Ankor Wat

Ankor Wat

In Delhi after the first leg of my journey home – I have a lunch date next Wednesday that I absolutely must be back for.

The weather has been too splendid, ranging from over 100° in Cambodia to a chilly 91° at present in Smelhi Delhi. Apart from the occasional pong (counterbalanced, it must be said, by scents of sandalwood, cinnamon, cedar wood and their ilk), the Indian capital remains for me a wonderful, challenging and very, very bewildering city.

Anyway, enough of my efforts at purple prose: three pieces, by three Europeans (French, English and German); all of them, in their different ways, concerned with the Indian subcontinent

Charles Koechlin was a great fan of Kipling’s Jungle Book and wrote a series of tone poems based on the story Mowgli and his friends. The most famous of them, Les bandar-log, is a monkey scherzo (which simultaneously manages to send up the musical activities of Schönberg and his school).

Heinz Holliger – Les bandar-log, Op. 176, “Scherzo des singes”

John Foulds died in India; he deserves to be much better known as a composer:


and, lastly, the final movement of Alexander von Zemlinsky‘s seven settings of the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore which he entitled Lyrische Symphonie (a Lyric Symphony):

von Zemlinsky, Alexander – Zemlinsky: 7. Molto Adagio “Friede, mein Herz, laß die Zeit für das Scheiden süß sein” – 7. Molto Adagio “Friede, mein Herz, laß die Zeit für das Scheiden süß sein”

…oh, – and one more thing – if you happen to find yourself in the jungles of Cambodia in the near future, beware of the Nāgas and, whatever you do, don’t sit on one!!!



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