Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Anne Sofie von Otter sings "Marietta's song"

Achingly beautiful:

"Glück, das mir verblieb" from Die tote Stadt (E. W. Korngold)
Recorded live at the Théâtre Musical De Paris - Châtelet, 2000
Here are the lyrics, in German and English:
Glück, das mir verblieb,
rück zu mir, mein treues Lieb.
Abend sinkt im Hag
bist mir Licht und Tag.
Bange pochet Herz an Herz
Hoffnung schwingt sich himmelwärts.

Wie wahr, ein traurig Lied.
Das Lied vom treuen Lieb,
das sterben muss.
Ich kenne das Lied.
Ich hört es oft in jungen,
in schöneren Tagen.
Es hat noch eine Strophe --
weiß ich sie noch?

Naht auch Sorge trüb,
rück zu mir, mein treues Lieb.
Neig dein blaß Gesicht
Sterben trennt uns nicht.
Mußt du einmal von mir gehn,
glaub, es gibt ein Auferstehn.

Happiness that has stayed with me,
move up close beside me, my true love.
In the grove evening is waning,
yet you are my light and day.
One heart beats uneasily against the other,
[while] hope soars heavenward.

How true, a mournful song.
The song of the true love
bound to die.
I know this song.
I often heard it sung
in happier days of yore.
There is yet another stanza -
have I still got it in mind?

Though dismal sorrow is drawing nigh,
move up close beside me, my true love.
Turn your wan face to me
death will not part us.
When the hour of death comes one day,
believe that you will rise again.

"Glück das mir verblieb" (German for My happiness that remained) is an aria from the opera Die tote Stadt by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. It is written for aspinto soprano. The aria appears in act 1, approx. 25 minutes into the opera.

The 'dead city' in question is Bruges, identified in the opera with Marie, the dead wife of Paul. At the start of act 1, Paul confides in a friend the extraordinary news that he has seen Marie, or her double, in the town and that he has invited her to the house. She arrives, and Paul addresses her as Marie, but she corrects him: she is Marietta, a dancer from Lille. He is enchanted by her, especially when she accepts his request for a song, "Glück das mir verblieb". The lyric tells of the joy of love, but there is a sadness in it also because its theme is the transitoriness of life. Their voices combine in the verse which extols the power of love to remain constant in a fleeting world.[1]

HT RSM, who continually points to the most exquisite music.

(Perhaps German was originally a sung language....?)

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