Georgy Pavlovich Vinogradov (Георгий Павлович Виноградов) sings «A Youth Loved a Maiden», the eleventh song of Robert Schumann’s «Dichterliebe» (The Poet’s Love), composed in 1840. The songs were originally a set of poems by Heinrich Heine, and here they are translated into Russian by G. Geyne and V. Argamakov. The recording was probably made in Moscow 1950-1951.
THIS IS SONG NO.11 OF A FAIRY STORY ABOUT A KNIGHT, TOLD IN 16 SONGS HERE:
TO FOLLOW THE STORY, READ POTTED WORDAGE BELOW:
Potted wordage #11:
The prologue – not included in this song cycle – explains the situation as follows. It tells of the sorrowful knight that sits gloomily in his house all day, but by night is visited by his fairy bride, and dances with her until daylight returns him to his little poet’s room. This song says: A youth loved a maiden who chose another; the other loved another girl, and married her. The maiden married, from spite, the first and best man that she met with; the youth was sickened at it. It’s the old story, and it’s always new; and the one whom she turns aside, she breaks his heart in two.
There are quite a lot of people in this relationship . . . and some fireworks . . . We have been rooting for the poor, betrayed knight, and the bad fairy mocks us.
This is burlesque*: a 19th-century European musical style combining humour and seriousness to grotesque effect. On the piano this is a strumpet’s dance, with rumbustuous music-hall vulgarity and panache. Our poor knight-singer, poetic sensitivities and all, sings mournfully but is mocked on piano by his naughty ex. Result: so who’s side are we on – the bad-fairy-piano giving a helluva show, or the little guy with the sad song?
*19th century European musical burlesque had a different meaning from contemporary American burlesque.
Roundhay Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 5 November 2009.
Please be reassured that these songs are just songs, and that they bear no relation to any living individuals.