So, I’m alone again on Valentine’s Day…and while I did whip up a batch of dark chocolate mousse for comfort and avoided restaurants with sappy couples…I have a music gift for today.
28 minutes of the most romantic testament to pure love ever composed.
Schoenberg’s “Transfigured Night”
Yes, I’m crazy about the piece. and the poem its based on. A couple walks through the night together and the woman confesses to the man she is carrying the child of a man from before she met him…afraid this news will be the end of their relationship. The man basically replies that their love is so strong and warm that it will transfigure “her” child into “theirs” and they happily walk off into the night together (for the full german text with english translation, click here).
If you separate out the fact a lot has changed in relationships and woman’s rights since 1896, the core thought about true, unconditional love touched on in this work is quite powerful. Two people in love can overcome any “sin” between them and can still find happiness together. no resentment, no anger, no domestic violence…just love. the above painting was also inspired by this poem (Gustav Klimt’s Der Kuß “The Kiss” 1907).
The below recording is the Juilliard String Quartet with Yo-Yo Ma…though the Schoenberg Quartet’s version is my personal favorite. if you don’t have a full 28 minutes to spare…it would be ok to skip the first link and start with the second (where the sheer romantic beauty begins) but i highly encourage you to hear the piece in its entirety. i cry every time.
happy valentine’s day.