April – Schumann: “The Fiddler”
I’m in a bit of a hurry, and April’s almost over, so I’m going to give you a very short version of my musical calendar this month.
Good old H.C. – affected and brilliant as ever
I’m going to honour Hans Christian Andersen in this post as well, celebrating his birth-month, and I’m going to do so by proposing what I think would have been a great and proper act for a Hans Christian Andersen 200th Birthday Show two years ago: Soprano Inger Dam-Jensen singing one of Schumann’s renditions of HCA’s poems. Voila: Inger Dam-Jensen, singing Schumann’s “Spillemanden” (“The Fiddler”) with lyrics by HCA, accompanied by Christen Stubbe Teglbjærg on piano.
Beautiful Inger Dam-Jensen
Inger Dam-Jensen has got the beauty of voice to match HCA’s poetry and she’s got the glittering, golden, cornfield-like authencity in her timbre to match HCA’s endearing naivité.
The lyrics are in Danish, but here’s a translation into English. Read ’em and weep:
In the village it is merry
A wedding is celebrated with dancing and music
Toasts are made in wine and mead
But the bride looks like an adorned dead
Yes, dead is she for her beloved one
for he is not there as her bridegroom
In the corner he stands with his sorrow
and plays his fiddle so merrily
He plays till his locks turn gray
He plays till the strings burst
Till the fiddle with sorrow and dread
He crushes against his heart
It is so heavy, so crushingly heavy
to die while one’s heart is still young
I can’t stand to look at it any longer!
I feel it going through my head.
See, the men hold him tightly
– but why do you call me by name?
God keep us all!
I am a poor fiddler myself.
Sniff. Happy Cruelest Month, everyone!
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