Strauss Opus 27 Translations

Vier Lieder, opus 27

by Richard Georg Strauss (1864 – 1949)

1. Ruhe, meine Seele!

Nicht ein Lüftchen
Regt sich leise,
Sanft entschlummert
Ruht der Hain;
Durch der Blätter
Dunkle Hülle
Stiehlt sich lichter
Sonnenschein.
Ruhe, ruhe,
Meine Seele,
Deine Stürme
Gingen wild,
Hast getobt und
Hast gezittert,
Wie die Brandung,
Wenn sie schwillt.
Diese Zeiten
Sind gewaltig,
Bringen Herz
Und Hirn in Not —
Ruhe, ruhe,
Meine Seele,
Und vergiß,
Was dich bedroht!

1. Rest, my soul!

Not a breeze
is stirring lightly,
the wood lies
slumbering gently;
through the dark
cover of leaves
steals bright
sunshine.
Rest, rest,
my soul,
your storms
have gone wild,
have raged
and trembled
like the surf
when it breaks.
These times
are powerful,
bringing torment
to heart and mind;
rest, rest,
my soul,
and forget
what is threatening you!

Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
from the LiederNet Archive — https://www.lieder.net/

2. Cäcilie

Wenn du es wüßtest,
Was träumen heißt von brennenden Küssen,
Von Wandern und Ruhen mit der Geliebten,
Aug in Auge,
Und kosend und plaudernd,
Wenn du es wüßtest,
Du neigtest dein Herz!

Wenn du es wüßtest,
Was bangen heißt in einsamen Nächten,
Umschauert vom Sturm, da niemand tröstet
Milden Mundes die kampfmüde Seele,
Wenn du es wüßtest,
Du [kämst]1 zu mir.

Wenn du es wüßtest,
Was leben heißt, umhaucht von der Gottheit
Weltschaffendem Atem,
Zu schweben empor, lichtgetragen,
Zu seligen [Höhen],
Wenn du es wüßtest,
Du lebtest mit mir!

2. Cecily

If you only knew
what it’s like to dream of burning kisses,
of wandering and resting with one’s beloved,
eye turned to eye,
and cuddling and chatting –
if you only knew,
you would incline your heart to me!

If you only knew
what it’s like to feel dread on lonely nights,
surrounded by a raging storm, while no one comforts
with a mild voice your struggle-weary soul –
if you only knew,
you would come to me.

If you only knew
what it’s like to live, surrounded by God’s
world-creating breath,
to float up, carried by the light,
to blessed heights –
if you only knew,
then you would live with me!

Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
from the LiederNet Archive — https://www.lieder.net/

 

3. Heimliche Aufforderung

Auf, hebe die funkelnde Schale empor zum Mund,
Und trinke beim Freudenmahle dein Herz gesund.
Und wenn du sie hebst, so winke mir heimlich zu,
Dann lächle ich und dann trinke ich still wie du…

Und still gleich mir betrachte um uns das Heer
Der trunknen [Schwätzer] — verachte sie nicht zu sehr.
Nein, hebe die blinkende Schale, gefüllt mit Wein,
Und laß beim lärmenden Mahle sie glücklich sein.

Doch hast du das Mahl genossen, den Durst gestillt,
Dann verlasse der lauten Genossen festfreudiges Bild,
Und wandle hinaus in den Garten zum Rosenstrauch,
Dort will ich dich dann erwarten nach altem Brauch,

Und will an die Brust dir sinken, eh du’s [erhofft],
Und deine Küsse trinken, wie ehmals oft,
Und flechten in deine Haare der Rose Pracht.
O [komme], du wunderbare, ersehnte Nacht!

3. Secret invitation

Up, raise the sparkling cup to your lips,
And drink your heart’s fill at the joyous feast.
And when you raise it, so wink secretly at me,
Then I’ll smile and drink quietly, as you…

And quietly as I, look around at the crowd
Of drunken revelers — don’t think too ill of them.
No, lift the twinkling cup, filled with wine,
And let them be happy at the noisy meal.

But when you’ve savored the meal, your thirst quenched,
Then quit the loud gathering’s joyful fest,
And wander out into the garden, to the rosebush,
There shall I await you, as often of old.

And ere you know it shall I sink upon your breast,
And drink your kisses, as so often before,
And twine the rose’s splendour into your hair.
Oh, come, you wondrous, longed-for night!
Authorship:

Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Lawrence Snyder and Rebecca Plack

 

4. Morgen!

Und morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen,
Und auf dem Wege, den ich gehen werde,
Wird uns, die Glücklichen, sie wieder einen
Inmitten dieser [sonne-athmenden]1 Erde . . .

Und zu dem Strand, dem weiten, wogenblauen,
Werden wir still und langsam niedersteigen,
Stumm werden wir uns in die Augen schauen,
Und auf uns sinkt des Glückes stummes Schweigen . . .

4. Tomorrow

And tomorrow the sun will shine again,
and on the path I will take,
it will unite us again, we happy ones,
upon this sun-breathing earth…

And to the shore, the wide shore with blue waves,
we will descend quietly and slowly;
we will look mutely into each other’s eyes
and the silence of happiness will settle upon us.

Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
from the LiederNet Archive — https://www.lieder.net/

 

Les Préludes

Liszt himself declared, after becoming an abbé in the Catholic Church, “The best of me is in my religious music.” However, the composer’s judgment has not coincided with posterity’s, which has set the seal of approval on Liszt’s piano concertos and many of his solo piano pieces, and on a select few of his orchestral works. Les préludes is one of these, being the most famous of his 12 symphonic poems. Liszt had a very strong conviction on the subject of program music, namely, that a given story is a symbol of an idea, and that the expounding of the inherent philosophical and humanistic elements of the idea in pure lyricism should be the goal.

In theory, and most often in practice, Liszt, of all the 19th-century composers of program music, was closer to realizing the sense of Beethoven’s preface to his “Pastoral” Symphony: “More the expression of sentiment than painting.” Of course, Liszt, like Beethoven, with his drenchingly graphic rain and thunderstorm, acceded to certain specific picturesque temptations. But essentially the Lisztian imagery is poetically suggestive rather than concretely descriptive, and it was arrived at in original musical ways that worked a profound influence on all those, including Wagner, prepared to accept a new order.

Liszt’s structural means for attaining his goal was the devising of a free form in which a few basic themes undergo continuous transformations of melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, dynamics, or tempo (any one, or several, or all of these simultaneously). Thus, for example, a Lisztian love theme can emerge as a blazing march, or vice-versa. The first-mentioned is precisely what happens in Les préludes. In the climactic section, the pair of lyric themes labeled by Liszt “the enchanted dawn of every life” and containing the work’s pervading three-note motif, are transformed into surging battle calls.

Les préludes was composed in 1854 and to it was appended a program note written by Liszt, indicating that the piece is to be considered a musical depiction of a poem by Alphonse de Lamartine.

“What is our life but a series of preludes to that unknown song whose first solemn note is tolled by death? The enchanted dawn of every life is love. But where is the destiny on whose first delicious joys some storm does not break?… And what soul thus cruelly bruised, when the tempest rolls away, seeks not to rest its memories in the pleasant calm of pastoral life? Yet man does not long permit himself to taste the kindly quiet that first attracted him to nature’s lap. For when the trumpet sounds he hastens to danger’s post, that in the struggle he may once more regain full knowledge of himself and his strength.”

— Orrin Howard

Music Talk – And Tomorrow

We’re live from the travel section of McNally Robinson Booksellers for Music Talk from McNally!

The SSO’s Mark Turner is joined by Nicolas Ellis who leads the SSO in what promises to be a stunning performance of Stravinsky’s Firebird on May 6, 2023. Turner and Ellis will also chat about the other music on the program including Liszt’s Les Préludes, Tailleferre’s Petite Suite pour Orchestre, and Strauss’ Four Lieder featuring the stunning voice of soprano Danika Lorèn.

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Taking Stock

It is a bit hard to believe that this coming fall marks my 10th season with the SSO. When I first took on this role, I took to our blog to share my vision for the future. But somewhere along the way I ran out of time to blog…a good problem to have because it was the result of incredible organizational growth. 

As I’ve watched our orchestra and our organization grow this season, I wanted to take time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished.

Since its launch, we’ve had more than thirty-five million minutes of viewing on the ConcertStream.tv platform. Read that again. 35 million minutes of viewing. Hundreds of thousands of people from 53 countries. From online subscribers to folks who watch our free content, what we’ve been able to do is share our music with more people. Unprecedented accessibility to the SSO has changed us forever.

This season, we’ve been the lucky ones to experience some of the most sensational performances Saskatoon has ever enjoyed. Whether you danced the night away at the Music of ABBA, laughed with the Muppets, were filled with joy at Handel’s Messiah, or had your breath taken away by Jan Lisiecki, I know you’ll agree that this season has felt like a golden age. 

The crowds have been incredible. Multiple sell-out concerts and full houses have left us feeling the love! Nothing beats the thrill of hearing the roar of the crowd. It’s been a season celebrating the exceptional talent that Saskatoon has to offer. With artistic partners like Ryan Davis and Danika Lorèn and performances with the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, the SSO Chorus, the Greystone Singers, and Aurora Voce…those have been special moments that show this organization and community at its best. 

Then there’s been the profound performances from your SSO musicians. The orchestra, time and time again this season, have stepped up and shown how much a symphony can mean to its community. Whether lifting up homegrown talent, helping toddlers experience the joy of music, or performing alongside a legitimate musical superstar, the musicians of your orchestra have made us all proud.

It goes without saying that an orchestra needs its audience, I actually believe that the reverse is more true. The audience needs its orchestra. What an exciting thing to be able to go to a concert (or watch it on your phone!) and experience the thrill of an orchestra in full flight. It makes our community a better place to call home.

The multiplier effect of an orchestra is astonishing. Our musicians teach, mentor, and inspire students. Those students go on to be people who understand hard work, goal setting, perseverance, and the joy of complex music. The musicians on stage have influenced the lives of countless people across our province.

Our concerts change minds, burst with emotions and imagination, and lift us up out of day-to-day life.
From a child hearing the violin for the first time, to students in schools learning about the importance of living composers, to long-time subscribers hearing new sounds and falling in love with music all over again – the outcome is remarkable.

Orchestras are living, breathing, vital artistic beings that have an exponential impact in their communities. I cannot imagine Saskatoon, and indeed Saskatchewan, without their orchestras. 

This season isn’t without its challenges. The prairies are experiencing a crippling arts funding crisis. The value of music is shrinking in our education system, as it’s easy to ignore the continually growing body of evidence that musical literacy is crucial to a complete education and a student’s success. All arts organizations are feeling the deep effects and challenges of inflation. It’s hard work, and it’s worth it.

The SSO has come a long way – we’re not done. We’re focused on a robust future for music in Saskatoon, one that is filled with passion, innovation, and an ambitious plan for musical opportunities and accessibility. 

In the weeks ahead we have a fundraising campaign to finish. Our Opus 100: Share in the Future campaign crossed its first matching goal in December, and then the generosity of the Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation shone through and extended our matching to a goal of $500,000. To date, we’ve raised over $350,000 – giving us six more weeks to raise another $150,000 to meet our goal. 

I’ll come back to blogging to share my passion for the SSO, because it’s important for us to take stock of how much the SSO means and remind you how fiercely proud we should be.

See you at the symphony – soon,
Mark Turner
CEO and Creative Producer

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Join us at the Hub

The concert ends, you exit TCU Place, and you’re still brimming with excitement after such a fabulous evening. Where to next?

Cross the street and join us over at the Hub at Holiday Inn!

It’s the perfect place to grab a post-concert drink, and snack, alongside fellow SSO patrons, musicians, and the feature guest artists.

We have complimentary appetizers on a first come first-serve basis!

 

What’s happening at the Bassment

The Bassment is one of Canada’s premier jazz clubs and provides musicians of all skill levels a venue to showcase their talents in front of a live audience while accessing a variety of professional, concert-grade instruments. The club offers an intimate, personal concert space with a world-class stage for local, national, and international artists.

Here’s a sample of what’s happening next at The Bassment

Stephen Fearing
March 22, 2023

 

SONGWRITER SERIES • DOORS @ 6:30PM • SHOW @ 7:30PM

www.stephenfearing.ca

Stephen Fearing’s music is a mesmerizing blend of roots, folk, and pop. Co-founder of Canadian roots-rock supergroup Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, he is a beguiling teller of tales and a master guitarist who has delighted audiences throughout North America, the UK, and Europe. A multi-JUNO and Canadian Folk Music award winner, Stephen has collaborated with Bruce Cockburn, Rosanne Cash, Richard Thompson, Sarah McLachlan, Margo Timmins, Keb’ Mo’, and Suzie Vinnick.

Sponsored David’s Distinctive Men’s Apparel

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The Slocan Ramblers
March 27, 2023

BLUEGRASS SERIES • DOORS @ 6:30PM • RUSH SEATING

www.slocanramblers.com

The reigning champions of Canadian bluegrass, the Slocan Ramblers are back showcasing their unique blend of bluegrass, old-time, and folk. The band’s set list is marked by thoughtful songwriting, lightning fast-instrumentals, and sawdust-thick vocals.

This show will feature the Ramblers at the top of their game playing selections from their three previous releases and their latest album, Up the Hill and Through the Fog. Say hello to your new favourite band!

Sponsored by Northern Lights Bluegrass & Old Tyme Music Society

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Erin Propp and Larry Roy
April 1, 2023

JAZZ SINGER SERIES • DOORS @ 6:30PM • SHOW @ 7:30PM

www.erinpropp.com

https://erinpropplarryroy.bandcamp.com/album/we-want-all-the-same-things

Erin Propp (vocals) and Larry Roy (guitar) reach into the everyday and blur the edges, creating works that are deeply personal and achingly relatable. Erin and Larry’s musical abilities are tools of exacting expression, expertly honed. Their debut stunner, Courage, My Love, won Best Jazz Album of the Year at the 2013 Western Canadian Music Awards and a 2014 JUNO nomination for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. Touring in support of their latest recording, We Want All The Same Things, Erin and Larry will be joined by Mark DeJong (sax) and Kodi Hutchinson (bass).

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Florian Hoefner Trio
April 22, 2023

PIANO SERIES • DOORS @ 6:30PM • SHOW @ 7:30PM

https://florian-hoefner.com

Born and raised in Germany, trained in New York, and now based in St. John’s, JUNO-nominated jazz pianist and composer Florian Hoefner draws from a myriad of influences that cumulate in his unique brand of modern jazz. His Canadian trio featuring Andrew Downing (bass) and Nick Fraser (drums) released its initial album, First Spring, in 2019. Featuring Florian’s arrangements of folk tunes from around the world, the album won Instrumental Recording of the Year and Jazz Recording of the Year at the 2020 East Coast Music Awards. The trio is touring Canada to promote its second release, Desert Bloom.

Sponsored David’s Distinctive Men’s Apparel

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Don Vappie & Jazz Créole
May 13, 2023

JAZZ TRAVELLERS SERIES • DOORS @ 6:30PM • SHOW @ 7:30PM • RUSH SEATING

www.stevedawson.ca

An award-winning Créole banjoist/vocalist, Don Vappie is the living embodiment of 300 years of the melting pot that is New Orleans music. Best known as the banjoist in Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz and the Lincoln Centre Orchestra, Don is also recognized for his nurturing approach to Créole culture and its preservation. Widely considered one of the best banjoists in the history of New Orleans, he’s kept alive the tradition of his predecessor Danny Barker and has been honoured with awards from Créole society for preserving this cultural treasure.

Jazz Créole combines all genres of New Orleans music, from traditional to modern-day funk, with the classic tradition of a string band. The group features three musicians from the UK band the Dime Notes: David Horniblow (clarinet), Dave Kelbie (guitar), and Tom Wheatley (bass). Don Vappie has received numerous acclamations from other musicians, including one from Iggy Pop: “He can start the party with his banjo. He sure can!”

Sponsored by David’s Distinctive Men’s Apparel

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Stravinsky’s Firebird 1919

In 1910, Stravinsky premiered The Firebird ballet with the Ballet Russe, and it became an international success. The new collaboration between Sergei Diaghilev, Stravinsky, and the brilliant dancer Nijinsky brought together what must be considered the most extraordinary minds in ballet history.

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was born in 1882 in Russia, became a French citizen by 1934, and then a naturalized American in 1945. He died in New York in 1971. His early musical training was inconsequential (though his father was a respected Russian Basso) and thus he studied law. It was not until he joined with the great Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov that Stravinsky’s musical talents became ignited. Impresario Sergei Diaghilev heard Stravinsky’s music in 1908, and with continued encouragement Stravinsky wrote his first full length orchestral work, The Firebird, which made him famous and provided the genesis for two more ballets, Petrouchka and The Rite of Spring.

History recalls these first seasons of remarkable performances of the Ballet Russe as “Everything that could strike the imagination, intoxicate, enchant, and win one over seemed to have been assembled on that stage …”.

Stravinsky was asked to write the music to this folk tale just months before its premiere. Previously it had been handed to the Russian composer Liadov (one of the Mighty Handful of Russian composers), but he procrastinated. Thus 27 year-old Stravinsky, unknown outside of Russia, was asked. His Firebird is considered one of his masterpieces.

The Firebird illustrates a popular Russian folk tale, summarized below:

(Introduction) The czar’s son, Prince Ivan, has an unexpected meeting with “a fabulous bird with plumage of fire” during a hunting excursion. In exchange for not being hunted down by Ivan, the fabulous Firebird bargains her freedom by giving Ivan a magic feather (The Firebird and Her Dance). Later, Ivan chances upon an enchanted castle with a courtyard full of lovely maidens (Round Dance of the Princesses). They warn Ivan of the evil Kastchei in the castle who, for his own amusement, turns travelers into stone. Ivan, undaunted, enters the castle, and is faced by the evil Kastchei. The magic feather shields him from harm, and the Firebird appears, sending Kastchei and his ogres into a mad dance (Infernal Dance of King Kastchei). The evil ones are left exhausted and eventually destroyed by the Firebird (Berceuse). Kastchei’s victims are freed from their stone spells, and Ivan wins the hand of a lovely Princess (Finale)