Verklärte Nacht mashed up with the old black-and-white TV

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Verklärte Nacht mashed up with the old black-and-white TV

Post  pinhedz on Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:43 am

The poem Verklärte Nacht begins with a man and a woman walking side by side on a cold night, and she is speaking. It does not tell us how long they've been walking and talking, or how long they've known each other.

But I once saw a story enacted on the old black-and-white TV set that I came to think of as a prequel to Verklärte Nacht.

It was back in the black-and-white days when a man always put on a gray fedora before stepping out onto the street. The scene is on a bridge on a foggy night. A woman in a trench coat is standing by the railing, placing a note in an envelope, upon which she has just written "To Whom it may concern" (obviously a suicide note, to be left when she jumps off the bridge).

But then a man in a fedora and trench coat happens along, interrupting her suicide attempt. As she fumbles awkwardly trying to stuff the note back into her purse, she tries to disguise the awkward fumbling by taking out a cigarette, exchanging greetings, and asking if the man has a light. Yes, he has a light, and they exchange a few more pleasantries and get into a bit of idle chit-chat.

As they keep on talking, it becomes clear in time (such time as was available, the program being a half-hour program) that these two are soul mates. By the end, they are having a heart-to-heart talk, and the woman opens up to the point of divulging to the man that she had come to this bridge intending to commit suicide. She reaches into her purse and takes out the envelope that says "To Whom it may concern."

The man then reaches into his breast pocket, and takes out his own envelope, which also says "To Whom it may concern."

And with that, the program ends ...

... and the poem begins, "Two people are walking ... a woman's voice speaks ..."

She says she always wanted to have a child, but never found the right man. She searched and waited, but finally gave up hope of ever finding him, and became pregnant by a man she did not love. So at long last she has found the man she was searching for, but she met him too late--she's already pregnant by someone else.

She does not apologize to the man, she just says: "I have committed a great offense against myself."

Then the man says:

"Look, how brightly the universe shines
There's a glow around everything
you are voyaging with me on a cold sea,
but there is the glow of an inner warmth
from you in me, from me in you.
It will transfigure the stranger’s child,
you will bear it to me, begot by me.
You have transfused me with the glow,
you have made me a child myself.”

And so Arnold Schoenberg turned it into a tone poem. It's tonal, but tonality is being stretched to the breaking point. Schoenberg would never be tonal again after this:


pinhedz
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Re: Verklärte Nacht mashed up with the old black-and-white TV

Post  pinhedz on Sun May 03, 2015 3:38 pm


pinhedz
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