Interview with author (Dutch national radio, June 2018)
‘At Lieder recitals, I sometimes experienced moments when I seemed to lose contact with reality, for example, in the Rückert song by Mahler […] Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen 528 or in Mondnacht by Robert Schumann. Sometimes it almost seemed to me that I was singing in a trance. I no longer searched for the voice or the expression, but something beyond. It was as if the song was singing, and not me. My singing was effortless. I think these might have been moments of “Geheimnis”.
Christa Ludwig, from Walking up the Mountain Track, page 303
He pulled out a small piece of paper from under his pillow. Unfolding it revealed in Francesca’s writing, ‘It is not a very agreeable place to live, this world of ours.’ She had kissed that paper when she had pressed it into his hands. That was some months ago and he always kept that note with him.
And then he heard a song. It sounded distant, as though from a radio. He had not heard music since he had arrived in Japan.
Later he learned that the song was called Mirjamin laulu II, by the Finish composer Erkki Melartin. It was a very simple song, full of tenderness and compassion, and yet somewhere locked in its depths there pulsed an irrepressible light-heartedness.
From Walking up the Mountain Track, Chapter 19 A Song, pp. 118/119.