In Hölderlin's texts there is a lot of talk about "singing" and terms such as "ode" or "hymn" refer to texts that are supposed to be sung. Many of Hölderlin's texts have been set to music (some, like "Half of Life", multiple times) or have given rise to music. The concept of my settings is an attempt to set Hölderlin's texts to music in a singer-songwriter form to the guitar using simple accompaniment schemes. The selection of the texts does not follow any theoretical considerations. Rather, they are texts that have, so to speak, spoken to me over the years and asked to be set to music. However, Hölderlin's work is characterized by texts that are often based on a long creative process that is repeated again and again. When making my selection, I used the Frankfurt Hölderlin edition, which not only reproduces the historical spelling, but also makes the poet's creative process visible in a special way. Hölderlin was very musical, playing piano and flute and singing to his own piano accompaniment. However, it is not known that he actually sang his own texts (“songs”). Whether he sang to the strings (like the first-person narrator of Hyperion) is disputed; the only evidence for this can be found in his first biographer, Wilhelm Waiblinger. On the other hand, singing to the mandolin was a common practice in bourgeois circles around the turn of the century 1800. Setting beautiful texts to music has been a meditative exercise for me for many years. The settings presented here were mostly created in the years 2000-2007 and have been fundamentally edited since 2017, not least in view of the upcoming anniversary year 2020. Going public with such a project, of course, needed encouragement. I would like to thank Johann Jacob Nissen in particular for his constant encouragement in this second phase, without whom this project would not have taken shape. I would like to thank Patrick Dadaczynski for his kind patience during the recordings, Leoni Marie Hübner for persistently asserting her competence in graphic design.
1. The ambition. 1788. 2. To the Fates. 3. Diotima. 4. Empedocles. 5. To the wise advisers. 6. Gods once walked... 7. To Diotima. 8. Leisure. 9. CV. 10. Tears. 11. Hyperion's Destiny Song 12th half of life