The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (128): I gotta go

Heinrich Isaac’s plangent farewell to Innsbruck, one of the earliest chorales I learned by heart.

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  • The church choir I directed while in high school sang this and Hans Leo Hasser’s “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden,” which did duty as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion chorale throughout the work, re-harmonized at each appearance. I once spent an hour lmemorizing the version in our hymnal on piano.

    Heinrich Isaac’s popular ‘Innsbruck ich muss dich lassen” became Bach’s rather more serious “O Welt ich muss dich lassen”. These are two Busoni missed, but Brahms did not, using both in his final Op. 121, “Eleven Chorale Peludes for Ogan After J. S. Bach”, which ends with”O World, I Must Leave Thee” in doule augmentation, like a steel beam across the page, his last work. And Busoni did transcribe Brhms’s organ versions for piano, as Paul Jcaobs demodnstrates in what he called the hardest things he ever played.

    It was common to use popular tunes congregations already knew, with pious words replacing bawdy ones. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and her teacher Maria Ivogun sang and recorded a near yodel called “Ich hab’ mein Strumpf in Lauterbach verloren”, which Schwarzkopf introduced in a late reital in Herz Hall, Berkeley: “This song is about a girl who loses her stockings and this and that, and well the poor girl just loses everything in Lauterbach” berore whooping it up amid laughter and applause..

  • E/. These last four weeks in hospital I softly sang German Lieder so as not to disturb anyone, remembering as many of the words as I could, especially “An die Musik”, “Um Mittermactht” “Lindenbaum” [m duet with Hans Castorp, “Aufenthalt”, Loewe’s “Edward”, “Mein Herz ist schwer”, “Sonntag” and “Mailied” of Brahms, “and his double song from Op. 85 “Sommerabend” and “Mondenshein”, which share some music with a gorgeous da capo that Fischer-Dieskau and Joerg Demus do a little better.

    Then snatches of Sarastro’s arias, “the only music fit for the mouths of gods”, and the bass solo “Misrere” from Agnus Dei of Missa Solemnis, with “Et iterum enturus est” of B minor mass for variety, and ” in my best Kipnis imitation Boeris voice, Etiam pro nobis” from Bruckners third mass a phrase or two of “Messiah” After this I felt a little tired as men in white suits circled. .

    Slso Schumnn’s haunting “Aus der Fremde” from “Liederkreis” “Aus der Heimat hinten die Blitzen rot / Da kommen die Wolken hier / Aber Vater und Mutter sind lange tot / U)nd keiner kennt mich mehr hier.” After all this I slept 36 hours in lovely silence, to the gratification of my nurses.

    I mpw start each day like Schumann-Heink, promising not to sin and having no sideways..

  • Thanks, E. (smiling broadly). I shall in all my best obey thee. Out of respect for Roderick Williams and Gerald Finley I left out R. L. Stevenson and Vaughan Williams’s “Songs of Travel”, espeially “Whither Must I Wander”, “Home, no more home for me”, the tramp’s tromp, “Bright is the ring of words”, and
    Linden Lea” with words by one Barnes, a la Heddle Nash.

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