When in April 1905 the music publisher A.A. Noske approached Diepenbrock with a proposal to publish several of his songs, requesting the composer to send the manuscripts he felt were most suitable, one of the songs Diepenbrock selected was De klare dag (The Bright Day), which had been written ten years earlier. Subsequently Diepenbrock wrote to van Eeden, asking his permission to publish the text of his sonnet. In his letter (BD IV:356), he also informed him that he had somewhat revised his composition. He did not tell van Eeden explicitly that he had also made some changes to the text. In a letter from a later date, he elucidates the reasons for setting this poem, which at the performance of van Eeden’s comedy Het Sonnet (The Sonnet) had struck him as
one of the first manifestations of modern Dutch poetry, to music. (BD IV:358)
The quatrains of the sonnet depict how a bright and clear day has dispersed the driving clouds of a stormy night; it is calm everywhere and a “sunny silence” hangs over the earth, where only the dripping of raindrops from the trees can be heard. In the tercets van Eden sings the praises of the magical effect of Eudia (good day), who has silenced the storms of the heart. Only the poet’s tears
continue to softly fall.
The vocal part of Diepenbrock’s song is characterised by a large expansion with many upward leaps, starting with ascending fourths on the opening words. The sixth and octave also frequently occur. The piano part has an orchestral character.
After Der Fischer (The Fisherman, RC 6) which also dates from 1884, but was already published the following year, De klare dag is the second song Diepenbrock dedicated to Johan Rogmans (1852-1911), a famous Dutch oratorio singer who was also renowned for his solo performances. While Der Fischer is still dedicated to “Herrn J. Rogmans” (Mr J. Rogmans), by the time The Bright Day was published in 1905, their mutual relationship had obviously become so cordial, that in the dedication Diepenbrock refers to Rogmans as “my friend”.
Eduard Reeser & Ton Braas