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Schubert in the piazza

a chance meeting

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A chance musical meeting between Jean Wolf, a French musician and Marika van der Meer, a Dutch soprano in Barga Vecchia this morning culminated in a special event later in the day.

Marika was returning to Barga Vecchia after a shopping trip and heard somewhere somebody playing some Schubert on a clarinet.

She started singing a reply

When, from the highest rock up here, I look deep down into the valley, And sing,

Far from the valley dark and deep Echoes rush through, upward and back to me

.. and Jean Wolf playing the clarinet, replied – a musical conversation was now taking place.

Eventually they did physically meet and decided to play and sing together in a short concert in the piazza.

“The Shepherd on the Rock” – Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D. 965, is a Lied for soprano, clarinet, and piano by Franz Schubert. It was composed in 1828 during the final months of his life.

The Lied is multi-sectional with the clarinet and the voice equally challenged. The first section is warm as the lonely shepherd, high on the mountaintop, listens to the echoes rising from below. The second section becomes quite dark as the shepherd expresses his all encompassing grief and loneliness. The third and last section is a sign of hope as the shepherd anticipates the coming of spring and with it rebirth.

Wenn auf dem höchsten Fels ich steh’,
In’s tiefe Tal hernieder seh’,
Und singe.

Fern aus dem tiefen dunkeln Tal
Schwingt sich empor der Widerhall
Der Klüfte.

Je weiter meine Stimme dringt,
Je heller sie mir wieder klingt
Von unten.

Mein Liebchen wohnt so weit von mir,
Drum sehn’ ich mich so heiß nach ihr
Hinüber.

When, from the highest rock up here,
I look deep down into the valley,
And sing,

Far from the valley dark and deep
Echoes rush through, upward and back to me,
The chasm.

The farther that my voice resounds,
So much the brighter it echoes
From under.

My sweetheart dwells so far from me,
I long hotly to be with her
Over there.

Varnhagen – “Nächtlicher Schall”
In tiefem Gram verzehr ich mich,
Mir ist die Freude hin,
Auf Erden mir die Hoffnung wich,
Ich hier so einsam bin.

So sehnend klang im Wald das Lied,
So sehnend klang es durch die Nacht,
Die Herzen es zum Himmel zieht
Mit wunderbarer Macht.

I am consumed in misery,
Happiness is far from me,
Hope has on earth eluded me,
I am so lonesome here.

So longingly did sound the song,
So longingly through wood and night,
Towards heaven it draws all hearts
With amazing strength.

Wilhelm Müller – “Liebesgedanken”
Der Frühling will kommen,
Der Frühling, meine Freud’,
Nun mach’ ich mich fertig
Zum Wandern bereit

The Springtime will come,
The Springtime, my happiness,
Now must I make ready
To wander forth

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