Friedrich Schiller: Lyrics and Music

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Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)

 

Friedrich von Schiller: Lyrics and Music   

The leading German tenor Josef Protschka is joined by the soprano Maria Venuti in a recital of songs by composers including Zumsteeg, Reichardt, Mozart, Methfessel, Taubert, Weber, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Liszt. These composers all set to music poems by the great Romantic writer Friedrich Schiller. The accompanist is Helmut Deutsch.  (Sung in the original German, with no subtitles)

 

A SCHILLER OVERVIEW

• “To this day, many regard Friedrich Schiller as the greatest dramatist in all of German history. More brilliantly than any of his predecessors, he revealed the power of drama and poetry in expressing a philosophy that emphasized both his idealism and his concern for human freedom. Schiller was also esteemed as an adept lyricist and theoretician whose works are informed by his conviction that the writer should strive not only to entertain, but also to instruct and improve his audience.” – Gale Encyclopedia

• Major Works: The Robbers (1781), Intrigue and Love (1784), Don Carlos (1787), Wallenstein (1800), Maria Stuart (1801), Wilhelm Tell (1804)

• The Beethoven Connection:  The composer chose Schiller’s "An die Freude"-- which the poet wrote in 1795, as a young man, and revised in 1803-- as basis for the Hymn to Joy in his great Ninth Symphony, completed in 1824.

Here’s how “An die Freude” begins:

 

Freude, schöner Götterfunken,

Tochter aus Elysium,

Wir betreten feuertrunken,

Himmlische dein Heiligtum.

 

Joy, thou brightest heaven-lit spark,

Daughter from the Elysian choir

On thy holy ground we walk,

Reeling with ecstatic fire.

 

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Above: Josef Protschka and Maria Venuti

 

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