Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Music: Das Lied der Trennung (The Song of Parting)

In May of 1787, only three months following Nancy's departure from Vienna to return to London, Mozart composed this Lied based on a text by the German poet, Klamer Eberhard Karl Schmidt (1764-1824). It wasn't difficult at all to discern who Mozart had in mind when he chose this particular text.








God's angels weep
when lovers part,
how can I go on living,
o maid, without you?
A stranger to all joys
henceforth I live to suffer!
And you, and you?
Possibly forever Luisa will forget me!
Possibly forever she will put me out of her mind!

Awake and in my dreams
I will quote Luisa's name;
professing her name
be a service for me;
I will even profess and praise it
when I am with God.
And you, and you?
Possibly forever Luisa will forget me!
Possibly forever she will put me out of her mind!

I cannot forget her,
here, there, everywhere
the burden of love pursues me
by the squeeze of her hands.
I tremble with longing for her,
and find myself forsaken!
And you, and you?
Possibly forever Luisa will forget me!
Possibly forever she will put me out of her mind!

I cannot forget her;
this heart, separated from her,
seems to beg me with sighs,
"My friend, remember me!"
Alas, I will remember you
until they lay me in the grave.
And you, and you?
Possibly forever Luisa will forget me!
Possibly forever she will put me out of her mind!

Oblivion robs within hours
what love bestows within years.
Like the turn of a hand
such is the turn of a heart.
When new courtships
have supplanted me in her heart,
o God, then Luisa will possibly forget me forever.

Alas, remember our parting!
That tearless silence,
that throbbing of the heart
may weigh you down
like a burdening nightmare;
will you think of someone else,
will you forget me some day,
forget God and yourself?

Alas, remember our parting!
This token, bitten amid kisses
onto my mouth
may judge me and you!
With this memento on my lips
I will come in the witching hour,
to be you a warning,
that Luisa forgets me,
that she puts me out of her mind!





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