Monday, November 30, 2009

Du treulos treuster Freund!

We are living in the information age, where you can listen to any tune that catches your mind almost instantly. It is easy to forget, that this is the reality of the last 5-10 years. Go a hundred years back, the opportunity to listen to a great composition was almost once in a life time. I can only imagine, how deep the craving could have been, to listen to a timeless tune.

I have a certain tune in my mind when I am writing these lines. I was fortunate enough to listen and watch Wagner's Isolde and Tristan live couple of weeks ago. That haunting melody, that goes nowhere, but makes you hope and long for it to go somewhere has been in my mind ever since. I cannot tell you how grateful I am, to be living in this information age.

Inspired by a middle age tale of two lovers' tragedy, the libretto covers a wide range of human suffering, the pain of love, the pain of betrayal, pain of hopelessness, pain of longing. What struck me the most was the pain of King Marke, who was betrayed by his adopted son and the woman he fell in love with. His final words struck me very deeply:

"Du treulos treuster Freund!"

which translates into: "You, my most trusted unfaithful friend"

Even Nietzche, after he renounced Wagner's works, could not find anything matching Tristan and Isolde:

“Even now I am still in search of a work which exercises such a dangerous fascination, such a spine-tingling and blissful infinity as Tristan — I have sought in vain, in every art.”

Here is the overture for this great pan-artistic masterpiece:

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