Friday, 22 October 2010
We all know it's a spectacular year for scrumping and fruiting - the warm, dry early summer followed by the rains has brought a profusion in the orchards and hedgerows. Quinces, for instance, in a Sandwich garden, with apples, plums and spiders' webs along the wall
and yet more on the fringes of Port Meadow, Oxford, which we walked around last Saturday, and about which I want to write more in due course
as well as fallen cookers in the Woodstock Road garden of friends Juliette and Rory:
Couldn't think of a better musical accompaniment than the second of Strauss's Four Last Songs, sung by the soprano I now listen to most in these desert-island pieces, Anja Harteros. I like her earlier recording with Fabio Luisi better than this, since Jansons doesn't support in quite the same ideal way, but it's still impressive. And bearing in mind Strauss's September would have been the equivalent of our October or even early November, it's not past its sell-by date.
You might need the Hermann Hesse text, since it's not subtitled in English above. Here's my own literal translation:
The garden mourns,
Cool sinks the rain into the flowers.
The summer shudders,
Silently meeting its end.
Leaf on leaf drops golden
From the high acacia tree,
Summer smiles, wondering and faint
In the dying gardendream.
Long by the roses
It lingers, yearning for peace.
Slowly it closes its [great]