Ride, ride, ride... From a Weise von Liebe und Tod to a Hexen- und Teufelsfahrt : Goethe and Rilke take us off into very different worlds. While millions of people died in World War II, Rainer Maria Rilke’s text Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke inspired the Swiss composer Frank Martin’s very personal reflection on the war. With great sensuality and expressivity Martin’s music follows Rilke’s epic poem about the tragic fate of a standard bearer – one of the poet’s ancestors ! – in wartime. More than a century earlier Felix Mendelssohn composed his profane cantata Die erste Walpurgisnacht to a ballad by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In this pagan spring ritual to invoke the forces of nature, Mendelssohn combines lively solo parts and powerful choruses with his typical, refined orchestral style and in so doing he may have written his most stirring music.