Explication Of The Speaker's'sich An Etwas Nicht Kehren '

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The seventh poem describes the speaker's growing emotional imbalance. As a result of his obsessive desire, he is caught between fearful uncertainty and hopeful longing. He cries, he cannot sleep, and he cannot take comfort from anything or anyone. Unlike in the previous poem, the speaker does not address anyone directly. The poem consists of only one sentence. The quick succession of three main clauses followed by four subordinate clauses conveys the speaker’s agitation and anxiety.
His emotions have overwhelming physical effects. He feels oppressed and constricted (“beklemmen”, v. 1) by fear and hope and pressed (“bedrängt”, v. 3) by yearning. While it is easy to imagine that the uncertainty and apprehension about his future with the beloved
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The German phrase “sich an etwas nicht kehren” means to not care about something. The verb “schwemmen” (to flood) hints at the large amount of tears that drench the speaker’s resting place. The last two verses are strikingly symmetric with almost identical vowels and the resembling nouns “freude” (pleasure, happiness) and “freundes” (friend's). Both clauses express a similar sentiment that is underlined by opposite grammatical structures: The speaker does not want any comfort. He refuses every (“jede”, v. 6) pleasure and needs the comfort of no (“keines”, v. 7)…show more content…
Due to the small note values and the large leaps that make the vocal lines, particularly in the beginning and in bar 9, difficult to sing, the indicated tempo feels very fast. However, the song can turn out “harmless” in this fast tempo if the performers do not feel a certain resistance. For coordination purposes, it might be easier to ignore the changing time signatures of 2/4 and 6/8 and just feel two beats with different rhythmic subdivisions in each bar. However, the “pull” of the speaker’s emotions can be better conveyed if each performer feels the music in the notated time signatures. Although many of the other songs contain phrases where voice and piano are not aligned, here the tension between the phrases seems to be particularly strong. In my playing, I “translate” the text’s emotional quality into a feeling of stretching, a way of phrasing with an immense gravitational force. It is vital that both performers are aware of each other’s timing and phrasing, so they are together despite feeling drawn in different directions. The two major tempo changes are difficult to coordinate, but a feeling for the entire song as one long sentence makes it easier to get a feeling for the proportions. In this song, the performers can easily get caught up in the agitation the text conveys and start the crescendi too early or play too

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