A tag from Nita…

Fritz Wunderlich, tenor – Das Land des Lächelns

Nita – http://nitawriter.wordpress.com – has tagged me with a writing tag… to select a song which compels one to entre into a state where writing (or making images) is stimulated. While I rarely work with music in the background, preferring silence or ambient sound, certain pieces of music cause me to disconnect from mundane preoccupations and let my spirit soar into regions where imagination, or “what if”, lives.

This beautiful aria is one I fortuitously found on a record from an obscure little record store, back in 1973. It was a recording of Fritz Wunderlich’s great arias. A heartachingly beautiful tenor, this song is one I always listen to in the springtime. Especially when looking at my apple tree in bloom, which, this year it has not done in April, but rather late right now in May – I hum along in an atrocious alto with glee and intense pleasure.

“Die apfelbluete ist einen kranz…” (The apple tree is a crown…)

I hope you enjoy this lovely song, by someone who was one of the finest lyric tenors in the 20th century, one whose sad, abbreviated life, yielded so much musical pleasure for us all.


8 Responses to “A tag from Nita…”

  1. Nita Says:

    It’s because of this tag that I am getting to listen to music which I would never have listened to otherwise. Indeed a powerful piece of music. Thanks for doing the tag G.

  2. Deborah Barlow Says:

    Fritz Wunderlich, along with Dietrich Fischer Discau. has graced my life with his extraordinary voice. I love that you chose him and that you chose this song. This made my day.

  3. suburbanlife Says:

    Nita – the Pink Floyd piece you played was unknown to me also. That’s the beauty of sharing stuff on the internet – a great opportunity for added learning. Thanks for the tag! G

    Deborah- D. Fischer-Dieskau is a great baritone, I however love the tenor male voice, also counte-tenor. have been lately listening to Nikolai Gedda and Wunderlich renditions of the same songs, and am blown away by their individual sounds, their intonation, their sound temperature. i love the variety in singers, as in artists of all kinds. have a great break in England! G

  4. James Steerforth Says:

    Your post brought vivid memories of my father listening to opera and operetta, and of the times when I’d listen to the radio a lot as a youth (in the late sixties and early seventies). All three singers mentioned here were on all the time.

    The German actually is “Aus Apfelblüten einen Kranz / leg ich der Lieblichen vor’s Fenster. / In einer Mondnacht im April …” (“A wreath made of apple blossoms / I place in front of my lovely lady’s window. / In a moonlit night in April …”).

  5. suburbanlife Says:

    James – Thanks for the correction! I have looked in my vinyl record collection for my recording of the Land of Smiles which has the libretto in translation, but the libretto has been misplaced by moi so couldn’t translate correctly. Also, so succinctly you pointed out that song is from an operetta, and of course, Lehar was not a composer of Operas, but rather Operettas, or Opera Light. Nevertheless, this is such a lovely song for all its overwrought sentimentality, and I am unashamed for loving it so.
    If you grew up listening to a lot of Opera as a youth, then you’d probably not be as averse to listening to it freely, unlike people on whom Opera’s insidious tentacles haven’t been able to take a hold. Once bitten, and all that… G

  6. mariacristina Says:

    Beautiful, g. I enjoy sentimental music when it’s opera. I’m a sucker, what can I say? Wish I knew German! Do you speak some German? This was an excellent choice. I hope your view of the apple tree blossoms grows crisper each day.

  7. ybonesy Says:

    I’m like you, G., I prefer to (in my case) write in silence. Having said that, I listened to Fritz Wunderlich and could feel right away a sort of dropping away of thoughts. It was such a calming song, and a soaring song, which is an odd combination in some respects. Highs and lows. I could make art with this playing in the background.

    How did he die?

  8. suburbanlife Says:

    Christine – I’m glad you enjoyed it! I no longer speak German though I did as a child, and it’s mostly gone now. The apple tree took a beating from a rainstorm couple of days ago, and has largely had it as fr as blooms are concerned. Now we get to watch the apples grom and mature – also nice to observe. G

    Ybonesy – if you found this song to your ear, check out Wunderlich as Tamino in the Magic Flute (youtube has it). Gorgeous!!! He died at 36 or 37 from an accident where he fell down stairs at a friend’s house. What a huge loss to the music world!! as well as to his family. G

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