Der Februar

(Erich Kastner)

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: soprano, viola d'amore

Duration: 4 minutes

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Program Notes

This song was composed in February for Gertrud Schmidt, viola d’amore & Berenike Langmaack, soprano. Completed, appropriately enough, on a day when a severe winter storm was pelting my windows with wind and snow.

The poem, Der Februar, is used by permission of the poet’s estate.

Der Februar is a brilliant study in contrasting conditions of the human spirit, vividly taking the reader from the desultory, depressing, snowy blasts of frigid winter winds to the frenetic absurdity of Carnival – and back again. And the ritual is an annual reminder of the passage of time, which perhaps the excesses and disguises of Carnival seek to erase, but to no avail.

As a composer, one could hardly ask for words that more easily translate into music.

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