Stream of (un)consciousness

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Schubert, with the instruction to be sung on the water

Auf dem Wasser zu singen: text & translation


A meander along the banks of a stream with Beethoven:

(00:18​) I. Allegro ma non troppo: Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande /
Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside
(12:43​) II. Andante molto mosso: Szene am Bach /
Scene by the brook

(24:42​) III. Allegro: Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute /
Merry gathering of the countryfolk
(30:15​) IV. Allegro: Gewitter, Sturm /
Thunderstorm

(34:16​) V. Allegretto: Hirtengesang. Frohe und dankbare Gefühle nach dem Sturm /
Shepherd’s song. Glad and grateful feelings after the storm


A fountain at morning in the Valle Giulia in Rome – the opening of Respighi‘s Fontane di Roma:


The tragic end of Schubert‘s song cycle Die schöne Müllerin sung by Fritz Wunderlich:

Des Baches Wiegenlied (The Stream’s Lullaby) – Die schöne Müllerin: text & translation


The first of two songs about fresh water fish. Schubert‘s wily fisherman outwits a poor trout in Die Forelle:

Die Forelle (The Trout): text & translation


Poulenc‘s Bestiary muses (briefly) on the longevity of carp:

La carpe (The carp): text & translation


…plus a virtuoso piano work in which Debussy recreates in music the aquatic grace of goldfish:


Conjured by Ravel in his Gaspard de la nuit, the water sprite, Ondine:


The brook, waterfall and their spirit: Richard Strauss‘s mountaineers follow an Alpine stream:

I. Nacht – 0:00
II. Sonnenaufgang – 3:26
III. Der Anstieg – 4:50
IV. Eintritt in der Wald (Entry into the forest) – 7:09
V. Wanderung neben dem Bach (Wandering by the brook) – 12:34
VI. Am Wasserfall (At the waterfall)- 13:22
VII. Erscheinung (Apparition) – 13:38
VIII. Auf blumige Wiesen – 14:25
IX. Auf der Alm – 15:20
X – Durch Dickicht und Gestrüpp auf Irrwegen – 17:34
XI. Auf dem Gletscher – 19:02
XII. Gefahrvolle Augenblicke – 20:04
XIII. Auf dem Gipfel – 21:27
XIV. Vision – 26:07
XV. Nebel steigen auf – 29:41
XVI. Die Sonne verdüstert sich allmählich – 29:58
XVII. Elegie – 30:48
XVIII. Stille vor der Sturm – 32:34
XIX. Gewitter und Sturm – Abstieg – 35:24
XX. Sonnenuntergang – 39:13
XXI. Ausklang – 41:24
XXII. Nacht – 47:29


The final scene of Dvořák‘s Rusalka (the dancers? Enhancement or distraction?)


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One thought on “Stream of (un)consciousness

  1. A brilliant essay. The wonderful duet from Dvorak’s Rusalka was new to me – why do we never hear this opera performed? I loved the film of Vlado Perlemuter playing Ravel too, his hands as expressive as his face.

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