Friday, January 28, 2011

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[c.s.l. 9 minutes earlier, and I wouldn't have found it. rofl /c.s.l.]

The way to Moscow can lead to ‘Moksha’

Saturday, January 29, 2011 08:46 AM

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The way to Moscow can lead to ‘Moksha’

Er Audy Zandri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 11/21/2010 2:56 PM | Travel
A | A | A |
Many roads lead to Rome, and in a similar context, the many ways to Moscow this week can lead you to the attainment of absolute joy, or Moksha in the Hindu/Buddhist belief. Yet, it all depends of course on your specific taste in music and your idea of absolute joy.

Moscow, being one of the Russian cities where notable classical composers came from, will be the subject of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra’s “The Music of Nations” series this weekend, running for three days on Nov. 27, 28 and 30, 2010.

Focusing on the works of notable Russian composers, including Shostakovich’s beautifully haunting Eighth Symphony, the Russians at Home and Abroad will epically illustrate the ruling time of Stalin and the defeat of Hitler by the Red Army with war-time symphonies attempting to show optimism in the face of utmost horror.

For once in a lifetime, you will also get to experience the strange joyous melodies of Provokiev’s Second Violin Concerto, brought to you live by world class conductor Claus Peter Flor and “the Jascha Heifetz of our day”, violinist James Ehnes.

Russians at Home and Abroad will be performed by the resident orchestra of Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, occupying Malaysia’s first 885-seat purpose built concert hall for classical music strategically located between the Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC.

Click on for tickets priced from as low as 20 ringgit (US$6.41) to 85 ringgit for one of the two dates available, namely Nov. 27 at 8:30 p.m. and Nov. 28 at 3 p.m. Keep in mind that the concert, like any classical concerts, would require you to wear formal dress such as a long-sleeved batik shirt or a suit.

Still under the influence of Russian composers, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra will continue the musical extravaganza with In a Moscow Chamber, another breathtaking musical journey performed live at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas on Nov. 30, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

But if you can’t reach absolute joy through magnificent tales of war and peace told through solemn Russian classical compositions, why not try to understand the idea of Moksha itself.

And Alarippu to Moksha should be your defining hour. Literally translated as “from the first blossoming to the attainment of absolute joy”, Allarippu to Moksha plots the journey of Sutra dancers, a group of accomplished Malaysian-Indian dancers from Sutra Foundation formed in 2007, in their effort to break new ground, empowering themselves to transcend fears and transform their own lives in a challenging repertoire.

The production started back in 2007, when Sutra Dance Theatre decided to hold a program called Bharata Natyam and Odissi to launch its new talents alongside notable senior sutra dancers.

Four performances will be performed by Sutra Dance Theatre from Nov. 25 to 28, 2010 at the Lycee Francais de Kuala Lumpur, at 34 Jalan 1/38b, off Jalan Segambut 51200 Kuala Lumpur. The four pieces are Bharata Natyam by junior dancers on Nov. 25, Odissi by junior dancers on Nov. 26, Divine Encounters by Sutra company dancers on Nov. 27 and Pallavi by Sutra company dancers on Nov. 28.

Tickets for each performance are priced at 30 ringgit, e-mail: for inquiries or click on for additional details.

The word Moscow came from the word MOKSHA

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|| Om Namo Narayana ||

Namaskar members,

The word Moscow came from the word Moksha Puri.

So says Rohini Ranjan Ji. This makes sense too.

Once upon a time there was Shivan temple in Moscow.


Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:47 pm

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Children of Tomorrow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Children of Tomorrow  
Children of tomorrow bookcover.jpg
First edition cover
Author A. E. van Vogt
Cover artist John Schoenherr
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction novel
Publisher Ace Books
Publication date 1970
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 254 pp
ISBN 0450045986
Children of Tomorrow is a 1970 novel by American author A. E. van Vogt.

[] Plot introduction

Commander John Lane returns from a ten year mission in space to find that the teenagers of Spaceport City have organized themselves into "outfits", well disciplined, non-violent little gangs with their own customs and argot, and that the parent's role in teen upbringing has become minimal. His 16 year old daughter Susan belongs to the Red Cat Outfit, whose newest member Bud is actually a spy for the alien fleet that has secretly followed John Lane as he returned to Earth.

[] External links

This page was last modified on 18 May 2010 at 20:33.

Government by Regulation

Government by Regulation
Death counseling by administrative fiat

Most people don’t remember Obamacare’s notorious Section 1233, which mandated government payments for end-of-life counseling. It aroused so much anxiety as a possible first slippery step on the road to state-mandated late-life rationing that the Senate never included it in the final health-care law.
Well, it’s back — by administrative fiat. A month ago, Medicare issued a regulation providing for end-of-life counseling during annual “wellness” visits. It was all nicely buried amid the simultaneous release of hundreds of new Medicare rules.
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Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D.,Ore.), author of Section 1233, was delighted. “Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated ‘a quiet victory,’ but urged supporters not to crow about it,” reports the New York Times. Deathly quiet. In early November, his office sent an e-mail plea to supporters: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists . . . e-mails can too easily be forwarded.” They had been lucky that “thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it. . . . The longer this regulation goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”
So much for Democratic transparency — and for their repeated claim that the more people learn what is in the health-care law, the more they will like it. Turns out ignorance is the Democrats’ best hope.
And regulation is their perfect vehicle — so much quieter than legislation. Consider two other regulatory usurpations in just the last few days.
On December 23, the Interior Department issued Secretarial Order 3310, reversing a 2003 decision and giving itself the authority to designate public lands as “Wild Lands.” A clever twofer: (1) a bureaucratic power-grab — for seven years up through December 22, wilderness-designation had been the exclusive province of Congress, and (2) a leftward lurch — more land to be “protected” from such nefarious uses as domestic-oil exploration in a country disastrously dependent on foreign sources.
The very same day, the president’s Environmental Protection Agency declared that in 2011 it would begin drawing up anti-carbon regulations on oil refineries and power plants, another power grab effectively enacting what Congress had firmly rejected when presented as cap-and-trade legislation.
For an Obama bureaucrat, however, the will of Congress is a mere speed bump. Hence this regulatory trifecta, each one moving smartly left — and nicely clarifying what the spirit of bipartisan compromise that President Obama heralded in his post-lame-duck December 22 news conference was really about: a shift to the center for public consumption and political appearance only.
On that day, Obama finally embraced the tax-cut compromise he had initially excoriated, but only to avoid forfeiting its obvious political benefit — its appeal to independent voters who demand bipartisanship and are the key to Obama’s reelection. But make no mistake: Obama’s initial excoriation in his angry December 7 news conference was the authentic Obama. He hated the deal.
Now as always, Obama’s heart lies left. For those fooled into thinking otherwise by the new Obama of December 22, his administration’s defiantly liberal regulatory moves — on the environment, energy, and health care — should disabuse even the most beguiled.
These regulatory power plays make political sense. Because Obama needs to appear to reclaim the center, he will stage his more ideological fights in yawn-inducing regulatory hearings rather than in the dramatic spotlight of congressional debate. How better to impose a liberal agenda on a center-right nation than regulatory stealth?
It’s Obama’s only way forward during the next two years. He will never get past the half-Republican 112th what he could not get past the overwhelmingly Democratic 111th. He doesn’t have the votes and he surely doesn’t want the publicity. Hence the quiet resurrection, as it were, of end-of-life counseling.
Obama knows he has only so many years to change the country. In his first two, he achieved much: the first stimulus, Obamacare, and financial regulation. For the next two, however, the Republican House will prevent any repetition of that. Obama’s agenda will therefore have to be advanced by the more subterranean means of rule-by-regulation.
But this must simultaneously be mixed with ostentatious displays of legislative bipartisanship (e.g., the lame-duck tax-cut deal) in order to pull off the (apparent) centrist repositioning required for re-election. This, in turn, would grant Obama four more years when, freed from the need for pretense, he can reassert himself ideologically and complete the social-democratic transformation — begun Jan. 20, 2009; derailed Nov. 2, 2010 — that is the mission of his presidency.
Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2010 the Washington Post Writers Group.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Can Egyptians revolt?

Can Egyptians revolt?
Inspired by the Tunisian example, Egyptians take to the streets in their own protest. But can it last?
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2011 13:49 GMT
Egyptian protests have emulated the Tunisian model very closely, from spontaneous protests in the streets to catalysing the movement through social media to attracting the attention of Anonymous [CC - Collin David Anderson]
The traditional wisdom has always been that Egyptians don't revolt simply because they are an agricultural society. Farmers require stability and patience to tend their land.
Farmers also need a strong central government to protect them against natural disasters, such as floods and droughts.
Egypt is no longer an agricultural society.
But since the 1952 military led revolution which ended monarchism in Egypt, the country has been ruled by semi-authoritarian national regimes that used the resources of the state, large security apparatuses and a centralised economy led by a gigantic public sector, to suppress political opposition, buy public satisfaction, and build legitimacy for its economically inefficient and politically oppressive government.
This has also changed since the 1970s when Egypt was forced to liberalise its economy. At that time, the country faced a shocking military defeat by Israel in 1967. Its economy was exhausted after bearing the cost of several wars. It also wanted to move west under the rule of Sadat and his successor, the current president Mubarak who has been ruling since 1981.
The liberalisation of the Egyptian economy slowed down in the 1980s because a timid Mubarak did not want to antagonise the population by making any major political or economic changes during his first decade in power.
In the 1990s Mubarak was forced to speed up the privatisation process under the pressure of a daunting foreign debt crisis and foreign international lending organisations, such as the World Bank and the IMF, who made privatisation a pre-condition for aid.
A new elite
Since then a new political and economic elite was created. A class dominated by the owners of the newly privatised public sector companies.
The new business class was quickly and widely seen by Egyptians as a corrupt and greedy elite created by the regimes and under its watchful eyes to take ownership of the country's newly and chaotically privatised economy and to support the regime in return.
Egyptians widely feared that the new business elite were given a lot of advantages by the regime. They were sold large public sector companies for below market values. They were granted huge bank loans, massive tax cuts, and large pieces of land to buy their loyalty and support.
In return, the ruling National Democratic Party has been increasingly counting on the new business elites as its base for financial and political support.
After privatisation, the new business elite gained control over millions of workers or potential voters who used to work for the public sector in the past. The new wealthy elites can now buy the loyalty and votes of millions of private sector workers through wages and other economic benefits. They also have much needed cash to support their political campaigns and their parties if needed.
As a result, 20 per cent of the seats of People's Assembly, the lower chamber of the Egyptian parliament, was occupied by businessmen in 2005. Their exact presence in the newly elected parliament in November is still unknown. But, it's widely expected to be higher.
They also control senior positions in the ruling party and its policy council led by Mubarak's son and expected heir, Gamal.
New challenges
But, the new changes have created many challenges for the regime.
It meant that the regime can no longer buy the support of millions of public sector employees by controlling their wages and jobs. The regime has to open its ranks to the new business elite and to tightly control its political tendencies. With privatisation throwing millions of Egyptians out of their public sector jobs and subjected them to increasing unemployment, creating a significant problem for the government as it deals with their growing anger.
Unlike the failed Tunisian regime of Ben Ali, Mubarak understood that he has to give Egyptians room to breathe.
He tolerated the establishment of more than 20 political parties, mostly small and unknown to the majority of Egyptians. He allowed the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the largest organised opposition group in the country, to run in parliamentary and professional unions elections. He also gave media a wide margin of press freedom and allowed small demonstrations and political movements to grow and protest.
However, Mubarak's political tolerance has always been limited and calculated. He cracked down on opposition, media, and public protests before major political events such as the latest parliamentary elections. He kept the opposition weak, divided, and vilified. He kept the Muslim Brotherhood in defencive mode through constant arrests, media campaigns, and political marginalisation.
He relatively opened up under foreign and domestic pressure during the war on Iraq and quickly closed down again a few years later. He even passed many constitutional changes to make himself or whoever his regimes chooses the only possible successor.
Still, Mubarak's control has never been perfect and yesterday's events are an important and rare witness.
What Egypt witnessed yesterday was a public show of anger never seen before during Mubarak's rule. Tens of thousands of angry Egyptians from all walks of life marched in the streets of Cairo and several major cities around the country calling for a Tunisian-like revolution.
They wanted a full regime change, a new government and parliament, fair elections, and a new political system all together.
Caught by surprise
Like in Tunisia, the large protests took many by surprise. They even surprised the leaders of the established political opposition groups who participated in the protests but did not expect them to be that large or inspiring.
They were spontaneous protests fed by public anger, disenchanted youth, and the Tunisian example.
Pictures and information fed from Egypt on Twitter, Facebook, and international TV channels showed a new image of Egypt. Showing that this collective anger should never be underestimated and that Egypt should prepare for the unexpected.
There is a new generation.
Millions of youth who have grown up in a more open and competitive Egypt have a more cynical view of their country, future, and the world. They're more fearless than their parents, who used to work for the government or the public sector, and have less to lose and have less respect to the establishment, its security forces, and economic power.
The youth share the support of millions of poor and disadvantaged Egyptians who feel they were left behind by the regime and its new business elite.
Then comes the role of media and the Tunisian uprising that taught Egyptians and Arabs that if they act together and go to the streets in big numbers they can overcome or at least defy the power of their regime and its security forces.
Still, Egypt is not like Tunisia.
Many renowned Egyptian analysts disappointedly noted that Egypt will not follow the Tunisian model because of the low levels of literacy among its population, the spread of apathy and defeatism among its citizens, and the negative role played by religious groups inside the country.
In this respect, analysts described Egypt as a country increasingly divided along religious lines, Copts versus Muslims and competing Islamist groups against each other.
Still, the events of January 25 will make many rethink their understanding of Egypt and ask again if Egyptians can revolt. Time will only tell.
Al Jazeera

Exterminate a spice or two, save the planet

Exterminate a spice or two, save the planet

Published: 26 January, 2011, 14:43

Biologists have suggested a mathematical model, which will hopefully predict which species need to be eliminated from an unstable ecosystem, and in which order, to help it recover.
The counterintuitive idea to kill living things for the sake of biodiversity conservation comes from the complex connections presented in ecosystems. Eliminate a predator, and its prey thrives and shrinks the amount of whatever it has for its own food. Such “cascading” impacts along the “food webs” can be unpredictable and sometimes catastrophic.

Sagar Sahasrabudhe and Adilson Motter of Northwestern University in the US have shown that in some food web models, the timely removal or suppression of one or several species can do quite the opposite and mitigate the damage caused by local extinction. The paper is described in Nature magazine.

The trick is not an easy one, since the timing of removal is just as important as the targeted species. A live example Sahasrabudhe and Motter use is that of island foxes on the Channel Islands off the coast of California. When feral pigs were introduced in the ecosystem, they attracted golden eagles, which preyed on foxes as well. Simply reversing the situation by removing the pigs would make the birds switch solely to foxes, which would eventually make them extinct. Instead, conservation activists captured and relocated the eagles before eradicating the pigs, saving the fox population.

Of course conservation scientists are not going to start taking decisions based on the models straight away. Real ecosystems are not limited to predator and prey relationships, and things like parasitism, pollination and nutrient dynamics have to be taken into account as well. On the other hand, ecosystems were thought to be too complex to be modeled at all some eight years ago, Martinez says. Their work gives more confidence that it will have practical uses in nearest future.

Four proposed security measures that won't work

Four proposed security measures that won't work

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Der Erlkönig

Der Erlkönig

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Erlking by Albert Sterner, ca. 1910
Der Erlkönig (often called just Erlkönig) is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It depicts the death of a child assailed by a supernatural being, the Erlking or "Erlkönig" (suggesting the literal translation "alder king", but see below). It was originally composed by Goethe as part of a 1782 ballad opera entitled Die Fischerin.
The poem has been used as the text for Lieder (art songs for voice and piano) by many classical composers, the most famous undoubtedly being that of Franz Schubert, his Opus 1 (D. 328). Many other settings survive.[1][2] Other notable settings are by members of Goethe's circle, including the actress Corona Schröter (1782), Andreas Romberg (1793), Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1794) and Carl Friedrich Zelter (1797). Beethoven attempted to set it to music but abandoned the effort; his sketch however was complete enough to be published in a completion by Reinhold Becker (1897). A few other nineteenth-century versions are those by Václav Tomášek (1815), Carl Loewe (1818) and Ludwig Spohr (1856, with obbligato violin). A 21st century example is pianist Marc-André Hamelin's "Etude No. 8 (after Goethe)" for solo piano, based on the Erlkönig.[3]



[edit] Summary

An anxious young boy is being carried home at night by his father on horseback. To what sort of home is not spelled out; German Hof has a rather broad meaning of "yard" or "courtyard". The Hof has been presumed to be a farmyard, although the long form Bauernhof would typically be used (in prose) to clarify this sense. The lack of specificity of the father's social position allows the reader to imagine the details.
As the poem unfolds, the son seems to see and hear beings his father does not; the father asserts reassuringly naturalistic explanations for what the child sees – a wisp of fog, rustling leaves, shimmering willows. Finally the child shrieks that he has been attacked. The father makes faster for the Hof. There he recognizes that the boy is dead.
One story has it that Goethe was visiting a friend when, late one night, a dark figure carrying a bundle in its arms was seen riding past the gate at great speed. The next day Goethe and his friend were told that they had seen a farmer taking his sick son to the doctor. This incident, along with the legend, is said to have been the main inspiration for the poem.
One may suppose the boy is simply feverish, delirious, and in need of medical attention. The poem itself leaves the question open.

[edit] Text

Original German Literal Translation Adaptation
Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind?
Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind;
Er hat den Knaben wohl in dem Arm,
Er faßt ihn sicher, er hält ihn warm.

"Mein Sohn, was birgst du so bang dein Gesicht?" —
"Siehst, Vater, du den Erlkönig nicht?
Den Erlenkönig mit Kron und Schweif?" —
"Mein Sohn, es ist ein Nebelstreif."

"Du liebes Kind, komm, geh mit mir!
Gar schöne Spiele spiel' ich mit dir;
Manch' bunte Blumen sind an dem Strand,
Meine Mutter hat manch gülden Gewand." —

"Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du nicht,
Was Erlenkönig mir leise verspricht?" —
"Sei ruhig, bleibe ruhig, mein Kind;
In dürren Blättern säuselt der Wind." —

"Willst, feiner Knabe, du mit mir gehen?
Meine Töchter sollen dich warten schön;
Meine Töchter führen den nächtlichen Reihn,
Und wiegen und tanzen und singen dich ein." —

"Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du nicht dort
Erlkönigs Töchter am düstern Ort?" —
"Mein Sohn, mein Sohn, ich seh es genau:
Es scheinen die alten Weiden so grau. —"

"Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt;
Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch ich Gewalt." —
"Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt faßt er mich an!
Erlkönig hat mir ein Leids getan!" —

Dem Vater grauset's, er reitet geschwind,
Er hält in Armen das ächzende Kind,
Erreicht den Hof mit Müh' und Not;
In seinen Armen das Kind war tot.
Who rides, so late, through night and wind?
It is the father with his child.
He has the boy well in his arm
He holds him safely, he keeps him warm.

"My son, why do you hide your face so anxiously?"
"Father, do you not see the Erl king?
The Erl king with crown and tail?"
"My son, it's a wisp of fog."

"You lovely child, come, go with me!
Many a beautiful game I'll play with you;
Many colourful flowers are on the shore,
My mother has many golden robes."

"My father, my father, and don't you hear
What Erl king is quietly promising me?"
"Be calm, stay calm, my child;
The wind is rustling through withered leaves."

"Do you want to come with me, dear boy?
My daughters shall wait on you fine;
My daughters will lead the nightly dance,
And rock and dance and sing you to sleep."

"My father, my father, and don't you see there
Erl king's daughters in the gloomy place?"
"My son, my son, I see it clearly:
The old willows they shimmer so grey."

"I love you, your beautiful form entices me;
And if you're not willing, I shall use force."
"My father, my father, he's grabbing me now!
Erl king has done me some harm!"

The father shudders; he swiftly rides on,
He holds the moaning child in his arms,
is hardly able to reach the farm;
In his arms, the child was dead.
Who rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
The father it is, with his infant so dear;
He holdeth the boy tightly clasp'd in his arm,
He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.

"My son, wherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to hide?"
"Look, father, the Erl King is close by our side!
Dost see not the Erl King, with crown and with train?"
"My son, 'tis the mist rising over the plain."

"Oh, come, thou dear infant! oh come thou with me!
For many a game I will play there with thee;
On my beach, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold,
My mother shall grace thee with garments of gold."

"My father, my father, and dost thou not hear
The words that the Erl King now breathes in mine ear?"
"Be calm, dearest child, thy fancy deceives;
the wind is sighing through withering leaves."

"Wilt go, then, dear infant, wilt go with me there?
My daughters shall tend thee with sisterly care
My daughters by night on the dance floor you lead,
They'll cradle and rock thee, and sing thee to sleep."

"My father, my father, and dost thou not see,
How the Erl King is showing his daughters to me?"
"My darling, my darling, I see it alright,
'Tis the aged grey willows deceiving thy sight."

"I love thee, I'm charm'd by thy beauty, dear boy!
And if thou aren't willing, then force I'll employ."
"My father, my father, he seizes me fast,
For sorely the Erl King has hurt me at last."

The father now gallops, with terror half wild,
He holds in his arms the shuddering child;
He reaches his farmstead with toil and dread,—
The child in his arms lies motionless, dead.

[edit] The legend

The story of the Erlkönig derives from Danish folk tales, and Goethe based his poem on "Erlkönigs Tochter" ("Erlkönig's Daughter"), a Danish work translated into German by Johann Gottfried Herder. It appeared as "The Elf King's Daughter" in his collection of folk songs, Stimmen der Völker in Liedern (published 1778). Niels Gade's cantata Elverskud opus 30 (1854, text by Chr. K. F. Molbech) was published in translation as Erlkönigs Tochter.
The Erlkönig's nature has been the subject of some debate. The name translates literally from the German as "Alder King" rather than its common English translation, "Elf King" (which would be rendered as Elfenkönig or Elbenkönig in German). It has often been suggested that Erlkönig is a mistranslation from the original Danish elverkonge, which does mean "king of the elfs."
In the original Scandinavian version of the tale, the antagonist was the Erlkönig's daughter rather than the Erlkönig himself; the female elf, or elvermø, sought to ensnare human beings to satisfy her desire, jealousy and lust for revenge.

[edit] The Franz Schubert composition

The first manuscript page of Schubert's "Der Erlkönig"
Franz Schubert composed his Lied, "Der Erlkönig", for solo voice and piano in 1815, setting text from the Goethe poem. Schubert revised the song three times before publishing his fourth version in 1821 as his Opus 1; it was cataloged by Otto Erich Deutsch as D. 328 in his 1951 catalog of Schubert's works. The song was first performed in concert on December 1, 1820, at a private gathering in Vienna, and received its public premiere on March 7, 1821, at Vienna's Theater am Kärntnertor.
The four characters in the song — narrator, father, son, and the Erlking — are usually all sung by a single vocalist; occasionally, however, the work is performed by four individual vocalists (or three, with one taking the parts of both the narrator and the Erlking). Schubert placed each character largely in a different vocal range, and each has his own rhythmic nuances; in addition, most singers endeavor to use a different vocal coloration for each part.
  1. The Narrator lies in the middle range and is in minor mode.
  2. The Father lies in the low range and sings both in minor mode and major mode.
  3. The Son lies in a high range, also in minor mode, representing the fright of the child.
  4. The Erlking's vocal line undulates up and down to arpeggiated accompaniment resulting in striking contrast and is in the major mode. The Erlking lines are typically sung pianissimo.
A fifth character, the horse, is implied in rapid triplet figures played by the pianist throughout the work, mimicking hoof beats.[4]
Erlkönig starts with the piano rapidly playing octaves to create a horror theme and triplets of a repeated note to simulate the horse's galloping; this motif continues throughout. Each of the son's pleas grows louder and higher-pitched than the previous ones. Near the very end of the piece the music quickens, as the father desperately tries to spur his horse to go faster, then slows down, as he arrives. The piano stops before the final line, "In seinen Armen das Kind war tot" ("In his arms the child was dead"). The piece then ends with a dramatic perfect authentic cadence.
The piece is regarded as extremely challenging to perform due to the vocal characterization required of the vocalist as well as its difficult accompaniment, involving the playing of rapidly repeated chords and octaves to create the drama and urgency in the poetry.
The song was transcribed for solo piano by Franz Liszt, and the piano accompaniment was orchestrated by Hector Berlioz. Hans Werner Henze created an Orchesterfantasie über Goethes Gedicht und Schuberts Opus 1 aus dem Ballett "Le fils de l'air". There is also a transcription for solo violin by the violin virtuoso Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, considered one of the most technically difficult pieces to play for the instrument.

[edit] The Carl Loewe composition

Loewe's setting was published as Op. 1, No. 3 and composed in 1817–18, in the lifetime of the poem's author and also of Schubert, whose version Loewe did not then know. Collected with it were Op. 1, No. 1, Edward (1818), (a translation of the Scottish ballad), and No. 2, Der Wirthin Töchterlein (1823), (The Innkeeper's daughter), a poem of Ludwig Uhland. Inspired by a German translation of Scottish border ballads, Loewe set several poems with an elvish theme; but although all three of Op. 1 are concerned with untimely death, in this set only the Erlkönig has the supernatural element.
Loewe's accompaniment is in semiquaver groups of six in nine-eight time (as against Schubert's quaver triplets in common time) and marked Geschwind. The vocal line evokes the galloping effect by repeated figures of crotchet and quaver, or sometimes three quavers, overlying the binary tremolo of the semiquavers in the piano. In addition to an unusual sense of motion this creates a very flexible template for the stresses in the words to fall correctly within the rhythmic structure.
Loewe's version is less lyrically melodic than Schubert's, with an insistent, repetitive harmonic structure between the opening minor key, and answering phrases in the major key of the dominant, which have a stark quality owing to their unusual relationship to the home key. The narrator's phrases are echoed by the voices of father and son, the father taking up the deeper, rising phrase, and the son a lightly undulating, answering theme around the dominant fifth. These two themes also evoke the rising and moaning of the wind.
Into this structure issues the very ghostly voice of the Elf king, who sings always pianissimo and diminuendo, in rising figures in the home key, but in the major, over an una corda tremolo. This very simple figure, rising through the major triad, repeated four times with very minor variation in each of the three calls of the Elf king to the child, has an eerie and elfin quality like the very distant blowing of a horn. As he and the child become more urgent the first in the groups of three quavers are dotted to create a breathless pace, which then forms a bass figure in the piano driving through to the final crisis. The last words, war tot, leap from the lower dominant to the sharpened third of the home key, this time not to the major but to a diminished chord, which settles chromatically through the home key in the major and then to the minor.
This is a dynamic, dramatic and original setting of the full text, considered by some to rival the Schubert version. Loewe performed his own songs, and the original in G minor was for his baritone voice.

[edit] In popular culture

  • Experimental filmmaker Raymond Salvatore Harmon created an 8 minute puppet animation titled Der Erlkönig using a remixed version of the Schubert composition as the score and based on the original text of the poem.[5]
  • The fictional annotator of Vladimir Nabokov's novel Pale Fire offers a Zemblese translation of the opening lines: Ret woren ok spoz on natt ut vett?/ Eto est votchez ut mid ik dett. (note on line 662)
  • The Rammstein song Dalai Lama from the album Reise, Reise is a modernized version of the poem, taking place on an airplane.
  • Sequester released "The Erlking," a metal rendition of Schubert's piece with English lyrics inspired by Goethe's poem. The track would be the namesake for the demo "Visions of the Erlking," and would later appear on the studio album "Winter Shadows."
  • The Heavy metal band Pagan Altar's song "The Erl-King" was inspired by the Goethe poem.
  • The neofolk band Forseti has a song called Erlkönig that uses the poem as lyrics.
  • The Alternative Metal band, Two Men One Poster Band has a song the uses the poem as lyrics.
  • The band Carolina Chocolate Drops has a song called "Earl King" based on the poem.
  • The PlayStation Portable game Work Time Fun features a mini-game based on the poem, which plays the Schubert composition with a Japanese translation of the lyrics as background music.
  • In the 1988 film Burning Secret, Baron Alexander recites the final lines of Goethe's poem while holding the boy Edmund in a swimming pool (water itself being a symbol of birth and death). This moment represents the high point of their affection, whereafter the baron turns his attentions elsewhere. Here the quote also suggests the death of a child as such, on the way to maturity.
  • In his celebrated novel Le Roi des Aulnes (1970), Michel Tournier identified the Erlkönig with his protagonist, and in turn with the German people during World War II, in the deliberate appeal the Nazis made to youth, ultimately sending them to their deaths in battle. The Volker Schlöndorff film The Ogre is an adaptation of Tournier's story.
  • The song "Erlkoenig" by Waldorf is a lyrical adaptation of the poem, with minor changes to fit within a song. Unlike the poem- which ends with death- the song ends with the child being taken away by the Elf King's daughters, where they dance and sing him to sleep for all eternity.
  • The British classical crossover singer Sarah Brightman released the song "Figlio Perduto" (Lost Son) in 2000 in her album La Luna. The song is an Italian translation by Chiara Ferrau of Goethe's poem.
  • Singer/songwriter Josh Ritter translated and set the poem to music under the name "The Oak Tree King" for his concert series with violinist Hilary Hahn
  • The E Nomine song "Die Schwarzen Reiter" begins with the line "Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind? (Who rides so late through the night and wind?)", a reference to the poem.
  • A short story entitled "The Erl-King" written by Elizabeth Hand is inspired by the Goethe poem but is set in modern day. It first appeared in the anthology Full Spectrum 4 in 1993.
  • Theatre de Complicite use the poem in The Street of Crocodiles, a piece of theatre based on the stories of Bruno Schulz
  • In Philip K. Dick's novel The Man in the High Castle the character of Mr. Baynes sings the first two lines in German while showering.
  • Jim Butcher's novel Dead Beat refers to a fictitious "Die Lied Der Erlking" [sic], a fictitious recollection of poems about the Erlkönig carrying an incorrect German title, as a part of its central plot. In the book, the Erlking was portrayed as a powerful fey being, separate from the Summer and Winter Queens of the Fey.
  • Canadian Indie rock musicians Ghost Bees released the song "Erl King" on their 2008 album "Tasseomancy".
  • The 1941 Norwegian mystery novel Historien om Gottlob (The story of Gottlob) by Torolf Elster weaves an intricate pattern of stories told by different people, involving a mysterious rebel leader who goes by the code name Erlkönig. In the NRK radio adaptation Schubert's piano accompaniement was used as incidental music.
  • Raymond E. Feist's book Faerie Tale also makes reference to "Der Erlkönig", as part of one of the character's research into faerie folk-lore.
  • The narrator of Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance references the poem in a conversation with his fellow travelers as they tell "ghost" stories while camping. The reference is self-reflexive, as the narrator is fleeing/chasing his own ghost (Phaedrus, whom he fears is coming for or "calling Chris," the narrator's son).
  • British author Angela Carter retells the legend in a short story called "The Erl-King," published in her Collected Stories.
  • The poem is used by the German gothic band Dracul in their song "Erlkönig".
  • Norwegian experimental black metal/industrial band Sturmgeist uses shorten and slightly modified version of the poem as lyrics in a song with the same title.
  • German industrial/EBM band Kash uses the poem in the song "Erlkönig".
  • Norwegian band "Jackman" also uses the poem "Der Erlkönig" in a modern alternative treatment.
  • In the Japanese visual novel G Senjō no Maō, "Der Erlkönig", and the Schubert piece it inspired, play a prominent role as a recurring theme.
  • In the song "Tier in Dir", by the German punk band Jennifer Rostock, parts of the lyrics are the same as the words in the poem.
  • The song "Incarnated" from the album Cosmogenesis by Progressive Melodic death metal band Obscura is based on this poem.
  • The 2002 animated short film The ErlKing by Ben Zelkowicz illustrates the poem.
  • American novelist Kevin Flinn's 2009 novel, Through the Night and Wind, takes its name from the first line of the poem and features the first two lines as part of an elaborate dream sequence.
  • In Isaac Asimov's novel Second Foundation, an adolescent girl-protagonist has a teacher named Miss Erlking.
  • In Frank Tallis's 2008 [6] crime novel Fatal Lies, the psychoanalyst Max Liebermann and police inspector Oskar Rheinhardt perform first Loewe's treatment of the text, then Schubert's. A discussion between the characters about the relative quality of Schubert's and Loewe's respective settings becomes an early pivot-point in the novel's plot.
  • Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum's short story "The Erlking" appeared in the July 5, 2010 issue of The New Yorker as part of the magazine’s showcasing of twenty significant American fiction writers under the age of forty. In the story, a mother and her small daughter visit a fairy-themed fundraiser at a Waldorf School. There, the girl (whose name Ondine also stems from European folklore) becomes fixated on a mysterious man whom she perceives to be hiding a surprise for her under his cape. Bynum, in an interview on The New Yorker´s website, stated that the inspiration for her story came in part from Goethe´s The Erlking.
  • The music (by Mort Shuman) and the lyrics (by Doc Pomus) of Night Rider, sung by Elvis Presley shows influences from Schubert's Erlkönig.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Snyder, Lawrence (1995). German Poetry in Song. Fallen Leaf Press. ISBN 0914913328. contains a selective list of 14 settings of the poem
  2. ^ "Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind?". The Lied and Art Song Texts Page. Retrieved 8 October 2008. lists 23 settings of the poem
  3. ^ Hamelin's Erlkönig
  4. ^ Machlis, Joseph and Forney, Kristine. "Schubert and the Lied" The Enjoyment of Music: An Introduction to Perceptive Listening. 9th Ed. W. W. Norton & Company: 2003
  5. ^ Der Erlkönig by Raymond Salvatore Harmon
  6. ^ Tallis, Frank: Fatal Lies, London: Arrow Books (ISBN 9780099471295), 2008, pp. 39-42.

[edit] External links

This page was last modified on 25 December 2010 at 21:27.


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