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Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt
Calm Sea and Successful Voyage
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Edited by Simon Carrington
Series Editor: Simon Carrington
Catalog number: AMP 5018
Ludwig van Beethoven
edited by Simon Carrington
Beethoven held the great German poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1932) in high regard.
They met in 1812, and Beethoven set this pair of poems to music two years later. The composer later wrote to the poet that "by reason of their contrasting moods these two poems seem to me very suitable for the expression of contrast in music. I would be delighted to know whether I have united my harmony with yours in an appropriate fashion."
Beethoven certainly exaggerates this contrast to wild effect; no one knows whether Goethe approved or found it excessive!
The literal translation in italics below the stave is included to help singers color their tone to mirror the meaning of the text.
Calm Sea Deep stillness reigns on the water, the sea rests motionless and the sailor anxiously watches the flat surface around him No wind from any direction! All is deathly still, frightening! In the vast open spaces no wave stirs.
Successful Voyage The mist clears, the sky brightens and Aeolus loosens the fearful bonds. The wind whispers, the sailor stirs. Hurry! Hurry! The waves part, the distance draws nearer; I can see land already!
Full score and orchestral parts are available for purchase from Breitkopf & Härtel KG or from Edwin F. Kalmus & Co., Inc.
2 flutes 2 oboes 2 clarinets in A 2 bassoons 4 horns 2 trumpets timpani strings
Length: 8' 30"
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