There are several reasons why I began to learn German 15+ years ago. I have a German sir name, 1/4 of my ancestry stems from Germany. I visited Europe many years prior, and intend to return; I wish to converse with the people / Leute. But the biggest reason was this: to understand the language that is behind much of the classical music I love. Other than the great masters from Italy, I am most fond of the classical music written by Austrian and German composers. Some of that music has inspired me so much, that I have a desire to understand the words behind this music. One such composition is Beethoven’s 9th symphony.
Lest you think I’m off topic for this weekend’s concert, I will show a few links: Mahler and Honeck, both from Austria, both with the native German language. So that is my tie-in, my juxtaposition, my reason for listening, learning and writing. The German for juxtaposition is Nebeneinanderstellung. One really cool thing about the language are these really long words, it can be broken down thus:
Neben – next to
einander – an other
stellung – position
Nebeneinanderstellung – next to another position – juxtaposition
So here I am standing next to myself, writing in two languages, listening to several compositions on the radio, and marveling at the beauty.
Let’s place the Tchaichovsky Violin Concerto next to the Mahler Titan Symphony, and see what we might find. Let’s place Friday night’s performance (which I will hear on the radio) next to Saturday night’s performance which I will hear in person at Heinz Hall… to be continued…
Incidentally, Einstellung can mean employment, amongst other translations. Let’s hope Manfred Honeck’s employment and tenure with the PSO is a resounding success!