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: