The poet of Faunenklage
, Salomon Geßner (1730–1788), was a Swiss painter and poet who specialized in bucolic idylls; his paintings have titles such as Arcadian Landscape
, and his poems include two volumes of idylls after the model of Theocritus. This poem comes from a longer work entitled ‘Der zerbrochene Krug’ in the Idyllen von dem Verfasser des Daphnis
of 1756; here, a sylvan creature laments a broken cup (one keeps Freudian interpretations at bay only with difficulty), bewailing the loss of the stories inspired by the carvings around the rim. Zeus himself, this to a patch of especially lush harmonies, drank from it and never saw one lovelier, the singer declares mournfully.
from notes by Susan Youens © 2009