Richard Strauss: Morgen!
I wasn’t sure how to start this week of posts, so I decided to begin with my favorite Lied sung by probably my favorite Lieder singer. Is it cliché to share a recording of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore? Probably. Do I care? No!
It’s hard to put into words why I love this song so deeply. On the surface, it’s relatively simple; a slow, pretty song with an unhurried vocal line and flowing piano arpeggios. But there is so much depth within this relative simplicity. First, there’s the message of the poem, this sublime feeling of reconciliation and hope. There is no uncertainty, the first line (when translated) reads “and tomorrow the sun will shine again”. The singer/poet know that they will be reunited with their beloved tomorrow, of that they have no doubt, almost to the point of innocence or naiveté. And that pure kernel of hope is so beautifully expressed in the simplicity and stillness of the musical setting. I think that’s what this song captures better than any other, a sense of stillness and timelessness. When I listen to Morgen!, it feels as if the whole world has come to a stop. I think everyone has had one of those moments where you stop and look around and say “I wish I could just stay in this moment forever”. To me, this song captures the essence of that experience, the world paused in a certain and rapturous bliss. And that’s a large part of why it remains my all-time favorite song.