Auch Kleine Dinge
Before moving on from Wolf, there is one more Lied that I wanted to play for you. It is called “Auch kleine Dinge”. It is the first song from Wolf’s first book of his Italienischesliederbuch, which was published in two parts; the first part was published in 1892, and the second part was published in 1896. The poems in the two books come from a collection of Italian poems collected and translated into German by Paul Heyse. Wolf tended to prefer shorter poems of eight line of ten or eleven syllables each.
Wolf sought out high-quality poetry and wrote beautiful music. This is in contrast to Schubert, who took mediocre poetry and wrote wonderful music. Wolf’s muse seem to require a higher standard of literature than Schubert’s.
This Lied is extraordinarily hard to sing and to accompany. I was looking for artists who could do it justice, and I found two. One of them, I have already introduced. Her name is Irmgard Seefried. The second is someone we haven’t spoken about yet. His name is Walter Ludwig, and there is a little bit about him below. Remember to listen to the way in which the singer follows the text and really sings about precious, small things. Which do like better?