Saturday, 15 December 2007


We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

How easy it is to destroy, how difficult to create. We criticise easily, to praise is much harder. Any idiot can hate with a passion, but it takes a special person to love. We demolish with such facility but to build takes great trouble and effort. War is a game any moron can play, but peace how demanding a state and seemingly an impossible dream to make into reality. I am constantly disappointed by all the negativity around me, all the instances of people being nasty and horrible to each other and I have great misgivings about humanity and its future.

And then I witness a simple inconsequential kindness of one human being to another, a friendly gesture, evidence of love and take heart. I look at the products of artistic creation, I read a book, I listen to some music and I dare to hope…

For Music Saturday, hopeful and sweet sounds, composed by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847). Here is his Op. 34, No. 2 “Auf Flügeln des Gesanges” on a poem by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856). It is sung by the incomparable Victoria de Los Angeles.

Auf Flügeln des Gesanges,

Auf Flügeln des Gesanges,
Herzliebchen, trag ich dich fort,
Fort nach den Fluren des Ganges,
Dort weiß ich den schönsten Ort;
Dort liegt ein rotblühender Garten
Im stillen Mondenschein,
Die Lotosblumen erwarten
Ihr trautes Schwesterlein.
Die Veilchen kichern und kosen,
Und schaun nach den Sternen empor,
Heimlich erzählen die Rosen
Sich duftende Märchen ins Ohr.
Es hüpfen herbei und lauschen
Die frommen, klugen Gazelln,
Und in der Ferne rauschen
Des heilgen Stromes Well'n.
Dort wollen wir niedersinken
Unter dem Palmenbaum,
Und Liebe und Ruhe trinken,
Und träumen seligen Traum.

On Wings of Song

English Translation by Marty Lucas

On wings of song,
my love, I'll carry you away
to the fields of the Ganges
Where I know the most beautiful place.
There lies a red-flowering garden,
in the serene moonlight,
the lotus-flowers await
Their beloved sister.
The violets giggle and cherish,
and look up at the stars,
The roses tell each other secretly
Their fragant fairy-tales.
The gentle, bright gazelles,
pass and listen;
and in the distance murmurs
The waves of the holy stream.
There we will lay down,
under the palm-tree,
and drink of love and peacefulnes
And dream our blessed dream.

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