Strauss’ “Muttertändelei” and the Joys of Motherhood

Just look at my beautiful child,
With long, golden locks,
Blue eyes and rosy cheeks
People, do you also have one like it? People, no you have not!

Richard Strauss’ ebullient 1899 song, Muttertändelei (“Mother Chatter”), captures the joy of a new mother who would not give her child away “for all the coins in the world.” The comic text is by the German poet, Gottfried August Bürger (1747-1794). The song is filled with sudden, delirious harmonic shifts and unexpected modulations which work themselves out just in time.

Soprano Edith Wiens is accompanied by Rudolf Jansen:

The same year, Strauss wrote the shimmering lullaby, Wiegenlied. It’s a hypnotically simple melody, wrapped in celestial orchestral colors. The opening lines of the text (by Richard Dehmel) suggest a warm serenity:

Dream, dream, my sweet life,
of the heaven that brings flowers.

Here is Jessye Norman’s performance with Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra:

Recordings

  • Strauss: Muttertändelei, Edith Wiens, Rudolf Jansen iTunes
  • Strauss: Wiegenlied, Jessye Norman, Kurt Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra Amazon

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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