Monday, May 31, 2010

Attaching a Meaning to Trivial Events: A Sister Singing Mahler!

Jessye Norman singing Liebst Du Um Schönheit by Gustav Mahler--

Gustav Mahler dedicated both the above song and his Eighth Symphony to his wife, Alma.

The final line of the song is "Liebe mich immer, Dich lieb' ich immerdar." In English translation: "Love me ever, I'll love you evermore!"  (See 2:38 on the above YouTube video)

In the Second Part of the Eighth Symphony, Mahler set the final scene from Goethe's Faust (Part II) to music. The final scene contains the line: "Erleuchte mein bedürftig Herz!" or, in English, "Bring light to my needy heart!" (See 5:00 on the following YouTube video)

Both of the referenced melodic lines of the song and the Eighth Symphony, respectively, are nearly identical; so is the harmonic treatment. Is that simply a coincidence? Would Alma Mahler be considered severely disturbed (and potentially violent) if she saw a connection between both lyrics: if she saw both lyrics as relating to her?

Do I see this parallel because I am severely disturbed or because I am observant?

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

What is Sidney Rothstein's opinion on this matter?