Forbidden Music Regained

Leo Smit Stichting
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The Song of Love and Death op. 131

By Wilhelm Rettich

Vocal music
Voice and orchestra (sopr ten 2fl fl/picc 2ob ob/eh 2cl cl/cl-b 2fg fg/cfg 4h 3tp 3trb tb perc hp cel str)
70 minutes
published score
order full score here


A Symphony for soprano, tenor and orchestra

Words by Kahlil Gibran

I Prelude · The Life of Love (Spring “Come, my beloved” · Summer “Arise, my love, to the field” · Autumn “Let us go to the vineyard” · Winter “Draw nigh into me”)
II A Tear and a Smile “I would not exchange the sorrows”
III Song of the Flower “I am a word”
IV Soliloquy “Where are you, my love”
V The Poet “A link between this world and the hereafter”
VI The Spirit “And the God of gods separated a spirit from himself”
VII The Beloved (The first glance “‘Tis the minute separating” · The first kiss “‘Tis the first sip of a cup” · Union “Here, then, does love begin”)
VIII A Song “In the dephts of my spirit”
IX Song of the Rain “I am the silver threads”
X The Hymn of Man “I was and I am”
XI Song of Beauty “I am the guide of love”
XII Song of the Wave “I and the shore are lovers”
XIII Letters of Fire “Here lies one whose name was writ in water”
XIV The Beauty of Death “Let me sleep, let me slumber”

About Wilhelm Rettich

Wilhelm Rettich

Wilhelm Rettich belonged to that generation of those whose work and life was deeply affected by the First and Second World Wars. Captivity, persecution, hiding and losses scarred his life. In 1933, he emigrated to the Netherlands, where he survived the war in hiding. Rettich worked a great deal for the radio, a young and progressive medium at that time. Although he became a Dutch citizen after the World War II, he returned to Germany in 1964.

by Diet Scholten