The close personal and artistic relationship between Robert and Clara Schumann is one of music history’s most celebrated romances. Robert first noticed young Clara when he became her father’s piano student. Clara was all of 16, when Robert “sketched” her in his Carnaval for piano as “Chiarina.” He directs that the movement be played “passionato”—given Clara’s age at the time, one hopes Robert was referring more to her character than to what it aroused in him. A few years later, he composed his Kreisleriana, and referenced it in a letter to Clara: “You and one of your ideas play the main role in it, and I want to dedicate it to you – yes, to you and nobody else – and then you will smile so sweetly when you discover yourself in it.” Too bad that he dedicated the piece to Frederic Chopin….
Other composers highlighted in this morning’s musical selections are the Unitarian Edvard Grieg, whose “Erotikon,” or “Erotic Poem,” is heard in the Meditation. The Catalan composer Federico Mompou based his first “Cancion y danza” (Song and Dance) on “La filla del Carmesi,” a folk tune from his part of Spain. The refrain tells us, “Those who have love don’t want it; those who have it not crave it.” Finally, the dapper Franz Liszt—no slouch as a ladies’ man in his day—provides a lovely transcription of Schubert’s song Standchen (Serenade), the text of which is provided below:
Silently my songs beg
Through the night to you;
Down into the quiet grove,
Darling, come to me!
Whispering, slim treetops rustle
In the moonlight;
The hostile eavesdropper's ear
maid, fear not
Do you hear the Nightingales singing?
Oh! they implore you,
With the sounds of sweet laments
They plead for me.
They understand the bosom's longing,
Know love's pain,
Stirring with their silvery tones
Every soft heart.
Let them also stir your breast,
Darling, listen to me!
Trembling I awaited
Come, make me happy!
The CUUC Choir is also on hand with a newly synthesized recording of “You’ve Got a Friend”—an artistic marvel, and a technological feat! Read on for programming details.
Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Kreisleriana, Op. 16
II. Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch
Carnaval, Op. 9
Carnaval, Op. 9
Franz Schubert, arr. by Franz Liszt
Anthem: CUUC Choir directed by Lisa N. Meyer and accompanied by Georgianna Pappas
"You've Got A Friend In Me"
Randy Newman, arr. by Mac Huff
Erotikon, Op. 43, No. 5
Cancion y danza No. 1