Favorite work of october 2017
Every month a member of the Carus team introduces his/her favorite work, whether it be a choral piece, a CD, a songbook or an instrumental work. The recommendation for October 2017 was contributed by Marit Ketelsen.
Summer weddings have become something of a trend. However, invitations I have received over the last few weeks to a golden wedding, a ruby wedding (40 years) and a silver wedding show me that until a few decades ago, the bride placed less importance on a perfect summer tan and the bridegroom less on good weather for a barbecue on the wedding day: it was just love, a baby on the way, or the pressure to move out of the parental home into the first shared nest that determined the date of the wedding.
The pleasant side-effect of this is that the weddings of my friends in the summer are now well interspersed with anniversaries throughout the year, and the celebration of long marriages means that the “wedding season” is not just limited to the summer.
As one of the few amateur musicians in my family, I am often responsible for an unmistakably unique musical contribution to a party or in church. With the Liebeslieder (Love songs) I have found a companion which is up to this challenge, one which I have already used many times. Over and above active music-making – whether it be solo or in an ensemble – for me the volume is a beautiful source of inspiration for parties and weddings and, as well as that, it has another role. The singalong CD which is included has acquired a function for me as an instrumentalist which does not directly match its name: through the melodies of the 80 songs chosen, some soft, some gentle because of their themes, and the recording mainly on piano and violin, the CD contains wonderfully relaxing music for evenings spent reading on the sofa at home. As well as clarinet and flute, some of the songs feature other instruments ensuring variety and some surprising evocative moments. The CD also contains some surprises if you listen carefully – there are melodies which are familiar to me from my childhood with my grandmother or great-grandmother in the garden, but I had no idea about the text they are based on. A glance at the book then sheds light and brings (unfortunately less often) a memory of the title and text. Such memories are revived by classics such as Dat du min Leevsten büst, which I sang rather reluctantly in sixth grade at my Husum grammar school in a choral program "Lieder rund um die Welt" (songs around the world) – but this folksy regional repertoire of songs struck me as boring and outdated in comparison with the Greek and Latin American parts of the evening. The Liebeslieder allow me to smile about this rebellious period, and now present themselves as a geographically and musically broadening "songs around the world" program which now, many years later, I am happy to listen to and use for my family and friends on their celebratory days.
From the musician's perspective, painting often unjustly gets pushed into the background. But this aspect of the volume should not remain unmentioned in my favorite piece: the many illustrations in the volume are all by Gustav Klimt. They fit perfectly with the theme of each song in the collection, thereby making the book a most suitable present for my nearest and dearest – not only for parties and weddings!
Marit Ketelsen studied Musicology, Modern German Literature and Media Studies, and Pedagogy at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel. She plays baritone saxophone in her free time and has worked at Carus-Verlag as Sales Director since February 2017.