I was first introduced to “Feldeinsamkeit” or “Field Solitude” by Johannes Brahms by the first accompanist I performed with on recital, Kristian Banatzianou. Years ago, he sent me an mp3 of the accompaniment that he had recorded. He was living in Cleveland at the time and I remember writing him and saying, “Thanks! I can still sing with you even though you’re far away!” Last year when I was planning my fall recital, this piece started to float through my head. And it felt meaningful, as Kristian passed away before reaching the age of 40 just a couple of years ago. It was almost as if the text of this piece was a message from afar:
I rest quietly in the tall green grass
And for a long time send my gaze aloft,
Surrounded by the unceasing whir of crickets.
The lovely white clouds drift by
Through the deep blue, like beautiful, silent dreams;
I feel as through I am long dead
And drift blissfully along through eternal space.