Slippedisc daily comfort zone (66): Dark in the woods

Slippedisc daily comfort zone (66): Dark in the woods

Daily Comfort Zone

norman lebrecht

June 30, 2021

One of the great German arias, seldom heard on foreign stages.


  • dorset dick says:

    any more information of this beautiful performance, conductor date ?

    • La plus belle voix says:

      The picture quality looks like it was early video not “real” (16mm) film. Mid 1960s? Was it a young Alain Lombard conducting?

  • Paul Mauffray says:

    Could anyone please tell me what she sings at 3:22? I believe she merely has a memory lapse and mixes up the words completely. Or is this some variant I don’t know of? The text there should be “sort am Wald auch schwebt ein Heer” (with Heer being the longest note), yet I can’t tell what she is singing after “am Wald” and then she clearly rearranges the words and makes “schwebt” the quarter-note downbeat instead of “Heer”.

    • La belle plus voix says:

      I fear it was a slight memory lapse, she sings “sort am Wald umm umm auch schwebt”. Doesn’t spoil it for me though.

    • HugoPreuss says:

      I listened to it two times. It is a bit hard to understand, but I think I heard “dort am Waldrand auch noch schwebt”. That almost works with the next line, but it is still wrong. It should be “Dort am Wald auch schwebt ein Heer / Dunkler Wolken dumpf und schwer”. But it might be a text variant. And anyway: the singing is still glorious. I always loved her Mozart as well.

  • Paul Mauffray says:

    ach, verdammt Autocorrect! I tried to write those lyrics as “dort am Wald” which autocorrect changed to “sort” 😀

  • Paul Mauffray says:

    hmm, this recording seems to be full of odd discrepancies. At 5:44 instead of “Doch wie? Täuscht mich nicht mein Ohr?” She clearly sings “Täuscht sich nicht mein Ohr?” (which is perhaps a traditional shortcut to make it easier to pronounce?).
    There are even two more places where she changed words from “das” to “des” and from “dies to “des”. Could anyone please confirm if any of these are German traditions I don’t know of?

    • La belle plus voix says:

      Just a few slips of the tongue it would seem, the libretto clearly is “Doch wie? Täuscht mich nicht mein Ohr?”

  • Edgar Self says:

    Comparison with the scrupulous Elisabeth Schwarzkopf under Walter Legge’s gimlet eye might be instructive, with her attention to words and enunciation. Otherwise, Janowitz mostly sings beautifully this famous aria “Leise, leise, fromm und weise”, from a marvelous opera I love but have seen only once, long ago in Frankfurt. Full marks to Paul Mauffrey and La belle plus voix for tdheir sharp ears and attention to the libretto.