I had to refresh my memory on the details of the mythology of Lohengrin. He was a knight who went to provide protection to the Princess Elsa when her father died. Lohengrin arrived crossing the river in a boat pulled by a swan. He kept his identity and place of origin a secret and, although he marries the Princess, she is told she can never ask where he came from. Here is a brief synopsis of the tale as told in Wagner's opera:
"In 1848, Richard Wagner, drawing on the contemporary work of Ludwig Lucas, adapted the tale into his popular opera Lohengrin, arguably the work through which Lohengrin's story is best known today. While King Henry the Fowler tries to assemble forces in Brabant to combat the Hungarian invasions, Lohengrin appears on the Scheldt River to defend Princess Elsa from the false accusation of killing her younger brother Gottfried (who turns out to be alive and returns at the end of the opera). According to Wagner, the Grail imbues the Knight of the Swan with mystical powers that can only be maintained if their nature is kept secret; hence the danger of Elsa's question. The most famous piece from Lohengrin is the "Bridal Chorus" ("Here Comes the Bride"), still played at many Western weddings."
Other famous music came to mind as I saw more swans swimming around in the Netherlands. The ballet music of "Swan Lake" by Tchaikovsky started playing in my mind, and also "The Swan" from Saint-Saens from his "Carnival of the Animals." And then of course, being that close to Denmark, I also thought of the "The Ugly Duckling" song sung by Danny Kaye in the Hans Christian Anderson movie.
Swans really are elegant birds. I sure enjoyed seeing them in their natural habitat. I also really enjoyed reviewing the great music that has been written inspired by swans.