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Music: Symphony no. 3 “The Infant Minstrel and his Peculiar Menagerie”
“Moonrider” features a celestial-headed human figure riding a menacing creature reminiscent of a panther, its mouth defined by sharp shark-like teeth. Its body’s texture resembles a lunar landscape with craters, adding to its mystique. This sculpture’s creation was contemporaneous with Auerbach’s opera “Gogol,” where the moon is a character, imbuing “Moonrider” with additional layers of symbolic meaning.
In Auerbach’s life, “Moonrider” has taken on a role akin to a protective gargoyle. Positioned above her bed for many years, it served as a silent guardian, reflecting the themes of protection found in her children’s poem, which inspired her Symphony No. 3, “The Infant Minstrel and His Peculiar Menagerie”:
Moon Rider, Moon Rider, help me tonight!
My thoughts are scattered from troubles of heart.
Take me along on your flight through the dark
Away from my thoughts and their howling bark!
Moon Rider answers: “Come along!
Find the silence that is your own –
It is your safety, your true voice, your home.
Do not despair: You are never alone.
In the manner of the gargoyles adorning Gothic cathedrals, “Moonrider” emerges as a ferocious guardian, a vigilant sentinel at the entrance to the subconscious. It attests to Auerbach’s skill in blending visual art, literary motifs, and musical composition into a cohesive and evocative expression of creativity and imagination. It embodies the convergence of the mythical and the real, a creative quest that encourages us to probe our connection with the obscure, the mystical, and the unknown.
“Moon Rider” stands as a multifaceted symbol at the intersection of Auerbach’s creative pursuits, marking itself as more than a sculpture; it’s a complex narrative and a bridge between the seen and the unseen, the conscious and the subconscious.