Last night was another full moon. At this time of the year, it is referred to most often as the Hunter’s Moon, and sometimes as the Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon. The reference dates to agrarian times when, after the harvest and with the fallen leaves, the moonlight provides ample illumination for hunting at night, gathering meat which will be stored for the upcoming winter months.
Following is a musical composition for piano by Claude Debussy, titled Clair de Lune (French for moonlight), composed in 1890 and inspired by the poem bearing the same name written by Paul Verlaine in 1869.
Clair de Lune – Paul Verlaine
In its original French:
Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.
Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,
Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.
English Translation: (per Wikipedia)
Your soul is a chosen landscape
Where charming masqueraders and bergamaskers go
Playing the lute and dancing and almost
Sad beneath their fanciful disguises.
All sing in a minor key
Of victorious love and the opportune life,
They do not seem to believe in their happiness
And their song mingles with the moonlight,
With the still moonlight, sad and beautiful,
That sets the birds dreaming in the trees
And the fountains sobbing in ecstasy,
The tall slender fountains among marble statues
Another full moon tonight. June’s moon is called the Rose Moon or sometimes here referred to as the Strawberry Moon. With precious little time to write, I thought I’d instead celebrate another full moon with a Beethoven’s Piano Sonata no. 14, op. 27 no. 2, more commonly known (and more easily remembered) as Moonlight Sonata. Here it is in all three movements:
Enjoy. I’ll be scarce most of this week. Until we meet again…
Would you believe it? I won last month’s Music Passion contest! Dolly from All About Lemon (Music Passion Page) hosts this fun little game for those, including me, that enjoy music. As the winner, I now get to select the theme for May. Last month’s theme was songs from the 50’s with Love in the title, and since tonight marks the Super Moon of 2012 (the largest full moon of the year), I thought maybe we should commemorate the month with songs that honor the moon. So how about we pick a song with Moon in the title? No limitations on when it was written or recorded, no specific genre. If it is about the Moon, then it’s good to go.
Full rules are on Dolly’s page about Music Passion, but a quick summary:
- Post Title should be “Music Passion”
- Post a song consistent with the theme – Moon in the title for May
- Say something about the song you select
- Link it back to Dolly’s page, so she can aggregate all the songs and keep track of likes
- Visit the other participants’ sites and if you like their selection, click the like button
- Person with most likes gets to choose the following month’s theme
You know it’s killing me to limit myself to one song about the Moon. Folks following this blog know I seem to have a fixation on it several times a year. OK, if I had to choose a mainstream kind of song, I’d pick Moondance by Van Morrison, released in 1970.
Makes you want to dance – right?
I know, I know. I’ve been absent around these parts for a while. Work has a way of crowding out free time every once in a while. Well my friends, after a long week of being away, I can finally breathe out a sigh of relief; my workweek is done. I went to dinner earlier, and afterward decided to spend some time along the waterfront with a few friends to decompress and relax a while before preparing to return home tomorrow.
The day had been mostly cloudy and a bit chilly where I have been, but it felt good to be outdoors breathing in the sea air. By the time we got to the waterfront it was already dark. The cloud cover was breaking up however, and there was a nearly full moon peeking through the clouds and reflecting eerily on the water. A fog was beginning to form at the waterline. We sat on a park bench overlooking the moored ships and smaller boats. The fog kept building up along the water, enveloping most of the ships that were fading out of sight. Meanwhile, the moon above was shining through the cloud cover with increasing brightness casting a glow on the fog and the outlines of the ships. The effect was rather haunting; the ships took on a ghost-like appearance as the mist swirled around them. Eerie and supernatural.
I’m not in much of a writing mood tonight nor do I have the time. I need to get ready to return home tomorrow. I’ll leave you with some mood music that captures what it felt like at the waterfront harbor this evening.
Enjoy. I hope to visit your blogs when I return tomorrow.
Much has been written about the moon, in prose, poetry, and song. It has long been the subject of art and photography as well. Its primal beauty has inspired many throughout the ages. As I don’t consider myself much of a writer, poet, musical prodigy, or artist, I have chosen tonight to give tribute to the wonderful harvest moon using the works of others. And, more importantly, I get to act like an opera geek in the process.
When I look at the moon, I am often reminded of a beautiful aria from the Opera Rusalka, composed by Antonín Dvořák. Think of it as an ancient version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. In this aria Rusalka, a mermaid of the lake, has fallen in love with a Prince who swims in the lake, and here she sings her “Song to the Moon” asking it to tell the Prince of her love for him. I’ve linked the Aria and the lyric below, along with the translation into English; much better material than I could ever write.
The native language is Czech. Following below is the original lyric along with the rough English translation:
O Mesiku (Song to the Moon)
Mesiku na nebi hlubokem
Svetlo tvé daleko vidi,
Po svete bloudis sirokém,
Divas se v pribytky lidi.
Mesicku, postuj chvili
reckni mi, kde je muj mily!
Rekni mu, stribmy mesicku,
me ze jej objima rame,
aby si alespon chvilicku
vzpomenul ve sneni na mne.
Zasvet mu do daleka,
rekni mu, rekni m kdo tu nan ceka!
O mneli duse lidska sni,
at’se tou vzpominkou vzbudi!
Mesicku, nezhasni, nezhasni!
O moon high up in the deep, deep sky,
Your light sees far away regions,
You travel round the wide,
Wide world peering into human dwellings.
O, moon, stand still for a moment,
Tell me, ah, tell me where is my lover!
Tell him please, silvery moon in the sky,
That I am hugging him firmly,
That he should for at least a while
Remember his dreams!
Light up his far away place,
Tell him, ah, tell him who is here waiting!
If he is dreaming about me,
May this remembrance waken him!
O moon, don’t disappear, don’t disappear!
If you made it this far and have not died of boredom or fallen fast asleep, I thank you for your attention. So get out of the house and gaze up at that gorgeous full harvest moon! Good night all…