The second movement is a scherzo and involves stark contrasts and juxtaposition. One distinct example of this is a strange quotation of the simple Viennese folk tune “Augustin” directly following a climax in the middle of the movement. Augustin is a folk legend involving an alcoholic musician who passes out on his way home from the bars during a great plague in Vienna during the latter 17th c. He is mistaken for dead and thrown into a pit designed for the victims of the plague, but wakes and climbs out of the pit and purportedly composes said melody. This print references the folk tune directly, depicting a rat, a flea, a plague doctor, and the bacterium itself: Yersinia pestis (bubonic plague).

Ach, du lieber Augustin

 © 2020 by Alexandra Huryn. 

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