Zu einem Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer - (2016)
in memoriam - Jens Schroth
On the death in Berlin of the Staatsoper's chief dramaturge, Jens Schroth, my wife and I discussed a card to his family to express our sympathies. That card portrayed Caspar David Friedrich's "Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer." The original painting is found in the Kunsthalle Hamburg. It is "described by the historian John Lewis Gaddis as leaving a contradictory impression, 'suggesting at once mastery over a landscape and the insignificance of the individual within it. We see no face, so it's impossible to know whether the prospect facing the young man is exhilarating, or terrifying, or both'." (Wikipedia)
Detail of Friedrich's painting
The style of this painting is said to be "especially Romantic," as well as multivalent in meaning. Because my mother as well as my voice teacher of decades both had to bury a son too soon, as must Jens' mother, my mother's comment came to mind. She observed that such among life's many challenges is, for mothers, is a "horrid club" of which to be a member.
Recollections paint images of a fine man of my acquaintance over years and my wife's well-respected colleague whose office was next to hers. For these various thoughts, a "romantic" elegy was suggested, one of "distant" relationships and waves of gestures moving to climaxes and then retreating, in the end disappearing into that distance of pianissimo.
Wanderers all, we look out from the transitory rocks on which we stand and into the unknown, "exhilarating, or terrifying, or both."
2 pages, circa 4' 00" - an MP3 demo is here:
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano score.
Zu einem Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer