Below is an exchange I had recently with Chrigel Glanzmann, the lead singer of Eluveitie, the Swiss folk metal band on whose work
I’m writing I’ve written an essay (comparing it to Charles Gleyre’s “The Romans Going Under the Yoke”).
Hey ….Chrigel from Eluveitie here. Thanks for your message. What an awesome undertaking! I’m really curious about the essay.
Yes of course I know Gleyre’s painting, it’s one of my favorites. smile emoticon
Even though it’s quite romanticizing probably. It was created not too long after the epoch of the Helvetic Republic (1798–1803), where the Helvetians were idealized and romanisiert (Divico got conventionalized as “national hero”, ect).
Nevertheless, really awesome painting.
Don’t hesitate to write if you’d like to discuss the topic. smile emoticon
Nice to talk to you! 🙂 It’s really interesting.
My answers below:
I can’t thank you enough for getting back to me about Charles Gleyre. As I mentioned, I’m writing an essay on Eluveitie and Gleyre. There are some important connections I think. If you’re OK with my asking a few questions, I’d love to hear your thoughts.So, it seems to me that “Divico” pays at least some homage to the painting. When you (as Divico) say, “Like the ancient oak/ standing enthroned/ This old man I have become,” I can’t help but think of the large oak in Les Romains. It’s interesting, because Caesar talks about him as an old man– but it was he who defeated the Romans 50 years earlier, as depicted in the painting.
– the way the Helvetians portrayed themselves (according to ancient historians), ect.: They seem to have been open-minded, yet still stubborn, they seem very proud… and bravery seems to have been something quite important to them.
Anyway: Actually it’s not possible to tell concrete and accurate things on this topic… we just don’t know after all.
Of course, that happens after the slaughter at the Saône, which is the subject of “Meet the Enemy.” Such a great song, so full of fury–and justifiably so. It’s an atrocity how many people died there at Caesar’s hands. A question: what have you read on this, specifically? Did you read Caesar in school? Or maybe there was a favorite teacher who introduced you to it? There aren’t that many songs with ludus latrunculorum mentioned in them!
Besides I’ve read (am constantly reading) scientifical secondary literature.
I guess my real question is this– why do you channel the ancient Helvetians in your music?
In one interview, you said about Helvetios, “It’s sometimes quite shocking to realize how little we learned in the past 2,000 years, because it’s the same crazy things going on, over and over again. So I wouldn’t say the things we’re singing about don’t have anything to do with our everyday lives; I think they actually do.” What crazy things do you mean?
OK, here’s a really nerdy last question. In “Divico,” the Celtic tune in the background is “Haughs o’ Cromdale.” Any particular reason? I have this theory …
I’m sorry to ask so many questions!
It was a pleasure and honor to talk to you!