Hans Pfitzner

Das Herz, opera, Op. 39

    Description by Hector Bellman

    In 1913, Pfitzner completed the musical drama "Das Herz" (The Heart) on a libretto written by himself in collaboration with his pupil Has Mähner-Mons. It was staged on the same year but did not achieve any significant success. Only an excerpt of it has reached a relative recognition, the so called "Liebesmelodie" (Love melody). It is a seven-minute orchestral fragment of haunting beauty. Over a constant slow pulse, a pensive melody in the strings flows in melancholy mood. A solo flute intones a new motive, to which the oboe replies with the main theme. The pulse slows down an seems to almost vanish, but then takes strength again as the melody moves to the lower strings. The motive of the flute is brought back by the woodwind. The tempo slows down again and the voice of a horn hovers while time seems suspended. A harp arpeggio sets things in motion again and the main theme reappears in a more affirming transformation, winding down to a calm ending.

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    1994
    Marco Polo
    223627