Raise thyself unto poesy, mensch!

Polyphemus is -- well -- Poliphermanator. But he is also a poet:



O ruddier than the cherry,
O sweeter than the berry,
O nymph more bright
Than moonshine night,
Like kidlings blithe and merry.

Ripe as the melting cluster,
No lily has such lustre;
Yet hard to tame
As raging flame,
And fierce as storms that bluster!

O ruddier. . . etc. (da capo)
The poetry is mighty good: Poliphemus is so taken with his creation that repeats the opening two lines three times (what is good to hear once, etc.) and then breaks out into a bleating ornamentation. ("Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee").

Ah, the transformative power of love!

A good singer will sing the aria badly -- off beat ("o sweeter than the berry") and bleat like a sheep on the eeeeee ornamentando. Mathew Rose does this brilliantly here. Bryn Terfel does it badly: he doesn't know how to discard his singer's pride in the name of -- well, a good joke.

Which this aria is.

(Who says Germans have no sense of humor?)


Post a Comment