Could there be anything more painful than witnessing a fading love? I doubt it. Having explored German poetry for many years – you will remember my enthusiasm for Rainer Maria Rilke and Heinrich Heine – I have recently turned my attention to French poets. Paul Verlaine is among those who interest me right now, and I found a beautiful and very sad poem with the title “Colloque Sentimental” (Sentimental Colloquium). Let me quote the first lines:
Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé,
Deux formes ont tout à l’heure passé.
Leurs yeux sont morts et leurs lèvres sont molles,
Et l’on entend à peine leurs paroles.1
Do you know Lalo? Of course you do, you have met him in a post two weeks ago! Edouard Lalo composed a piece called “Symphonie Espagnole” (Spanish Symphony) which inspired Pyotr Tchaikovsky to write his Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 35. “Do you know the “Symphonie Espagnole” of the French composer Lalo?”, Tchaikovsky asks in a letter his patron Nadezhda von Meck in March 1878. “I liked this work very much. A lot of freshness, spiking rhythms, beautiful melodies with remarkable harmonies.” All this can be said about Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto.
Those of you who have been following this blog for a while are aware that – being a piano apprentice – I have a soft spot for the cello. I had to discover the broad tonal range of the piano to appreciate the smaller but still impressive range of the cello. It translates into a broad choice of moods from sinister, depressive, to cosy, comfortable and even glorious and triumphant.
Written on the fly, a momentous impression during a short stay at the Atlantic coast. Rain, wind, happiness, a little nocturnal melancholy a few days ago. This unscheduled post does not follow my ordinary logic, my careful planning, my meticulous research, no, it obeys its own laws if any and the outcome is unclear. For a few minutes I felt the urge to write in verses. From a long slumber the poet woke, without pain, bewilderd and exhilarated by the idea to play again with words. I fell asleep again, but I had to think about that moment for the rest of the day.