Sehr behaglich (Very comfortably)

A touch of melancholy

The performance and libretto (under the YouTube insert) is from the last movement to Mahler's Fourth Symphony.  I've always like this piece as it seems a mix between Christmas cheer and a primal scream about "what did I do with my life??!!".  Melancholic introspection perhaps.  The tempo marking {how fast it should go and how it must be place in a frame of mind is Sehr behaglich (Very comfortably)}.

Years back I was involved with a Youth Orchestra and in my last year there one of the staples of our repertoire was a movement from a Mahler Symphony.  I liked it because I was feeling persecuted.  The folks in the orchestra, well perhaps not so much except that they were tasked with learning a 20 minute piece of music that required patience and self control; good lessons.

Gustav Mahler was Jewish and lived in Austria where, amazingly, in a very "semite-ally challenged" nation and in Vienna which was by all accounts a hotbed of this stuff.  of all places he became head of the Vienna Opera. His talent and his Jewishness shines through in his music (see below). He later served as conductor of the New York Philharmonic. 

Persecution of folks on religious grounds, or any grounds for that matter,  is simply something I don't understand and this isn't the place to discuss it other than it takes will, patience, and self control to overcome it and it takes a whale of lot of the aforementioned if you live in a society that lets it happen. 

Thought for the day.

The Heavenly Life
(from Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

We enjoy heavenly pleasures
and therefore avoid earthly ones.
No worldly tumult
is to be heard in heaven.
All live in greatest peace.
We lead angelic lives,
yet have a merry time of it besides.
We dance and we spring,
We skip and we sing.

Saint Peter in heaven looks on.

John lets the lambkin out,
and Herod the Butcher lies in wait for it.
We lead a patient,
an innocent, patient,
dear little lamb to its death.
Saint Luke slaughters the ox
without any thought or concern.
Wine doesn't cost a penny
in the heavenly cellars;

The angels bake the bread.

Good greens of every sort
grow in the heavenly vegetable patch,
good asparagus, string beans,
and whatever we want.
Good apples, good pears and good grapes,
and gardeners who allow everything!
If you want roebuck or hare,
on the public streets
they come running right up.

Should a fast day come along,
all the fishes at once come swimming with joy.
There goes Saint Peter running
with his net and his bait
to the heavenly pond.

Saint Martha must be the cook.

There is just no music on earth
that can compare to ours.
Even the eleven thousand virgins
venture to dance,
and Saint Ursula herself has to laugh.
There is just no music on earth
that can compare to ours.
Cecilia and all her relations
make excellent court musicians.
The angelic voices
gladden our senses,
so that all awaken for joy.