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"Es sang vor langen Jahren" was written in 1984 for the composer and theorist Diether de la Motte (1928–2010). The interweaving of the violin and viola and pervasive rocking rhythm suggest the tedium of the pining lover who sings of spinning “bright, clean threads.” The plangent minor melody in a sparse musical landscape evokes both the loneliness and nostalgia in the text by Clemens Brentano (1778–1842).