Sunday, October 7, 2018

Hear the tolling of the bell

I have been wanting to get this website up and running again and October is a perfect time to start.

It is a great time of year for challenges. I am doing Inktober for one thing. And you know what, as long as I am drawing an ink picture every day I am kind of in the mood for music too.

I think what I will do is link Inktober and music and explore some music that is, shall we say, inky.

One such dusky gem that comes to mind is Schubert's "Der Zuegengloecklein." I am sorry for all the vowels! I am too lazy to figure out how to type umlauts. The title, anyway, means "the little funeral bell." The accompaniment is beautiful, how you hear the soft chime of the bell, repeatedly. And the melody takes a cool twist at the end.

I loved this as a teenager and listened to it a lot, always with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. So here is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau again.

Hyperion Records always had excellent notes to Schubert songs, by pianist Graham Johnson. My friend Peter and I used to listen to the Hyperion CDs and we would always laugh at the cover because you would see Graham Johnson at the piano, and his keys were sitting there on the piano right next to the keyboard.

Ha, ha! No one ever said, "Hey, Graham, as long as they're taking pictures, you might want to move your keys." No! Album after album, disc after disc, there they were.

Well, he had higher things on his mind. It seems Hyperion is posting his notes online so here are the notes to this one. "This hypnotic song," it begins. Hypnotic is right.

The notes say that the little bell was rung in churches when someone was dying, and it meant you were supposed to pray for that person. We should bring back that tradition. That is a Zugenglocklein at the top of this post! I did a search on the word and that came up.

The notes also reveal that the poet who wrote the words to this song was just 22, hence the poem was kind of immature. That is the advantage to being an English speaker. Bad poem, who cares? But here is the translation anyway.

Enjoy this October song!

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