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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FergusMart4

A letter home - Light Reflection

Dear Mother,

My trip here is going really well and I have met some interesting people, particularly the young girl with the blue ear. I'm becoming accustomed to the many hair colours they appear to favour, but ear colouring was a surprise. I am also confused at the obsession they appear to have with underpants, whether wearing, not wearing, or stealing. They do appear a very strange bunch, and have no trouble telling young ladies they have lovely buttocks.

It is altogether a rather confusing place. For days I was convinced that the landlords daughter was a witch since she appeared to be cursed all the time. Apparently I was wrong, and she was right. In further confusion, I am convinced that they are all mad as apparently they see coos all over the place. I only ever see dogs! My brother will be pleased to know that his name is very popular here since there appear to be Euan's all over the countryside.

Despite the constant references to big mac, or mac big, as they say here, I still have to find one single MacDonald's

Cheery

Your Loving Son

Me

February 10, 2020

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Ah, the landlord's daughter. One of my favourite songs to sing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TykQAaj9BYw

You think I was joking when I said I'd learned most of my German from songs?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FergusMart4

Leaned most of mine from the coaches of my son's German football team, and the other players in the Alter-Herrn team I played in. Also, the bar!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

Für mich eines der schönsten deutschen klassischen Lieder: Ständchen / Leise flehen meine Lieder von Schubert. https://youtu.be/uCBCT0mCflw


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Oh, Ständchen! Thank you! One of my (and my mother's) all-time favourites. The way the sort of minor-ish ascending arpeggio becomes a shining major on the way down always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. And sung by Wunderlich, one of the best tenors of all time. Such a sad loss.

We could trade these clips all day and completely hijack Fergus's thread!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

If we move out from Schubert, "Morgen" (Richard Strauss) is one of my all-time favourites. I once said to my mother (who was a professional singer), it's so simple, but I could never sing that. She said, "You have to be an artist."

"Du bist die Ruh'" is much the same in that respect. Fischer-Dieskau does sing it so beautifully.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicdhaibhidh

Mag ich auch! Noch lieber habe ich aber "Du bist die Ruh" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1CGdSCyrO0 Mind you, I did once sing Ständchen in another version, as rejigged for the operetta "Lilac Time".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FergusMart4

Next week in "The Twilight Zone" we discuss Beethoven and his influence on Punk Rock in the 70's


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

It's all really relevant - to learning German, anyway. My real sources have been Mozart and Wagner, so you can see why I thought that updating my vocabulary might be an idea?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

I wonder if Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy has written songs about Scotland too - I mean besides his "Scottish" symphony and the “Hebrides Overture”.

Scottish Gaelic Duolingo really should add music and history related lessons to the tree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicdhaibhidh

I can think of one, and it would surprise me if there aren't others. He did a setting of Robert Burns' "O wert thou in the cauld blast". Here sung by Jean Redpath duetting with herself, in a less than classical mode, but it's lovely, I think - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEFVY-69EJk. Here, in German!!, definitely classical, Barbara Bonney and Angelika Kirschlager - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oWPh5vPp0g


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Oh, nice find with the Redpath version. She puts the snap in. Good on her.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Oh yes. His Ave Maria is actually a setting from Scott's "The Lady of the Lake". But my favourite is a song he called "Volkslied", which is a soprano-alto duet. "O, säh ich auf der Heide dort. Im Sturme dich, im Sturme dich! Mit meinem Mantel vor dem Sturm. Beschützt' ich dich, beschützt'ich dich."

You getting it yet? It's actually a poem by a German romantic poet called Ferdinand Freiligrath - which is a very faithful translation of Burns's last-composed song, "O wert thou in the cauld blast".

It's so faithful that you can simply put the Burns words under Mendelssohn's melody and they fit and sing (almost) perfectly. The only little detail is on the word "cauld", which needs a snap on it, whereas "Heide" does not. It was noticing that which made me realise the Scots words weren't the original because Mendelssohn knew Scottish musical idiom and he'd have done it with the snap if he'd been setting the Scots text.

Here is a performance in the original German. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lmnYICU-Rs But I always think of the Burns words as the original. A few years ago I and a friend sang the duet to the Burns text at a Burns supper. Oh, here is a version with the Scots words. Annoyingly, they don't put the snap in. A real Scots folk singer (and the tune has entered folk music as the preferred tune to that poem) will put the snap in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJiphNa8zmE


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

I seem to remember doing a series of songs to Ossian texts, which I think was by Mendelssohn, when I was in the BBC Symphony Chorus. I can't remember the titles though. I do remember something about a "graue Hunde", obviously a Scottish Deerhound.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

BBC Symphony Chorus? Respect!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

For about ten years, although quite a long time ago now. When I lived in England. It was a lot of fun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

All things Scottish were very popular in the late 19th century, and a lot of artists chose to go for Scottish themes. The wild romanticism thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Hah, cross-posting. Great minds think alike!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

Art crosses borders - quite literally. That's always great. I will delve deeper into the Burns /Scott and German composers topic. Thank you! Vielen Dank!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

Sorry for being one last time OT, there is no end when one starts digging...because today is the 13th Feburary:

13 February 1692 Massacre of Glencoe

Beethoven goes Scott: 25 Irish Songs, WoO 152, Nr. 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhJa5Pgy1uk


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicdhaibhidh

Bha mi a' smaoineachadh gun e thusa a bh'ann, a Mhòrag. Bha na teaghlachan again nàbaidhean bliadhnaichean air ais agus bha sinn fhèin a' bruidhinn ri chèile ann an Lannraig Nuadh ann an Dùbhlachd! (and I have nae notion whether that wiz daecent Gaelic at a')


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Hello, hello! I suppose I'm not supposed to say your name. You're much more advanced than I am with this language!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

Ahhhh, the long awaited sequel. Tapadh leat!

Young girl with a blue ear? Ask Mel Gibson, she might be an extra who got lost on the film set in 1995. 3 Questions: Why is she still young then? And how toxic is that make up? Did William Wallace speak Gaelic?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FergusMart4

More a case of I had to find a way to incorporate the "blue ear" into the tales of the unexpected. Did Wallace speak Gaelic, hell no, he wasn't even Scottish, he was Australian. No wait, that was Mel Gibson ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morag_Kerr

Well, obviously Wallace spoke Gaelic. I heard him myself on BBC Alba on Saturday night. Him and his dog Gromit were trying to clear a gang of aggressive rabbits out of a prize vegetable show.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cairistiona2020

Chan eil Mel à Down Under.

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