Home > Uncategorized > Amy Winehouse and the Obscure* 17th Century German Composer

Amy Winehouse and the Obscure* 17th Century German Composer

*Obscure, meaning I had never heard of him. His name was Siegfried Siegmund Staden (1607-1655), and he composed what might be considered the first opera in German. Composed in 1644, Seelewig focuses on the temptations faced by a nymph of the same name (which translates to “eternal soul”). She is pursued by a satyr who tries seducing her with material pleasures. With the help of other allegorically-named characters, who try protecting her from yet other allegorically-named characters, she finds salvation.

The musical and extramusical comparisons to Amy Winehouse come from Olivia Giovetti, a journalist and host of Q2 Music (WXQR 105.9 in New York). A recent posting on her blog The Daily Klang outlines some interesting similarities between Seelewig and Winehouse’s music. Curious to learn more, I asked in the comments section for some further examples. Giovetti provided a very insightful response, which included a listening suggestion that yields intriguing aural insights… that is, if you don’t mind hearing two pieces from very different genres simultaneously. But don’t take my word for it. Read the posting and comments, and listen for yourself.

  1. March 3, 2012 at 12:19

    Ach! Now I’m listening to a portion of the final scene from Salome and “Could’ve Been.” Somebody stop me!

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