Which song is made for bad weather

5 Little Songs, Op. 69

5 little songs based on poems by Achim von Arnim and Heinrich Heine, op.69


Catalog raisonné number:

Set designation

1. The star (Achim von Arnim)

2. The Cup (Achim von Arnim)

3. Monotony (Achim von Arnim)

4. Waldesfahrt (Heinrich Heine)

5. Bad weather (Heinrich Heine)


Strauss songs - with and without singing

Richard Strauss was a passionate song composer all his life. Not only was his passion for beautiful women reflected in it, but also his enthusiasm for beautiful voices and poetry. When the poet Karl Henckell described to him in a letter in 1896 the touching effect that a Strauss song had triggered on him, Strauss replied in a few telling sentences: “I am so sincere in your work and that of your fellow artists that I am such a show of love as the one you gave me is a real need. If my modest compositions could help to give the names of the poets set to music a fair appreciation by the audience who usually do not read poetry, nobody would be happier than me. ”The underlining comes from the composer himself and throws at his assessment of the Audience a telling light. By 1900 it was still quite common to read poetry, and not just the classics and romantics. Strauss owed the success of his songs in no small part to his instinct for the zeitgeist in poetry, to which he created magnificent monuments.

Strauss as a song composer

According to Strauss' own statement, “natural moods with soul punches” were one of the many facets of his songwriting: “Make me a few simple songs of this kind: natural moods with 'soul punch lines' à la dream through the twilight, friendly vision or you are calm, etc. without much intellectual infidelity. ”This is how he wrote to the Viennese poet Anton Wildgans. Other songs could be "very popular and with very light accompaniment" like Opus 21, while others could be "very complicated". Strauss reacted very spontaneously to the text at hand: “If I come across a poem that only roughly corresponds in content, when the vessel is full, so to speak, the opus is there in no time at all.” So he gave in the questionnaire Friedrich von Hausegger on record.

It became more difficult where brittle lyrics stood in the way of the music, "because the musical thought, which - God knows why - had prepared itself internally, had not quite found the appropriate poetic thought-vessel and now has to be re-modeled, reinterpreted in order to get it at all Already the nineteen-year-old expressed disparagingly about “texts that are somewhat brittle for composing”, while the old master said in retrospect: “I just react very strongly to happy words - see Terzett Rosencavalier, Duets Arabella, final verses of Helena.”

The above-mentioned operas do not come into play here by chance: All the wonderful lyrical moods, the organic combination of voice and piano, which he incorporated into his songs until 1901, he only unfolded in the full splendor of his orchestration in the later operas from the Rosenkavalier. The operas replaced the songs in this respect, so that from 1901 there were large gaps in song production.

Concerning the relationship of the vocal line to the text, Strauss demanded the greatest precision from the song: “The modern song: the verse first gives birth to the song melody - not, as is very often the case with Schubert, that the melody is poured over the verse without the intonation of the poem to be quite fair! "

Reinhold Schlötterer wrote in 1988 about the song composer Strauss: “First of all, there is the external measure of the life time. From the first song by the six-year-old Richard to the last songs by the eighty-four-year-old composed in Switzerland in 1948, we are dealing with songs that span 78 years, and it goes without saying that the mature Strauss prefers other texts than the child. But on a smaller scale, every song is so representative of the associated life and creative situation that one could easily write a meaningful Strauss biography from the perspective of the song texts and compositions. "

Bad weather

In the last year of the war, 1918, Strauss reacted with a return to the classics and romantics of poetry. After a long break, he created three operas of new songs: in February he composed the six songs based on poems by Clemens Brentano, op.68, in June within a few days five small songs based on poems by Achim von Arnim and Heinrich Heine, op.69, then the Ophelia songs from Shakespeare's Hamlet and the “Lieder des Unmuts” from Goethe's West-Eastern Divan, summarized in op. 67. The terse, almost laconic music in these series is reflected in lengths of one to three minutes. The Heine poem in the last song from Opus 69 - in bad weather a lonely woman goes her way to bake a cake for her “big daughter” at home - reveals a new tone in Strauss’s song oeuvre in the ironic comfort of the final turn.