Forever lost, o love! I bear no grudge. Even though you shine in bediamonded splendour, No ray illuminates the night in your heart.
I have known long this. I saw you in a dream, And saw the night in the abyss of your heart, And saw the snake that gnaws at your heart, I saw, my love, how miserable you are.
If only the flowers knew, How deeply wounded my heart is, They would cry with me, To heal my sorrow.
And if the nightingales knew, How sad and sick I am, They would gladly release a torrent Of restorative sound.
Und wiissten sie mein Wehe, Die goldenen Sternelein, Sie kamen aus ihrer H"he, Und sprachen Trost mir ein.
Sie alle konnen's nicht wissen, Nur eine kennt meinen Schmerz: Sie hat ja selbst zerrissen, Zerrissen mir das Herz.
Das ist ein Floten und Geigen, Trompeten schmettern darein; Da tanzt den Hochzeitreigen Die Herzallerliebste mein.
Das ist ein Klingen und Drohnen, Ein Pauken und ein Schalmein; Dazwischen schluchzen und stohnen Die guten Engelein.
Hor ich das Liedchen klingen, Das einst die Liebste sang, So will mir die Brust zerspringen Von wildem Schmerzendrang.
Es treibt mich ein dunkles Sehnen Hinauf zur Waldeshoh, Dort lost sich auf in Tranen Mein iibergrosses Weh.
Ein jungling liebt ein Madchen, Die hat einen andern erwahlt; Der andere liebt eine andre; Und hat sich mit dieser vermahlt.
Das Madchen nimmt aus Arger Den ersten, besten Mann, Der ihr in den Weg gelaufen; Der Jungling ist tibel dran.
Est ist eine alte Geschichte, Doch bleibt sie immer neu; Und wem sie just passieret, Dem bricht das Herz entzwei.
Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen Geh ich im Garten herum. Es flustern und sprechen die Blumen, Ich aber wandle stumm.
Es flustem und sprechen die Blumen, Und schaun mitleidig mich an; "Sei unserer Schwester nicht bose, Du trauriger, blasser Mann!"
Es leuchtet meine Liebe In ihrer dunkeln Pracht, Wie'n Marchen, traurig und triibe, Erzahlt in der Sommernacht.
And if they knew my pain, The little golden stars, Would come down from heaven, To give me comfort.
But none of them can understand, One alone knows my suffering. It is she who has rent, rent my heart.
There is the sound of piping flutes and fiddles,
Trumpets blaring shrilly;
My own dearly beloved is there
Dancing at her wedding feast.
There is a ringing and roaring,
The sound of a drum and the sound of shame;
I hear between the sobs and moans
Of the good little angels.
When I hear the little song, That once my dearest sang, Then my heart wants to burst With a wild surge of pain.
A dark longing drives me Out onto the forest peaks, There I find relief in tears for My overwhelming grief.
A youth loves a maiden. But she has chosen another; He, in turn, loves another And marries her.
The maiden in her anger Marries the next best man Who comes her way; The youth takes it badly.
It is an old story, Yet it remains ever new; And to whomever it happens, His heart is rent in two.
On a bright summer morning I walk in the garden. The flowers whisper and speak, But I wander silently.
The flowers whisper and chatter, And look at me with pity; "Do not be angry with our sister, You sad, pale man."
My love shines
In its dark power,
Like a fairytale sad and gloomy,
Told on a summer's evening.
Im Zaubergarten wallen Zwei Buhlen stumm und allein, Es singen die Nachtigallen, Es flimmert der Mondenschein.
Die Jungfrau steht still wie ein Bildnis, Der Ritter vor ihr kniet. Da kommt der Riese der Wildnis, Die bange Jungfrau flieht.
Der Ritter sinkt blutend zur Erde, Es stolpert der Riese nach Haus, Wenn ich begraben werde, Dann ist das Marchen aus.
Mein Wagen rollet langsam Durch lustiges Waldes griin, Durch blumige Taler Die zaubrisch in Sonnenglanze bliihn.
Ich sitze und sinne und sinne und traume, Und denk an die Liebste mein. Da griissen drei Schatten gestalten kopfhickend Zum Wagen, zum Wagen herein.
Sie hiipfen und schneiden Gesichter So spottisch und doch so scheu, Und quirlen wie Nebel zusammen, Und kichem und huschen vorbei.
Ich hab im Traum geweinet, Mir traumte du lagest im Grab. Ich wachte auf, und die Trane Floss noch von der Wange herab.
Ich hab im Traum geweinet, Mir traumt', du verliessest mich. Ich wachte auf, und ich weinte Noch lange bitterlich.
Ich hab im Traum geweinet, Mir traumte, du warst mir noch gut. Ich wachte auf, und noch immer Str'mt meine Tranenflut.
Allnachtlich im Traume seh ich dich Und sehe dich freundlich griissen, Und laut aufweinend stiirz ich mich Zu deinen sussen Fiissen.
Du siehst mich an wehmutiglich, Und schiittelst das blonde Kopfchen; Aus deinen Augen schleichen sich Die Perlentranentropfchen.
Du sagst mir heimlich ein leises Wort, Und gibst mir den Strauss von Cypressen. Ich wache auf, und der Strauss ist fort. Und's Wort hab ich vergessen.
In a magic garden
Wander two lovers silent and alone,
The nightingales sing,
The moonlight flickers.
The maiden stands still as a painting. The knight kneels before her. Then comes a giant out of the wilderness, The terrified maiden flees.
The knight sinks bleeding to the ground,
The giant stomps off home.
When 1 am in the grave,
Only then will this fairy tale be done.
My coach rolls slowly
Through the merry, jolly green woods,
Through the flowering vales
Which bloom magically in the sun's rays.
I sit and think and think and dream, And muse on my beloved, Then three specters with their heads bobbing greet me in my coach.
They frolic along making Faces so mocking yet so timorous; They whirl like mist together, And titter and dance along.
I wept in my dream,
1 dreamt you lay in your grave.
I woke, and the tears
Still flowed from my cheeks.
I wept in my dream, I dreamed you left me. I woke and I cried Bitterly for a long time.
I wept in my dream, I dreamed you were still mine. I woke and my tears Continued to flow unceasingly.
Every night in my dreams I see you, I see you giving me a friendly greeting And sobbing aloud, I throw myself At your feet.
You look at me with pity, And shake your little blond head; From your eyes silently Steal pearly little teardrops.
You secretly whisper a gentle word, And give me a cypress wreathe. 1 wake and the wreathe is gone And 1 have forgotten your words.
Aus alten Marchen winlct es Hervor mit weisser Hand, Da singt es, un da lclingt es Von einem Zauberland.
Wo bunte Blumen bliihen, In goldnen Abendlicht, Und lieblich duftend gliihen Mit brautlichem Gesicht;
Une griine Baume singen Uralte Melodein, Die Liifte heimlich klingen, Und Vbgel schmettern drein;
Und Nebelbilder steigen Wohl aus der Erd hervor, Und tanzen luftgen Reigen Im wunderlichen Chor;
Und blaue Funken brennen An jedem Blatt und Reis, Und rote Lichter rennen Im irren, wirren Kreis;
Und laute Quellen brechen Aus wildem Marmorstein, Und seltsam in den Bachen Strahlt fort der Widerschein.
Ach, konnt ich dorthin kommen, Und dort mein Herz erfreun, Und aller Qual enrnommen, Und frei und selig sein!
Ach! jenes Lande der Wonne Das seh ich oft im Traum; Doch kommt die Morgensonne, Zerfliesst's wie eitel Schaum
Die alten, bosen Lieder, Die Traume bos und arg, Die lasst uns jetzt begraben; Holt einen grossen Sarg.
Hinein leg ich gar manches, Doch sag ich noch nicht was; Der Sarg muss sein noch grosser, Wie's Heidelberger Fass.
Und holt eine Totenbahre Und Bretter fest und dick; Auch muss sie sein noch langer, Als wie zu Mainz die Briick.
Und holt mir auch zwolf Riesen, Die miissen noch starker sein Als wie der starke Christoph Im Dom zu Koln am Rhein.
Die sollen den Sarg fotttragen Und senken ins Meer hinab; Denn solchem grossen Sarge Gebiihrt ein grosses Grab.
Wisst ihr, warum der Sarg wohl So gross und schwer mag sein Ich senkt auch meine Liebe Und meinen Schmerz hinein.
From the old fairytales A white hand waves me on, To the sounds and songs Of a magic land;
Where colorful flowers grow, In golden evening light, And in lovely fragrance glow With the radiant face of a bride;
And green trees sing
Their ageold melodies,
The breezes whisper secretively,
And the birds warble there;
And misty shapes rise
From the earth,
And dance airy dances
In a marvelous strange chorus;
And blue sparks flash From every leaf and twig, And red lights swirl In a confused circle;
And noisy springs gush From the wild marble rocks, And in the brook's strange Reflections flicker back and forth;
Ah, if I could go there, And let my heart rejoice, And there be relieved of all pain, And be free and happy!
Ah, that land of bliss, I have often seen in dreams; But with the morning's sunrise, It vanishes like mist.
The wicked old songs, The nasty grim dreams, Let us now bury them; Come, fetch a large coffin.
Therein shall I lay many a thing, But I will not yet say what; The coffin must be even larger, Than Heidelberg's huge vat.
Bring me a bier
And firm, thick planks;
It must be even longer,
Than the bridge over the Mainz.
Then fetch me twelve giants,
They must be stronger
Than the strong St. Christopher
In the cathedral of Koln on the Rhine.
They must carry away the coffin And sink it deep in the sea; Because such a large casket Needs a deep grave.
Do you know why the coffin Must be so big and heavy Because I am also burying in it My love and pain. Translated by Carla Maria Verdino-Siillwold
THE PROGRAM Part I
by Thomas Hampson & Carla Maria Verdino-Siillwold
In typical Hollywood fashion, when filmmakers settled upon Edvard Grieg as a subject for the cinema biography, Song of Norway, they quite naturally selected a title that carried a cachet of romance, but one that also harbored an essential truth about the appeal of the composer. Few other creative artists in modern times would so embody a national consciousness as did Grieg. In music Sibelius, Bartok, Dvorak spring instantly to mind, but perhaps it is in literature that Grieg finds one of his most interesting parallels. Just as 1993 represents the 150th anniversary celebration of Grieg's birth, 1992 served as the centennial tribute to another poet and musician of language, Walt Whitman, who like his Norwegian contemporary, became indelibly associated with the articulation of the American spirit. "The subtlest spirit of a nation is expressed through its music, and music acts reciprocally upon the nation's very soul," wrote the Bard of Democracy as he argued his case for creating a fresh voice for a new age and new land. For Whitman, the poet's task was to render into the verse the myriad of individual experiences that then became synthesized into a representative universal whole. "I hear America singing," he caroled as he turned for his inspiration to the Folk, to the common men and women of his pioneer nation with their distinctively diverse rhythms, images, sights, smells, and sounds. Seeking the language of the common man was by no means Whitman's sole province; it was an impulse central to 19th-century thinking, born of an era of Revolution and Romanticism, nurtured by English-speaking poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Burns, Thomas Moore -and on the Continent by the German Romantics, foremost among them Heinrich Heine. Heine's Buch der Lieder, which appeared in 1827, became a seminal text, not only for literary colleagues but also for generations of composers, who would find in this collection, with its archetypal Romantic diction, imagery, themes, and myths, a source of potent inspiration.
It is no coincidence, then, that this program focuses on three catalytic voices: Grieg, Whitman, and Heine. These songmakers for indeed, Whitman and Heine in both their literal influence upon subsequent music and in their own indisputably musical diction deserve the title no less than Grieg and Schumann not only shared lives which serendipitously criss-crossed across the century, but, even more importantly, they subscribed to a common Romantic ethos that derived from the 19th-century's potent urge to break the confines of the past and to discover, as Whitman phrased it "larger measures in music as well as in literature to express this spirit of the age."
Born on the shores of Paumanok (Long Island) in 1819, Walt Whitman spent his early career in the print shops and newspaper offices of Brooklyn before giving birth to a slim, green-tendriled, self-published volume of verse which was to grow through its numerous printings into what Emerson called "the book of the age." When the first edition of Leaves of Grass appeared on July 4, 1855, the fifty-seven year-old Heinrich Heine lay on his deathbed in Paris, where for a quarter of a century he had held sway as one of the most influential voices of his day. Renowned for his political and cultural journalism, as well as his verse, it was perhaps the youthful Buch der Lieder, together with Reisebilder (1826-31), which established him permanently as a spokesman for Romantic thought. The young Robert Schumann met Heine in 1828 and was immediately struck by the loftiness and self-mocking irony that shaped the older poet's psyche qualities which the composer would later translated into his monumental Heine cycle from Lyrisches Intermezzo. Walt Whitman first made Heine's acquaintance in the figurative sense through Thomas Carlyle, whose writings on the great German Romantics prompted the American poet to delve into not only Heine, but also Schiller, Goethe, Klopstock, and Hegel. Whitman first read Reisebilder in 1847, and to the end of his life, Whitman would maintain to his amanuensis, Horace Traubel, that Heine remained one of his most profound literary passions: one "good for any of my moods, a master of pregnant sarcasm," an antecedent and inspiration without whom Leaves of Grass would have lost, who can say how much A volume of Heine's poems became a favorite companion in Whitman's invalid years in Camden, as did Heine's American
translator, Charles Godfrey Leland, with whom Whitman enjoyed many an outing and conversation from 1883 until his death in 1892.
As a student of German Romanticism, Edvard Grieg was, of course, also aware of Heine's centrality. Born in Bergen in 1843, a year in which Walt Whitman was freelancing as a New York journalist and Heine was preparing for publication his Neue Gedichte, Grieg received his early professional training in Leipzig, where from 1858-1863 he absorbed the musical and poetic voices of the German School before spending the next three years in Denmark, and then finally settling in Norway. Though most of Grieg's mature songs are set to Norwegian or Danish texts, he did turn to German poetry three times in his career-in the youthful Opus 2 (1861) and Opus 4 (1864) and again after a long hiatus in 1889 in Opus 48 and in the late individual compositions, Der Jdger and OsterUed -and of these eighteen songs, six are to Heine texts.
Grieg's connections to Walt Whitman are also fascinating, albeit of a less directly tangible nature. The American poet first gained recognition in Denmark through the laudatory article, "Walt Whitman: The Poet of Democracy," written by the Late Romantic poet and translator, Rudolf Schmidt, and published in the magazine, Idea and Reality, which he co-edited with the Norwegian poet Bjornstjerne Bjornson. Bjornson, also an avid Whitman admirer, actively proselytized for American poet during the seventies, the decade in which Grieg turned frequently to his Norwegian contemporary for song texts. Bjornson, whose pantheism and natural mysticism made him a kindred spirit to Worsdworth and Whitman, also closely identified himself with the Norwegian nationalist school of music and its primary exponents, Kerulf, Nordraak, Grieg, and Grieg's first mentor, composer and violinist Ole Bull. Indeed, it was Bull, who welcomed Grieg back from his Leipzig and Copenhagen years, took the young composer into his country home at Osteroy, and introduced him to Norwegian folk music and peasant culture. It was Bull's passionate nationalism, which, together with a deep love for the prematurely-deceased Rikard Nordraak and a respect for the poet Bjornson, exercised a lifelong grip on Grieg's imagination and national consciousness. But when one realizes that on the opposite shore Walt Whitman was also coming under Ole Bull's spell, the circle of interconnectness is spun even tighter: as a critic for The Brooklyn Eagle, Whitman heaped lavish praise on Bull during the violinist's repeated visits to New York in the 1850's!
Whitman's appreciation of classical music, born of his experience as a New York reviewer, grew from unlearned fascination to unbridled passion in the years between 1835 and 1860, when the Civil War cut short his concert-going. Like Bjornson and Heine, he was not formally trained in music, but he possessed a keen ear and an open soul, and he recognized immediately that music and poetry were twins, that all great literature lends itself to the lips, and that song -be it spoken or vocalized was the natural medium of human expression. One needs only count the references to song in the poet's works over 228 direct mentions alone! to understand the centrality of music to his thought. So, too, with Heine, who wrote of his poems: "Let my lieder be carried into the world on the wings of song," a wish obliged by some 5000 settings by immortals like Schubert, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Franz, Wolf, and, of course, Schumann.
The essential musicality of the verse Whitman's and Heine's, as well as the other German Romantics represented here (Uhland, Bodenstedt, Geibel, Goethe) and even that of the medieval Minnesdnger Walther von der Vogelweide is but one of the musico-poetic parallels among the thirty-one selections of today's program. Stylistically speaking, the poems also share a common Romantic vocabulary with its ambivalent images of sensuality and spirituality, dark terror and sublime transcendence. If Whitman's breathless, energetic, rolling line at first seems to have little to do with the more sharply etched, economic German verse especially the Heine a closer reading reveals the same love of language, the same respect for creating a national voice, the same spirit of adventurousness that in Whitman takes to its ultimate conclusion the dissolution of conventional poetic line that had begun with the great German and English Romantics like Goethe and Wordsworth. The affinities among the composers-poets are thematic as well. There is a strong concern for mythmaking
present throughout the program, from the exquisite miniatures of universalized personal experience in the Grieg to the mystical depictions of life's journey in the Whitman poems to the majestic Schumann-Heine cycle with its exploration of the brutal confrontation between reality and illusion. In this elevation of daily experience to mythic permanence, two forces remain central throughout: Nature, who with all her contraries is still able to embody human emotion, and Art, which through the ministrations of the priestlike Bard, can transform epiphanies into eternal truths.
In terms of musical technique, both the 19th-century European and 20th-century American compositions are linked by the Romantic faith that tonality serves a structural as well as psychological function; that melody can be a supreme communicator of inner feeling, but that pure cantabile song must be wedded to textual perspicuity: that language must be carefully set (an especially insistent point for Grieg, who disapproved of his works in translation); that musical rhythm must derive from natural speech patterns; and that, as Schumann wrote, "Poetry should be to the singer as a bride in the arms of her groom -free, happy, complete. Only then will the song realize a divine quality."
If for Schumann, as well as Grieg, poetry was the soul of music, for Whitman and his composers, music was the medium by which thought could be translated into the more far-reaching realm of feeling. Expressing the inseparable dichotomy of the two in vivid Romantic language, the American Bard wrote in Democratic Vistas of the power of word and sound when joined in song: "Music is the combiner. There is nothing more spiritual, nothing more sensuous..a god yet completely human."
Edvard Grieg (1842-1907)
Sechs Lieder, Op. 48 (Composed 1889)
In an overall output of some 140 plus songs, Edvard Grieg set only eighteen German texts. Of these both Opus 2 and Opus 4 are early efforts, written when he was an eighteen and nineteen year-old student at the Leipzig Conservatory, where the composer would later write deprecatingly, he felt "like a parcel stuffed with dreams."
For the Bergen-born Norwegian, Scots-descended Grieg, who began his early musical training at home and with Ole Bull, a passionate partisan of Norwegian nationalism, the period from 1858 1862, which Grieg spent in Germany, seemed rather like an enforced exile to the frail and sensitive youth, who would later disparage the stuffy academicism of his training there. But the German Bildungsjahre as well as his subsequent vist to Liszt in Rome in 1870 was to color permanently his perceptions of Romanticism and to graft onto his developing nationalistic sensibliities a patina of lush lyricism that forever marked his debt not only to the great German Lieder composers, especially Schumann, but even more importantly, to the poetic voices of German literature. For Opus 2 and Opus 4 the young Grieg chose the works of Chamisso, Uhland, and Heine, and crafted songs especially designed for the prisitine lyric soprano of his bride, Nina Hagerup. By the time he returned to German poetry as an inspiration for his songs in 1889 in the Seeks Lieder that constitute Opus 48 a quarter of a century had passed. In the intervening years he had not only discovered Norwegian folk music, had been introduced to Norwegian political and artistic nationalism by his friend, the musician Rikard Nordraak, (whose untimely death from pleurisy in 1866 left Grieg feeling obligated to complete Rikaard's mission), and had become acquainted with the great literary vocies of Scandinavia, among them Anderson, Ibsen, and the ladsmal poet Vinje, but he had also absorbed some of Liszt's cosmopolitan idiom, and been envigorated by the first Bayreuth Festivals. But besides the fact that Grieg's mature style reflected a blend of cross-cultutral influences, the voice for which he composed these six songs to texts by Heine, Geibel, Uhland, von der Vogelweide, Goethe, and Bodenstedt was now the Swedish-born, Wagnerian soprano, Ellen Gulbransen, whose more expansive, dramatically colored voice, while it recogized the differences between opera and song so essential to Grieg, nevertheless possessed a ripe lushness intimately suited to the passionate poems he set.
Thus, Op. 48 remains a fascinating work in the Grieg song canon and one which speaks eloquently to the personal style the composer developed a style that blended the melodic inspiration of German Romanticism with recognizable folk idioms and a distinctly Nordic harmonic scheme marked by frequent open fourths and fifths.
Songs To Poems By Walt Whitman
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Joy, Shipmate, Joy! A Clear Midnight
Whitman was a looming presence in the creative thought of Vaughan Williams. According to his widow Ursula, from 1903 onward the composer carried a copy of Whitman's poetry with him as a constant companion. In a sense the spiritual kinship of the two artists was predestined. The composer, who was born one year before Whitman, had naturally encountered the Good Gray Poet at university, but he had also found his interest awakened by his composition teacher, Charles Wood, who had previously set some Whitman texts. The prime motivating factor for the identification, however, was Vaughan Williams' serious inquiry into folk song which began in 1904"A compositional style must be ultimately personal, but an individual is a member of a nation, and the greatest and most widely known artists have been the most strongly national Bach, Shakespeare, Verdi, Reynolds, Whitman," the composer was later to explain, and again shortly before his death in a letter to Michael Kennedy, he went on to list Whitman together with Brahms and General Booth as three of the greatest men of his lifetime. In 1905 Vaughan Williams set his first Whitman texts from Whispers of Heavenly Death and began sketching his Sea Symphony, and the composer returned to Whitman as the inspiration for his 1936 Donna blobis Pacem, in which (foreshadowing Britten) he interspersed Whitman poems with the text of the Latin Mass, and in 1945 with a setting of When Lilacs Last as an elegy for Bartok.
Three Songs by Walt Whitman of which joy, Shipmate, Joy and A Clear Midnight are respectively the third and second, were written in 1925 and premiered by John Elwes in 1927. Vaughan Williams was attracted to these texts, taken from the poet's 1871 Songs of Parting and 1881 From Noon to Starry Night respectively, not only because of their unstructured meters which permitted the composer to free himself of a rigid piano accompaniment, but also because of the combination of veiled spirituality and earthy tangibility in the verse. The composer shared with the poet a love of nature and a Romantic agnosticism that make their merged voices especially compelling. In Joy, Shipmate, Joy'., his hymn to the liberating experience of death, Whitman, reprising some of his favorite captainshipvoyage imagery, ecstatically sings, "Our life is closed, our life begins."
"Away from books, away from art, the day erased," Whitman declares in A Clear Midnight, recalling Heine's words as he tosses the casket of his past experience and art into the Rhine. Once again the poet is chanting his familiar theme of nature as a teacher and guide on the voyage of discovery that embraces all experiences, even the midnight-clear hour of death upon which the traveler embarks into life. Vaughan Williams conveys exquisitely the feeling of spiritual release as the song's last phrase fades gently into a breathtakingly soft, sustained syllable that conveys the painless bliss of the passing.
WUliam Neidlinger (1863-1924) Memories of Lincoln
Born and raised in Brooklyn where he worked as an organist until his 33rd year when he departed for London and Paris on a traditional Bildungsreise and then ultimately returned to Chicago and New Jersey to teach voice and compose secular and religious music, William Neidlinger was well acquainted with the Whitman legend and legacy. Comprised of portions of three poems from Whitman's cycle of the same name, Neidlinger's Memories of Lincoln
is a cantata in miniature with powerfully contrasting sections that chronicle the composer and poet's shock and despair at the loss of Abraham Lincoln. "He has the face of a Hoosier Michelangelo," wrote Whitman of Lincoln, then working in Washington, D.C. "He has shown an almost supernatural tact in keeping the ship afloat . . . with head steady . . . with proud resolute spirit. I say never captain had such a perplexing dangerous task." The crystallization of the ship imagery in this letter to his brother Tom no doubt recurred to Whitman in 1865 when, suffering the after shocks of the national assassination trauma, he composed his four-poem sequence.
Neidlinger's expansive, Romantic idiom is well suited to the heroic and elevated sentiments of the texts, while his proficiency as an organist can be heard in the majestic vocal and piano lines and in the combination of solemnity and impassioned drama which shape the song. Beat Drums, Beat begins with an eerie hush in both the voice and ominous martial bass ostinato of the accompaniment, then rises to a hammering heartbeat of sound that suggests the cacophony of brass and percussion. The emotional explosiveness of the first section modulates into the slower tempo and soothing legato of When Lilacs Last, which finishes in a moment of reverential silence before launching into the culminating poem of this extended elegy, O Captain, m Captain ironically the poet's most popular and, in its strophic form, his least representative work. Annoyed by repeated requests to recite it or anthologize it separately from the rest of the opus, Whitman once exploded, saying he wished he had never written the poem. Nonetheless, the haunting melancholy and cold brutality of the images make a poignant requiem for the President Whitman idolized.
Charles Naginski (1909-1940) Look Down Fair Moon
Cairo-born and American-naturalized Charles Naginski's connection to Tanglewood and the Berkshires was, in fact, a tragically ironic one, for it was in Lenox after attending a performance of one of his works at the Berkshire Symphony Festival in 1940 that he drowned at the age of thirty-one. Naginski, who had studied compostion with Rubin Goldmark and Roger Sessions, was very likely familiar with the latter's huge choral work, When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed. The creator of two symphonies and the Walter Damrosch Fellow at the American Academy in Rome at the time of his death, Naginski's Whitman settings were among his very last works, published posthumously in 1942.
Look Down Fair Moon takes its text from Whitman's 1865 Drum Taps, a collection of poignant memories of the years when the poet witnessed the horrors of the Civil War firsthand as a nurse in the hospitals of the nation's capital. The eerie light of the moon invoked by the poet rains down in ghastly pallor, captured in the delicate impressionistic palette, the minor key, and in the serenading effect of the piano -'all of which combine to create the impression of a ghostly aubade that echoes here in the hills where Naginski composed it as a very personal requiem.
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) To What You Said
Throughout his career as a composer, conductor, and teacher, Bernstein sought not only to serve as an exponent and champion of the late Romantic composers but also to incorporate into his own work the emotional intensity and melodic-harmonic lessons of their legacy; at the same time he strove to create, especially in his vocal and theatrical music, a uniquely American idiom to absorb from the democratic melting pot an eclecticism that he could then transform into a truly personal voice. In this he was very like Walt Whitman, who, unfettered by categories, labels, or conventions in his poetry, did not fear to combine with breathtaking audacity an astonishing array of thematic and stylistic contrasts. Drawn to the exquisitely humble, touchingly exposed honesty of Whitman's love lyrics, Bernstein chose an unpublished poem found among the bard's posthumous papers to include in Songfest, composed for the American Bicentennial and
premiered at the Kennedy Center in 1977. The twelve-song cycle composed to texts by Americans take LB's familiar humanistic and politically liberal perspective on the themes of love, marriage, personal aspiration, and social justice in the multi-cultural framework of America's melting pot. In its original incarnation the purposefully and exuberantly eclectic score called for six singers and an orchestra of traditional and electronic instruments, while the subsequent version was arranged in the more intimate piano-vocal format.
To What You Said is one of those rare poems which Whitman, himself, considered too private for publication. Though the manuscript is undated, it is clearly a product of his Camden years and is very likely addressed to Anne Gilchrist, the plucky, intelligent, literary Englishwoman and widow of Blake's biographer who fell in love with the poet via his poems, published the first feminist defense of his writings, and followed him to Philadelphia in 1876 in the hopes of marrying him. Whitman gently fended off her romantic advances; he cherished her friendship long after her return to England, and following her death he remained close to her son Herbert. That Whitman never sent the poem or circulated it speaks for the confessional nature of its contents, whispered with such delicacy yet uncompromising truthfulness. And yet beyond the autobiographical implications, To What You Scad is a poem of universal significance -a text in which Whitman lashes out.against the restrictions and repressions imposed by convention ("Behold the customary loves and friendships the cold guards") and one in which he offers his message of salvation: that new American salute, a love that is supremenly human; that goes beyond the parameters of the merely sexual and beyond the confines of the exclusive; that expresses the poet's belief that he could never belong to one because as Bard he must belong to all.
To What You Said offers one of those quintessential moments in contemporary song: a collaboration of America's foremost poet with one of her late, great musical souls. In a voice wrenched from the heart, in a language daring to speak the unspeakable, Walt Whitman and Leonard Bernstein invite the listener to embark on a metaphysical journey in which matter is transformed into fleshy spirit, experience into art, and stasis into flux. "If you want me again, look for me under your boot soles," writes Whitman at the end of Song of Myself. "Failing to fetch me at first keep encouragedMissing me one place search another1 stop somewhere waiting for you."
Thomas HampsonCarla Maria VerdinO'SiiUwold, Lenox, MA, 1993
THE PROGRAM Part II
by Renate Hilmar-Voit & Thomas Hampson The First Version Of The Dichterliebe
As Thomas Hampson was preparing to perform Schumann's Dichterliebe, he expressed (he wish to be able to view the original manuscript. But to his amazement or shall we say, more to his disappointment he discovered there was no manuscript of the Dichterliebe! In the Staatsbibliotek Berlin practicall)! nothing could be found under this title. And so it was that we began an increasingly exciting collaboration that has really been a kind of detective hunt one that to this day is not yet complete. (R. Hilmar-Voit)
Though scholars were aware of the fact, it was otherwise not generally known that four years had elapsed from the time of the completion of the song cycle to the actual publishing of the Dichterliebe a period from which, thanks to Schumann's personal papers, there have surfaced a great many documents that, when taken in context with his composition, reveal a unique story.
One hundred and thirty songs were completed in Schumann's annus mirabilis 1840 a considerable vocal output for a composer who had previously produced instrumental music. This entire body of songs exists in Schumann's hand, gathered in three subsequently bound Uederbiicher and held in the Berlin library. In the first volume under the title Zwanzig Lieder und Gesdnge aus dem Lyrischen Intermezzo im Buch der hieder fur eine Singstimme und das
Pianoforte, can be found the desired Heine songs, but in a rather unexpected format! Between May 24 and June 1, 1840, Schumann had composed in succession twenty settings of poems from Heine's Lyrisches Intermezzo in what would remain an untouched sequence and key structure. What came to be altered, however, was the number of songs and their precise notation, but more about that later! On this subject the manuscript gives no information.
From this period in Schumann's life, one also finds correspondence which is unques?tionably related to these Lieder, though heretofore, not necessarily read in that context. On May 25, 1840, for example, when he was already in the processing of composing the songs, Schumann wrote to his bride: "Several days ago a Berlin publisher spoke to me about m songs, but I do not like the idea of editing them so much. [....] Their name is Bote und Bock." One day after completing the last Heine song (Schumann had inscribed "End" after the twentieth song in the manuscript), he sent the following letter to a newly opened publishing house in Berlin:
I have just now completed a great song work and 1 am proud to enclose the list of titles; the work, itself, shall follow within fourteen days. I would be happy to see this entire group of songs, which has been conceived of as a whole, to appear in its entirety. [...] Concerning the format of the plates, would be pleased with something that looked liked your edition of Kinderszcnen. How successful these songs may be m public, I cannot really say. I can say, however, that 1 have never before written anything with such love as when 1 was composing this group. With m numerous connecting passages it is also easy for me to create preludes and arrangements for the songs.
The publisher, however, refused to print the songs because, he said, the cycle was "too significant and in our view not suited to our firm" a euphemism of its being too expensive for a house which prefered to print little piano pieces.
Of the many songs completed in 1840, three groups were issued in that same year by three different publishers: the Heine Liederkreis, Op. 24 by Breitkopf und Hartel; Mrthen, Op. 25, Schumann's wedding present to Clara, as well as Op. 30; three others Op. 31, Op. 35, and Op. 37 followed in 1841 with other publishers, while publication of the rest of the 1840 output was not completed until 1850 understandable given the number of songs. From 1840 until 1843 there is no further documentation of Schumann's efforts to get the 20 Lieder und Gesiinge published; he appears to have left them untouched. But on August 6, 1843, Schumann then addressed himself to Breitkopf und Hartel in the following letter, which is not without some contradictions:
May I be so bold as to inquire if you would be willing to print a Lieder work 1 have written. have worked on this for two years (!) and tried to sell it and it may be that for the time being I will end my career as a song composer with these Lieder. They are a cycle of twenty songs, which has been composed as a whole, but in which each separate entity represents a complete unit unto itself. If it could be ready for Easter 1844, that would be lovely.
It is remarkable that an otherwise so detailed a composer could have miscalculated by an entire year, and it also cannot be correct that he had been continuously busy preparing these songs. Nevertheless, because he had at the same time offered the publisher songs Clara had written, Breitkopf showed him the courtesy of inviting him to a verbal discussion about his large volume of songs. Whether or not this conversation actually took place is not known, but on August 31 Schumann withdrew his offer from Breitkopf. Finally in October he preferred the cycle to a third firm with whom he had never before worked. This was the house of C.F. Peters in Leipzig, who ultimately did publish the Dichterliebe. To Peters, Schumann offered three works, (among them his Second Symphony); the first of these was his song cycle now entitled Zwanzig Lieder und Gesdnge fiir eine Singstimme mit Begieitung des Pianofortes, Op. 47(1) Peters was willing to print the songs, and Schumann entrusted his copyist with the preparations. In his household accounts for October 26, he has noted costs to Bruckner for copying the Heine Lieder 1. 4.-. On November 14 the manuscript was sent
to the publisher in its unaltered, unedited form, as we can tell from the fee to which Schumann refers:
I hereby enclose to you gentlemen my Heine Lieder cycle. On the title page it might be nice, as customary, to print the opening lines of the various poems. I confirm the honorarium of twenty gold Louis to be paid upon receipt of the manuscript. 1 also ask for six free copies. If the cycle can be ready for Christmas to surprise my wife, that would please me, but this is only a wish, not a condition.
Peters did not succeed, after all, in getting the Lieder out by Christmas, but Schumann, himself, may not have minded as he was busy with other pressing matters. He was preparating for a major trip to Russia, which was to last from January 25 until May 31, 1844; he conducted in December the Leipzig premiere of Parodies und die Peri -(which was a great success and led to his reconciliation with his father-in-law Wieck) and, as Clara's wedding diary indicates, until his departure he was very busy correcting proofs for that oratorio, which Breitkopf subsequently published.
Nevertheless, he did try to pay attention to the printing of the Heine cycle. In a transcript of a recently discovered letter from December 27, 1843, Schumann requests galleys from Peters:
Because am about to embark on a major trip twelve to fourteen days from now, I would be very pleased if 1 could receive'my galleys of the Liederkreis Dichterliebe before I go. In the events that the plates will be finished, could you please send them with someone as quickly as possible.
This is the first reference to the title Dichterliebe, which does not appear again in any correspondence until August 1844 when the printing of the sixteen songs as Op. 48 was completed and delivered to Schumann and he wrote, asking for his free copies. Implicit in that letter is something Peters' longtime proofreader Roitzsch is said to have recounted much later: that Schumann made a great many changes in the Dichterliebe in the first set of galleys and then in the final revision so that the first printing ultimately had to be redone.
But what constituted this first printing It is clear from the aforementioned documen?tation as well as from the appearance of the manuscript that no changes or shortening of the cycle were made between June 1840 and October 1843. It is further clear that for years Schumann had placed a special emphasis.on printing the 20 Lieder as they were intended: a complete cycle. It is also true that for years after the publication of the Dichterliebe Schumann continued to think of the Heine cycle in its original format. A diary entry from July 1846 says:
I have composed almost all of my works even the smallest pieces in an inspired frame of mind, many in a remarkably brief time -my First Symphony in B Major in just four days, a cycle of twenty songs in a very short period, and Die Peri in an even, relatively speaking breifer time. From 1845 onward when 1 began to find everything there in my brain, I began an entirely new approach to composition.
The first question that comes to mind is what happened to the four songs which were cut We only know that they were first published posthumously as part of Op. 127 and Op. 142, and therefore, they are often misconstrued to be late works of Schumann. The other pressing question is when and why did the changes to the manuscript come about This is more difficult to answer because to date there is a dearth of evidence or documents from the time of the actual printing. Not even correction copies are available, as they are 'for Schumann's other works. All this opens the door to speculation about the process of changing and editing which took place. Before the above mentioned letters and documents had come to light, the common assumption was that Schumann must have cut the four songs, himself, and that the changes were naturally made for the better. The arguments in support of this theory were based on a variety of premises ranging from biographical ones to musical and textual speculations. And the efforts to establish such evidence tended to lead to an even broader view that a creative person like Schumann tends to think about his spiritual output
at different times in different ways and that with the years it was quite possible he had changed his views about his songs.
It is this hypothesis which brings us to the chief theme: what is it that attracted Schumann to Heine When, how long, and in what ways did he explore those connections In 1828 the then eighteen year-old Schumann had met Heine in Munich and had described the poet: "On his lips there played a bitterly ironic smile, but it was a lofty smile aimed at the trivialities of life and a scorn for petty men." The notion that Schumann either ignored or tried to soften Heine's irony is a widespread one that has not been frequently enough challenged. Schumann later referred to the issue of the irony in his writings in almost Heinesque terms (one can almost imagine the words come from the Lyrisches Intermezzo itself): "At certain points in time poetry dons the mask of irony in order to conceal its visage of pain; perhaps for a moment the friendly hand of a genius may lift that mask so that wild tears may be transformed into pearls."
We know that in May 1840 Schumann had begun to set a series of poems from Heine's Lynches Intermezzo, though he had not yet finalized in his mind the exact number or sequence of the songs a process which would take him a few more days. In the first edition of the Buch der Lieder, which we know Schumann owned and used to compose his cycle, the Lyrisches Intermezzo contains sixty-six songs and a prologue. In this prologue a dreamy poet, called a knight, is abruptly catapulted back from the fairyland of his illusions about life and love into a lonely poet's cell. It is essential to read the entire cycle of poems from this self-ironic premise, and naturally, Schumann had read it this way himself in 1840 when he began to compose. Heine's poetic diction employs practically the entire repertory of romantic symbols and images to give the poems a metaphorical dimension as well as to inject into them his own brand of irony. The way Schumann captures these dimensions in his songs belies any nai'evete on his part or any lack of understanding of the ironic implications, though the naive label has remained persistently and mistakenly attached to the Dichterliebe. Thus, knowing the original version of the complete Heine cycle contributes to understanding Schumann's appreciation for and interpretation of Heine. In the songs which were later cut, the dream world with its shadowy depths is all the clearer, just as it is that much more present in the first versions of the sixteen remaining songs before they were altered. For example, dark intimations already surface in Dein Angesicht before peaking in the self-pitying and self-ironic closing lines of "Es leuchtet meine Liebe: When I am in the grave, only then will this fairy tale be ended." In Mein Wagen rollet langsam (Nr. 16) there is a close motivicmusical connection to the next song, Ich hab' im Traum geweinet (Nr. 17) that demonstrates unmistakeably how the dream of one song influences the next and adds to it another level of meaning. Knowing the original also reinforces the stylistic interconnected-ness of the songs and the poems; in the first version the clarity of the text is even.more pronounced against the melodic line, and the rhythms are closer to speech. In a song like Nr. 11, Das ist ein Floten und Geigen, the melody indeed, the entire song is clothed in a different ambiance. In the manuscript above the postlude one finds the marking vivat hoch which captures spontaneously and vividly the fluid key structure. The accompaniment in the first version is also often patently unprettified; many dissonances may jar at first hearing, but they very quickly serve to establish the semantic reference. The phrasing of the piano part is frequently rhythmically differentiated, shifting with the fluctuation of the singing voice, as in Nr. 14, and the postludes are often a few measures longer. Then, too, some themes like that of the alten bosen Lieder, which are buried in the last of the Schumann-Heine songs, can be heard much earlier in the original version than they can in the sixteen-song 1844 DichterUebe. Beyond all of these differences, the manuscript of the 20 songs offers its interpreter a few more opportunities to observe divergent details. Persistently repeated printing errors can be corrected by studying the manuscript. There are also countless tempo and phrase indicators which are lacking in the printed version and which add significantly to the interpretation, just as the vocal tessitura of the original is so fashioned that a baritone-a flexible one, of course can sing the original keys without transposition. One notes this last fact with a caution because today's listener will not hear the high notes customary in
the Dichterliebe, but rather the lower-lying originals which are found in the manuscript. The 20 Lieder make much more use of the lower, rather than upper head register of the singer!
Citing all these details is, in no way, meant to suggest that the "discovery" of the first version of Schumann's Heine cycle devalues or impugns the significance of the printed Dichterliebe. Each version has its own uniqueness and importance, and the juxtaposition of the two in all their differences can serve as a welcome enrichment of the repertory, just as two versions of works by other composers one thinks of Schubert's songs or Bruckner's symphonies have been happily permitted to exist side by side by both scholars and performers. What is absolutely forbidden, however, is to attempt to combine the two versions or to piece together a version of the printed Dichterliebe's sixteen songs with the four cut and posthumously published ones. The integrity of the 20 Ueder version emphatically argues against this! The publication of a critical edition of the first version a project that is already in the planning stagers would go a long way to dispelling false notions like these and would be a crucial tool in establishing a universal appreciation and understanding of all the ramifications of Schumann's cycle. Toward this ultimate end we, as musicologist and performing artist, have enthusiastically collaborated, following the previously untread path back to its source. Our joint efforts are dedicated entirely to the service of Schumann.
Renate Hilmar-Voit & Thomas Hampson, Vienna, 1993
About The Artists
Internationally acclaimed baritone Thomas Hampson divides his time among the worlds of opera, concert, lie-der, and recording, while maintaining an active interest in teaching and musical research.
The thirty-eight year-old singer, who hails from Spokane, Washington, studied with Sr. Marietta Coyle, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Martial Singher, and Horst Giinther before making his operatic debut in Dusseldorf in 1981 and then moving on to Zurich, where he participated in the HarnoncourtJean-Pierre Ponnelle Mozart cycle, performing the title role in Don Giovanni and the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro. In addition to these signature parts which Mr. Hampson has sung in places such as Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Florence, and New York, the baritone's opera repertory on stage and on disc includes Guglielmo and Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Figaro in 1 Barbiere di
Siviglia, Marcello in La Boheme, Valentin in Faust, Roland in Schubert's Fierrabras, the Dark Fiddler in Delius' A Village Romeo and Juliet, and the title roles in Monteverdi's II Ritomo di Ulisse in Patria, Hans Werner Henze's Der Prinz von Homburg, and Britten's Billy Budd.
Mr. Hampson has appeared in concert as soloist under the baton of conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sejii Ozawa, and Daniel Barenboim in a wide range of repertory from Monteverdi to Mahler that includes Mahler's Ueder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Des Knaben Wunderhom, Mendelssohn's Die Erste Walpurgis
Nacht, Orffs Carmina Burana, and Brahms' German Requiem. A committed song recitalist, the baritone has devoted special attention to the works of Mahler and Schumann, as well as to American composers such as Copland, Griffes, Ives, MacDowell, and Bernstein. His 1989 recital debut recording for Teldec, Des Knaben Wunderhom, received four major international awards, and subsequent song recordings have focussed on Schumann's Kemer and Andersen Lieder, Mahler's Riickert Lieder and Kindertotenlieder, Rossini and Meyerbeer songs, as well as Cole Porter and Stephen Foster melodies. Mr. Hampson is also featured in a series of important revival recordings of musicals such as Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate, and the soon-to-be-released On the Town.
Besides giving master classes in London, Chicago, and at Tanglewood last year and pursuing research projects such as co-editing the new critical edition of Mahler songs (Universal 1993), re-examining Schumann's 20 Lieder und Gesdnge aus dem Lyrischen Intermezzo of Heine, or unearthing neglected gems of American song, the baritone made appearances with the Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim in the Brahms Requiem and performed a series of song recitals in Paris, Milan, Geneva, Vienna, Bordeaux, Lisbon, Brussels, Boston, Baltimore, and Sarasota. He concluded 1992 by making his Carnegie Hall recital debut, giving a Mahler lecturesong presentation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and performing in the traditional New Year's Eve concert in Munich under the baton of Wolfgang Sawallisch.
Mr. Hampson's 1993 engagements have taken him to Monte Carlo in January for performances and recording of Thomas' Hamlet and to London in February for his debut in II Barbiere di Siviglia at Covent Garden, where he will return in June for a series of La Bohemes. In May in Zurich the baritone will sing his first Rodrigos in Verdi's Don Carlo and later in the fall will reprise the title role in Der Prinz von Hamburg for that company before coming back to the Met in December 1993 for some holiday performances of Rossini's Figaro and Chorebe in Les Troy ens, before heading West in September 1994 to create the leading role of Valmont in the San Francisco Opera's world premiere of Conrad Susa's opera, Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Ever active before the studio microphones, Mr. Hampson's recording projects this year have included a recital of Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner songs as well as the complete Mahler piano Lieder from Des Knaben Wunderhom both with Geoffrey Parsons, Lehar's Die Lustige Witwe, Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, vocal works by Elinor Remick Warren with Bruce Ferden, and a disc of songs set to Walt Whitman texts with his partner of this evening, Craig Rutenberg.
In addition to the current series of seven U.S. recitals including this afternoon's Ann Arbor debut, Mr. Hampson will devote much of 1994 to song, embarking on an extensive European tour in February and March and then returning to the States for more song programs in the spring.
Pianist Craig Rutenberg studied with Pierre Bernac and Geoffrey Parsons before working at the San Francisco Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, and POpera-Comique de Paris. He has been accompanist for Erie Mills, Sumi Jo, Olaf Bar, Stanford Olsen, and Regine Crespin, and has often worked with his partner on this recording. Mr. Rutenberg can be heard on fortepiano on the Deutsche Grammophon recording of Le Nozze di Figaro, featuring Thomas Hampson as the Count, James Levine conducting.
Craig Rutenberg has served as head of the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera and currently is on the faculty of Yale University as Associate Professor of Music; he regularly gives master classes at the Chautauqua Institute, the Santa Fe Opera, the Wolf Trap Opera, and l'Ecole d'Art Lyrique de la Bastille, Paris.
Mr. Rutenberg will accompany Mr. Hampson on his fall 1993 U.S. concert tour that will take the two artists to St. Paul, Kansas City, Omaha, Toronto, New York's Alice Tully Hall, and today's Ann Arbor debut performance.