We sang Nänie tonight, a Brahms setting of poem by Schiller.
The poem begins,"Auch das Schöne muß sterben!" Which means "Even the beautiful ones must die!"
Brahms was acquainted with the death of beautiful ones--Robert Schuman, other friends, Schiller himself. The music--why use words to describe it? You have to hear it, feel it lift in sadness, jab with anger, explore the size and weight of Brahms' grief. The gods weep and the goddesses. It is hard to bear--that people cease to be.
But at the end:
Auch ein Klaglied zu sein im Mundder Geliebten, ist herrlich,Roughly,
Denn das Gemeine gebt Klanglos zum Orkus hinab.
Even a lament that is in the mouth of a loved one ist glorious,
Because the common ones go soundless into the abyss.
Remembering, grieving keeps something alive of the beautiful ones who are gone.