From the YouTube Music Video Archives: Lieben, Hassen, from Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss

“I love Richard Strauss. Rosenkavalier and Arabella most of all. Not Wagner. When I was at school in New York, my uncle took me to see Tristan, with Flagstadt. I was bored. But I’ll never forget Lotte Lehmen in the Marshallin. She was making her farewell to singing and to the stage, just as the Marshallin to loving, youth and Octavian. It was incredibly moving—I’ll never forget it … I always dreamt of being a tenor, a Helden-tenor you know, with my voice making the ceiling shake …” Conversations with Walker Percy, p. 247.

Strauss is perhaps most famous for such groundbreaking works as Salome and Elektra—ginormous, dissonant masterpieces that can be fairly tough going for the uninitiated. Beautiful, yes, but terrifying in a Greek Tragedy sort of way. Or even biblical.

But he also composed some amazing lyrical pieces. There’s aria by the Italian tenor in Der Rosenkavalier, and one of my favorites is the Harlequin’s aria from Ariadne.

As Mr Sunyata says in the comments, “In this far too short aria, this man captures perfectly the bizarre combination of satire AND serious music that (I believe) R. Strauss was seeking in this wonderful, wacky opera.” Too wacky to relate all the details of the plot, but a good subtitle is “The Consolations of Opera”.

So, not a Helden-tenor here, but a baritone, and a fine one at that.

Lieben, Hassen, Hoffen, Zagen,
alle Lust und alle Qual,
alles kann ein Herz ertragen
einmal um das andere Mal.

Aber weder Lust noch Schmerzen,
abgestorben auch der Pein,
das ist tödlich deinem Herzen,
und so darfst du mir nicht sein !

Mußt dich aus dem Dunkel heben,
wär’ es auch um neue Qual,
leben mußt du, liebes Leben,
leben noch dies eine Mal!

Loving, hating, hoping, doubting,
all of joy and all of pain,
all these things a heart can bear,
over and over again.

but numbness to joy and sorrow,
pain deadened or hidden away,
these are fatal to the heart,
and I shall not have you that way!

From the darkness you shall rise,
even if to endure more pain,
but you must live your dear life,
Once again, live this time!


  1. That was totally great, thanks. And thanks for the translation. Thank you for you helmsmanship of KorrektivWeekend.

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