A works of individual works –which may also work for you.
Vers=Werke, erste Runde (Round One):
Eight of them. All but #1 come with YouTube links for fascinating musical and a couple dance performances which do not require fluency in German:
- Wünschelrute, Divining Rod 1835. Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, The tone setter for the rest/how I experience these: what I hope these will do. Only one sans YouTube link. Added. Click on Pane Page Wünschelrute/Divining Rod link at top of this page.
- The Merseburger Zauberspruch, the Merseburg Magic Charm, written down first time in 1050 but totally pre christian which makes it possibly 1700 years old. Written text is Old High German (650-1050) Added.
- The German language’s most famous high middle-ages courtly love song, Under der linden, Under the Linden or Lime Tree, by Walther von der Vogelweide 1170-1230. It has remained a real audience pleaser for 800+ years. Many find its clever frankness very pleasing. TO BE ADDED
- Heidenröslein, Rose on the Heather or Moor, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832, Germany’s greatest writer. The most famous song poem in the German language, when played anywhere, a communal celebration. . And the YouTube linked performance by John Kelly and Maite Itoiz is enthralling. TO BE ADDED
- Am Brunnen vor dem Tore/At the Well Outside the Gate, early19th century. Sentimental romanticism about longing for home and some magical properties of a Lindentree, Linden or Lime Tree. Chosen because it is a good example of the German traditions of putting popular poetry into musical form and community singing associations. In this case the group is 80 men who sing in a chorus that repeatedly has taken first prize in international and national mens chorus competitions. In the YouTube link they also sing the next song, Die Lorelei, The Loreley. TO BE ADDED
- Die Lorelei [pron: dee Lore’-eh-lie], the Loreley Again a famous early 19th century poem set to music. If you were on a tourboat on the Rhein, and were about at St. Goarshausen south of Koblenz, white wine would be served very ceremoniously and the song Die Lorelei would be played while all sipped the Rheinwein and sang along. Good tourism, good wine, good poem, great song: use the YouTube link. TO BE ADDED
- Mein Vater war ein Wandersmann. Almost a sure bet that you’ve heard the English version of this famous German song, first popularized in the US in the ’50s or early ’60s on the Ed Sullivan Show. On the YouTube item for this song: the fairy tale castle of King Mad Ludwig of Bavaria and its very interesting surroundings, the voices of a simply delightful Kinderchor, children/s chorus. Sehr schön, very beautiful indeed! TO BE ADDED
- Die Moorsoldaten, The Peat Bog Soldiers— the #1 protest song on this planet, written by inmates of the Nazi Börgermoor political opposition concentration camp in 1933. Keep the german and english out as you listen to Hannes Wader, the man who made this song so famous, sing it on YouTube. TO BE ADDED