I've been doing some prep work for this weekend's Columbus Symphony concerts and pre-perforamce talks. The Waltzes form Der Rosenkavalier conclude the program. Pavlov's dogs slobbered ovber steak. I love the way music can take one back or provide a vitamin pill of memory.
The Knight of the Rose was first performed in 1911. In the Vienna of Maria Theresa-Mozart's Vienna-we meet a lovely princess, considered old at 32, and her handsome, dashing 17 year old lover, Count Octavian Rofanpo. The role of Octavian is played by a woman in male drag. Yes it contributes to a naughtiness inherent in the music. It was common in Mozart's day for young men to be portrayed by women. Strauss and his librettist, Hugo von Hofmansthal, recreated Mozart' era and Mozart's ethos. Strauss and Hofmansthal hoped that Scottish soprano Mary Garden (1874-1967) would play Octavian, but she-no fool-told the press "It would bore me to make love to a woman." You gotta love her.
|Mary Garden (1897-1967) Bored|
"Ohne mich, jeder Tag dir zu dang; Mit mir, mit mir keine nacht wir so lang":
Without me, every day is a misery...With me, no night is too long."
If that's not a pickup line....They must have been pretty randy in 1911.
What there was of a waltz in the 1770s was nasty but had turned elegant and sexy by 1911.
|Hofmansthak (l) and Strauss|
Withal, Rosenkavalier can always get me out of the blues. Not only the above quoted waltz, but especially the brilliant hustle bustle of Act 2-as we meet the precocious and spitfire young Sophie,
No, they aren't doing the entire opera this weekend. just the Waltzes, along with Mozart and Johann Strauss
Columbus Symphony Fri-Sat 8 PM Ohio Theater. I give pre -concert talks both nights at 7. You don't get to skip the yak just because you've read this far..