2nd NE Quadrant\The Approval Matrix: Week of February 4, 2008
Thomas Quasthoff delivered a "chilling" "Erlkönig" on January 19, 2007 at Carnegie Hall.
Thomas Quasthoff (born in Hildesheim, Germany, November 9, 1959) is a German bass-baritone generally regarded as one of the finest singers of his generation. Quasthoff was born with serious birth defects caused by his mother's exposure during pregnancy to the drug thalidomide which was prescribed as an antiemetic to combat her morning sickness. Thomas Quasthoff is unusually short (about four feet tall) due to shortening of the long bones in his legs, and he has phocomelia of the upper extremities with very short or absent long bones and flipper-like appearance of his hands.
"Der Erlkönig" (often called just "Erlkönig") is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It depicts the death of a child assailed by a supernatural being, the "Erlking" (roughly translated as "evil spirit", but see the discussion of the legend below). It was originally composed by Goethe as part of a 1782 ballad opera entitled Die Fischerin. (Wikipedia)