Thursday, November 26, 2009


Im Abendrot- Evening's Glow

Through want and joy we have walked hand in hand;
We are both resting from our travels now, in the quiet countryside

Around us the valleys fold up, already the air grows dark,
Only two larks still soar wistfully into the balmy sky

Come here and let them fly about; soon it is time for sleep
We must not go astray in this solitude

O spacious, tranquil peace, so profound in the gloaming.
How tired we are of travelling – is this perchance death?

( Joseph Eichendorff )

In Im Abendrot, at the line “can this then be death,” Richard Strauss quotes the Transfiguration motif from one of the tone poems that made him famous, Tod und Verklärung (“Death and Transfiguration”). Strauss wrote in 1894 about Tod und Verklärung: “The hour of death approaches, the soul leaves the body in order to find gloriously achieved in everlasting space those things which could not be fulfilled here below.” On his deathbed, Strauss said: “Dying is just as I composed it in Tod und Verklärung.”

Thanks to my wife for learning to understand me and the patience to put up with me and the promise to be there at the end. It's been an excellent trip. Long may it last.