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The Intersection of Science, Art, Music & Humanities

Strauss: Voices of Spring

Sunday, April 09, 2017


The deeply romantic German poetry set to the 1882 "Voices of Spring" Johann Strauss II waltz above, beautifully sung by coloratura soprano Kathleen Battle, happens to be a personal favorite and perfect for an April (poetry month) Sunday Morning Stop at the Intersection of Science, Art, Music and Humanities.


The translated lyrics speak to the joy of spring and our inner-most selves.


The lark rises into the blue,
the mellow wind mildly blowing;
his lovely mild breath revives
and kisses the field, the meadow.


Spring in all its splendour rises,
ah all hardship is over,
sorrow becomes milder,
good expectations,
the belief in happiness returns;
sunshine, you warm us,
ah, all is laughing, oh, oh awakes!


A fountain of songs is rising,
who has been silent for too long;
from the brush sounds clear and light
the sweet voice again!


Ah, gently the nightingale lets
stream the first notes,
so as not to disturb the queen;
hush, all you other singers!
More powerful soon chimes her sweet voice.
Oh, soon, oh, oh soon!
Ah…


The Grammy-winning singer, Kathleen Battle was fired by the Metropolitan Opera for unprofessional prima donna actions during rehearsals more than two decades ago. She was not rehired by the Met until November 2016, when declining attendance became an issue. 


Her Metropolitan Opera special sold-out, standing-room-only concert, Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey, with guest appearances from Wynton Marsalis and 93-year-old Cicely Tyson, exceeded the printed program curtain time by four hours. 


The critics reported that the magic was back, and nobody (including her) wanted it to end. It was also said that she could still easily pluck spot-on-pitch high notes out of the air. Some felt it was some of the best singing of her career.


Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff