Johann Wolfgang von Goethe(28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) • a German writer and ‘polymath, Goethe's works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, philosophy, pantheism, and science. His magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust. Goethe's other well-known literary works include his numerous poems, the ‘Bildungsroman ‘Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and the e’pistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.
Originator for the World Literature • Goethe is the originator of the concept of Weltliteratur ("world literature"), having taken great interest in the literatures of England, France, Italy, classical Greece, Persia, the ‘Arab world, and others. His influence on German philosophy is virtually im’measurable.
The Erl-King • The Erlking (German: Erlkönig, "Alder King") is a character depicted in a number of German poems and ballads as a ma’levolent creature who haunts forests and carries off travelers to their deaths. The name is an 18th-century mistranslation of the original Danish word elverkonge, "elf-king". The character is most famous as the antagonist in Goethe's poem Der Erlkönig and Schubert's musical adaptation of the same name.
Origins • The Erlking as a character has its origins in a common European folkloric archetype, the seductive but deadly fairy or siren (compare La Belle Dame • sans Merci --French: "The Beautiful Lady without Pity" and the nix, Neck (water spirit). • In its original form in Scandinavian folklore, the character was a female spirit, the elf-king's daughter (Elverkongens datter). Similar stories existed in numerous ballads throughout Scandinavia in which an elverpige (female elf) was responsible for ensnaring human beings to satisfy their desire, jealousy and lust for revenge.
"The Beautiful Lady without Pity" • La Belle Dame sans Merci (French: "The Beautiful Lady without Pity") is a ballad written by the English poet John Keats. It exists in two versions, with minor differences between them. The original was written by Keats in 1819. He used the title of a 15th century poem by Alain Chartier, though the plots of the two poems are different.
Keats' poem describes the encounter between an unnamed knight and a mysterious woman who is said to be "a faery's child". It opens with a description of the knight in a barren landscape, "haggard" and "woe-begone". He tells the reader how he met a beautiful lady whose "eyes were wild"; he set her on his horse and she took him to her "elfin grot--a grotto ", where she "wept, and sigh'd full sore". Falling asleep, the knight had a vision of "pale kings and princes", who cried, "La Belle Dame sans Merci hath thee in thrall!" He awoke to find himself on the same "cold hill's side" after which he continues to wait and "palely loitering". Keats’ Poem
"The Erlking"by Albert Sterner, ca. 1910http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV_-cJcaNv0 • The antagonist of Goethe's Der Erlkönig is, as the name suggests, the Erlking himself rather than his daughter. Goethe's Erlking differs in other ways as well: his version preys on children, rather than adults of the opposite sex, and the Erlking's motives are never made clear. Goethe's Erlking is much more akin to the Germanic portrayal of elves and valkyries - a force of death rather than simply a magical spirit. • Irony in the poem—a protective father kills his son.
(1797 – 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 Lieder (art songs), nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. Franz Schubert
Incidental music • Incidental music is music in a play, television program, radio program, video game, film or some other form not primarily musical. The term is less frequently applied to film music, with such music being referred to instead as the "film score" or "soundtrack."
(1685 – 1759) was a German-English Baroque composer who is famous for his operas, ora’torios, and concertos. Handel was born in Germany in the same year as JS Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. He received critical musical training in Italy before settling in London and becoming a naturalized British subject. His works include Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Changing Values (34) George Frideric Handel
Ba’roque music • Baroque music describes a style of European classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1750. This era is said to begin in music after the Renai’ssance and was followed by the Classical era. The word "baroque" came from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl", a strikingly fitting characterization of the architecture of this period; later, the name came to be applied also to its music. • Composers sought to depict human feeling or emotion in a direct manner expressed by a solo voice.