21 June 2010

Gothic Goethe

Goethe wrote "Der Rattenfänger" (1802) as a monologue, a first person narrative (in verse), by the Rat-catcher himself. Goethe, who considered to write the Piper into "Faust", in the role of Mephistopheles' friend and servant, made the Pied Piper seductive and boastful. Indeed, how would the Pied Piper perceive himself? As a seducer, whether of rats, children or maidens:

Sometimes the bard so full of cheer
As a child-catcher will appear,
Who even the wildest captive brings,
Whenever his golden tales he sings.
However proud each boy in heart,
However much the maidens start,
I bid the chords sweet music make,
And all must follow in my wake.

Yet, what would Goethe's seducer be without a pipe? A very, very dangerous man. For Goethe's Piper is no musician.
The posted composition is Goethe's poem made into an art song (Lied) by Hugo Wolf, a Slovenian composer. While the singing is seductive, boastful and even cheerful, the instrumental accompaniment is

No comments:

Post a Comment