Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Le Colibri (The HummingBird)

Le vert colibri,        le roi des collines,
The Green Humming Bird the king of the hills
Voyant la rosée et le soleil clair,
see    the dew and  the sun  clear
Luire dans son nid tissé d'herbes fines,
glow  in   its nest woven herbal  fine
Comme un frais rayon s'échappe dans l'air.
like   a  fresh ray   escape   into the air
Il se hâte et vole aux sources voisines,
it  hasten and fly to  source  neighbours

Où les    bambous font le bruit de la mer,
where the bamboos are the noise of the sea
Où l'açoka rouge aux odeurs divines
where Asoka red  of   smell  divine
S'ouvre et porte au coeur un humide éclair.
it open and door of heart a  humid  flash 
Vers la fleur dorée,  il descend,    se pose,
to   the flower golden the descend , torises
Et boit tant d'amour dans la coupe rose,
and drink much love  on   the cut rose
Qu'il meurt, ne sachant s'il l'a pu tarir! 
it     die   not  knowing  it could  dry
Sur ta lèvre pure, ô ma bien-aimée,
on  his lips  pur  o my beloved
Telle aussi mon âme eut voulu mourir,
this  also  my soul  had wanted die
Du premier baiser qui l'a parfumée.
you first  kiss   that  a perfume

(English Translation by Peter Low)
The hummingbird, the green prince of the heights,
feeling the dew and seeing the sun's clear light
shining into his nest of woven grass,
shoots up in the air like a gleaming dart.

Hurriedly he flies to the nearby marsh
where the waves of bamboo rustle and bend,
and the red hibiscus with the heavenly scent
opens to show its moist and glistening heart.

Down to the flower he flies, alights from above,
and from the rosy cup drinks so much love
that he dies, not knowing if he could drink it dry.

Even so, my darling, on your pure lips
my soul and senses would have wished to die
on contact with that first full-fragrant kiss.

Le Charme by Chausson

Word-to-Word translations
Quand ton sourire me surprit,
when  your smile  me surprise
Je sentis frémir tout mon être,
I   felt  shudder all my being
Mais ce qui domptait mon esprit,
but  what   tamed    my  mind
Je ne pus d'abord le connaître.
I  dont    at first   recognize
Quand ton regard tomba sur moi,
when  your look   fell on me
Je sentis mon âme se fondre,
I   felt   my soul   melt

Mais ce que serait cet émoi,
but   what  would  the  emotion
Je ne pus d'abord en répondre.
I  not    at first   answer
Ce qui me vainquit à jamais, 
the    me vanished   forever
Ce fut un plus douloureux charme;
it was a   more  sad       charme
Et je n'ai su que je t'aimais,
and i  not    that  I love you
Qu'en voyant ta première larme.
what  seeing your first   tears

(English translation by Thomas A. Gregg)
 When your smile surprised me,
 I felt a shudder through my entire being,
 But what tamed my spirit,
 At first I did not recognize.
 When your glance fell on me,
 I felt my soul melt,
 But what that emotion was,
 At first I could not answer it.
 What conquered me forever,
 That was a charm more sad,
 And I did not know that I loved you,
 Until I saw your first tear.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Suleika by Mendelssohn

Text-to text Translation
Ach, um deine feuchten Schwingen,
oh,    to  your  moist         wing

West, wie sehr ich dich beneide:
West,  as highly  I  you envy

Denn      du     kannst ihm Kunde bringen
beacuase you can         it costumer bring

Was ich in der Trennung leide!
what I    in the  distinction suffer

Die Bewegung deiner Flügel
the movement      your     wings

Weckt im Busen stilles Sehnen;
wake   in breast   silent longing

Blumen, [Auen]1, Wald und Hügel
flower   flood      forest   and hills

Stehn bei deinem Hauch in Tränen.
stand with your    touch    in tears

Doch dein mildes sanftes Wehen
yet    your   mild   gentle  breeze

Kühlt die wunden Augenlider;
cools  the  sore      eyelied

Ach, für Leid         müßt' ich vergehen,
oh     for suffering  must I      pass

Hofft' ich nicht zu sehn ihn wieder.
hope   i  not     to  see  it  again

Eile denn zu meinem Lieben,
hurry then to my      love

Spreche sanft zu seinem Herzen;
speak    gently to his       heart

Doch vermeid' ihn zu betrüben
but      prevent  it   to afflict

Und verbirg ihm meine Schmerzen. 
and   hide     it    my     pain

Sag' ihm, aber sag's bescheiden:
say him    but    tell   modest

Seine Liebe sei mein Leben,
its      love   was my life

Freudiges Gefühl von beiden
joyous     feeling   from two

Wird mir seine Nähe geben.
its    me    its close      give

English Translation
Ah, your wings, so moist and lovely --
West wind, how those wings I envy --
You can bring my lover tidings --
How, so distant, now, I suffer --

How your wings in gentle movement-
In my breast awaken longings --
Flowers, meadows, hills and forests --
Stand beneath teardrops of your soft breath.

Yet your mild and balmy blowing
Cools my eyelids' painful aching --
Oh, for sorrow I would die --
When I could not hope to see his face.

Hurry, now to my beloved --
Speaking softly to his heart, (oh,)
Careful never to distress him --
Hiding from him all my torment.

Modestly and kindly tell him
That his love is my survival --
Such a joy his closeness brings me --
Fills my life with precious goodness...


Friday, November 30, 2012

Suleika D. 720 (Op. 14/1)

Composer: Franz Peter Schubert 
Poet: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
 Questions like "What is Suleika?"
or "What does Suleika mean?" might
comes into mind. Suleika is a poem which is taken from 
Goethe's collection ' Book of Suleika'. It is intersting
to found that Goethes has interest in the East, Persia
and Muslim. It is not hard to believe that Goethe writes 
about one character that is related to one of the follower of Muslim
Suleika might come from the name of 
a wife of the King during the time of Joseph, whom she 
admires for his charming appearance.  While Goethe was
working on the poem, he gets very close to Marianne von Willemer.
It inspires him to wrote the affection from Marianne just as 
how Suleika admires Joseph. 

In Schubert setting, it started off with few 
chromatic acsendings semiquavers, 
as if the rolling of  the wind or a motion and hence the first line goes-
wondering what does the motions means.

This lied is in a modified-strophic form 
rather than through composed,as 
there are repitions of the same tune at the 
begining and the end with different verses.  
Albeit there are changes of mode in between stanzas, 
first and third in minor,
second and fourth in major, the overall idea are
 all about sceneries, the wind 
playing with the dust up to the clouds, resulting 
the swaying of leaves, and cooling 
the earth and hot cheeks. 
In each stanza, the melody interchanges with 
agitated and stillness although the 
piano accompanient are still the same, rolling 
of broken chords in semiquaver. The vocal 
line goes smooth and still in longer value in the 
middle of the songs, where she heard the wishper
of wind who carries the greetings from friends, 
as though she is receiving the thousand 
of kisses. 
Music changes into totally different pace after
 a long passage and a climax when 
she finally found her beloved. The longing of
 love is shown by the dominant pedal
point and chromatic chords, moving away 
from tonic, as though the love is eternal. It shows 
continuity, not until the last chord at the end, 
depicting the satisfaction and contentment 
of the love sweet breath that could only be 
learnt by the mouth of his beloved. 
Was bedeutet die Bewegung?
what means   the movement 
Bringt der Ost mir frohe Kunde? 
bring  the east me merry  news
Seiner Schwingen frische Regung 
his     swing    fresh   movement  
Kühlt des Herzens tiefe Wunde.  
cools  of  heart depth wound 
Kosend      spielt er mit dem  Staube, 
carresingly plays her with the dust
Jagt ihn auf in leichten Wölkchen, 
chase it on  in light    clouds
Treibt zur sichern Rebenlaube 
drives to   secure vine leaves
Der Insekten frohes Völkchen. 
the insect    merry folk
Lindert sanft der Sonne Glühen,  
ease    gently the sun  glow
Kühlt auch mir die heißen Wangen, 
cool  also me the  hot cheeks
Küßt die Reben noch im Fliehen, 
Kiss the vine more  in escape
Die auf Feld  und Hügel prangen. 
the of  field and hills resplendent 
Und mir bringt sein leises Flüstern 
and me  bring  them faint  whisper 
Von dem Freunde tausend Grüße; 
from the friend thousand greets 
Eh' noch diese Hügel düstern, 
eh  more  this hills gloomy 
Grüßen mich wohl    tausend Küsse. 
Greets my  probably thousand kiss 
Und so kannst du weiter ziehen! 
and so can   you further move 
Diene Freunden und  Betrübten. 
the   friend  and    afflicted
Dort   wo   hohe Mauern glühen, 
there where high build  glow 
Dort find' ich bald den Vielgeliebten. 
there find me  soon the belove
Ach, die wahre Herzenskunde, 
Ah   the  true   heart 
Liebeshauch, erfrischtes Leben 
Love breath   refreshing  life
Wird mir nur aus seinem Munde, 
is   me only from his    mouth 
Kann mir nur sein Athem geben.
can  me  only his breath give 
(English translation by Richard Morris)
What does the motion mean?
Does the East wind bring glad tidings?
The refreshing movement of its wings
Chills the heart's deep wound.

It plays gently with the dust,
Chasing it into light clouds.
And drives the happy insect people
to the security of the vine-leaves.

It softly tempers the sun's incandescence,
and chills my hot cheeks,
As it flees it kisses the vines
which are prominent on the fields and hills

And its soft whispering brings me
A thousand greetings from my friend
Before these hills dim,
I will be greeted by a thousand kisses.

So as you go on your way
And serve friends and the saddened.
There where high walls glow,
I shall soon find my dearly beloved.

Oh, the true message of his heart,
Loves-breath, refreshing life
Comes only from his mouth,
Can be given to me only by his breath.
Resplendant -
 having a very bright or splendid appearance
to produce a continuous light and sometimes heat

If a problem or illness afflicts a person or thing, they suffer from it
any type of plant which climbs or grows along the ground and 
which has woody twisting stems 

Poems of Goethe

WHAT is by this stir reveal'd?
Doth the East glad tidings bring?
For my heart's deep wounds are heal'd

By his mild and cooling wing.

He the dust with sports doth meet,
And in gentle cloudlets chase;
To the vineleaf's safe retreat

Drives the insects' happy race,

Cools these burning cheeks of mine,
Checks the sun's fierce glow Adam,
Kisses, as he flies, the vine,

Flaunting over hill and plain.

And his whispers soft convey
Thousand greetings from my friend;
Ere these hills own night's dark sway,

Kisses greet me, without end.

Thus canst thou still onward go,
Serving friend and mourner too!

There, where lofty ramparts glow,
Soon the loved one shall I view.

Ah, what makes the heart's truth known,--
Love's sweet breath,--a newborn life,--
Learn I from his mouth alone,

In his breath alone is rife!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bonjour Suzon! (Goodmorning, Sussie!)

Composer:Léo Delibes (1836-1891)

Poet:  Louis Charles Alfred de Musset (1810-1857) ,
 "Chanson: Bonjour Suzon", from Poésies posthumes

Date of composition:1861-1863

Recommended Recording by Victoria de Los Angeles


A playful song with simple poem, "Bonjour Suzon!" portrays the simple love
of a lover coming back  to see his beloved Sussie. A great trip he had where
he writes, loves and enjoys the tour to Italy, but what matter most is the
reunion of him and Sussie after all.

Modulations occurs in the songs to depict the changes of
emotions, making it a contrast upon the simple melody. It shows
the transformation of narrator's emotions while he was singing and awaiting
to see his love, pleading, asking, wondering, questioning etc.

As Sussie replied " I wish not yet"
whether or not they meet each other at the end,
is not been told. The music still ended
as cheerful as the beginning, neither upset, nor satisfaction of relieve. 

Bonjour     Suzon, ma fleur des bois!
Goodmorning Sussie my flower the wood
Es-tu toujours la plus  jolie?  
are you always the more pretty 
Je reviens, tel que  tu me vois,  
I  back    such that you me look 
D'un grand voyage en Italie,  
a     big trip    from itlay
Du paradis j'ai fait le tour; 
of paradise i   been the tour  
J'ai fait des vers, j'ai fait l'amour. 
i    been  the to   i    been  love

Mais que t'importe? 
but  the important
Je passe devant ta  maison; 
i  pass  before your house
Ouvre ta  porte. 
open  your door
Bonjour, Suzon! 
goodmorning   Sussie 
Je t'ai vue au temps des lilas. 
I  've  view of time the lilac
Ton coeur joyeux venait d'éclore. 
your hear joy    had    hatching
Et tu disais: "je ne veux pas, 
and you said   i  not want not
Je ne veux pas qu'on m'aime encore." 
i  not want not that love   yet 
Qu'as-tu fait depuis mon départ? 
that you  been  since  my departure
Qui part  trop tôt   tard revient trop tard. 
thatleave too early late back    too late. 

Mais que m'importe? 
but the important
Je passe devant ta maison; 
i   pass before  your house
Ouvre ta porte. 
open your door
Bonjour, Suzon! 
goodmorning sussie 
(Translated by Hyperion Records)
 Good morning, Susie, my flower of the woods!
 Are you still the prettiest?
 I return to see you
 from a great journey to Italy,
 Through paradise I have made a tour;
 I have made some verses and made love too.
 What's it to you?
 I pass before your house,
 open your door!
 Good morning, Susie!
 When I saw you in the time of lilacs,
 your heart was full of new found joy
 and you said, "I do not wish,
 I do not wish to be loved yet."
 What have you done since I left?
 He who leaves too soon, comes back too late;
 but what's it to me?
 I pass before your house;
 open your door!
 Good morning, Susie! 

a bush or small tree with sweet-smelling purple or white flowers

Monday, November 26, 2012

Der Blumenstrauss( The Bouquet)

Composer :Felix Mendelssohn (1809- 1847)
Poet: Karl Klingemann (1798-1862)
Op. 47 (Sechs Lieder) no. 5. 

Sie wandelt im Blumengarten 
she wanders   in  flower garden  
Und mustert den bunten   Flor, 
and  eyes  in  colourful flower 
Und alle die Kleinen warten 
and all  the small    wait
Und schauen zu  ihr empor. 
and look     to her up
Und seid ihr denn Frühlingsboten, 
and  are her because Harbingers spring 
Verkündend was  stets    so neu, 
announcing what always  so new
So werdet auch meine Boten 
so  will  also  my   messenger
An ihn, der mich liebt so treu.« 
to  it  that my love so true 
So überschaut   sie die  Habe 
so over looking they the have
Und ordnet den lieblichen Strauß, 
and  assigns the  lovely strauss  
Und reicht dem Freunde die Gabe, 
and  enough the friend the gift
Und weicht seinem Blicke aus. 
and   differs his glances off 
Was Blumen und Farben meinen, 
what flower and colours  mean
O deutet, o fragt das nicht, 
o indicate oh ask that not
Wenn aus den Augen der Einen 
that from the   eye of one 
Der süßeste Frühling spricht.
the  sweet spring    speech 

(English translation by Yik Ling)
She wanders in the flower garden
And examines the colorful pile,
And all the flowers waiting
And look up at her.

"And because ye are harbingers of spring,
Announcing what always so new
So shall also my messenger
To tell him that my love is so true. "

So she has looks over 
And assigns the lovely bouquet
And friends the gift ranges,
And deviates from her eyes.

What flowers and colors mean
Oh indicate, o do not ask that,
If it is the sight of one
sweetest spring speech.
someone or a thing that shows that something is going to happen soon, especially something bad 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Minnelied (Love Song)

Composer: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)
Poem: Johann Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853) 
"Minnelied", op. 47 (Sechs Lieder) no. 1 
Composed in 1840.
This is a very simple songs composed by Mendelssohn during his
later years, seven years before he passed away.
 It appears like some other standard lieder, strophic,
which two stanzas has the same melody with slight difference at 
the end, an extra repetition of the last melody line.   
There is a very simple introduction with some chromatic notes over 
the left hand while the right hand is always in alberti-like semiquaver
Unlike Schumann's composition, Mendelssohn always composed 
the piano part in an accompanimnet form rather than going on with 
the vocal line. 
There is a little modulation in the middle of each stanza, hence changing 
of tone colour and mood is always expected. More lyrical line is demanded , albeit 
the melody line is always simple. The vocal line in the second stanza could 
appear lighter than the first, as well as softer in dynamics as it tells about 
the fragrant of the linden tree. The ending of the second might be stronger as 
compare to the ending of first stanza as the text goes " there nothing like her".
However the repition of the same text of both stanza on F on the second time 
should not be too loud or expolosive although it is on the high pitch. It has to be 
as sweet or gentle like the beautiful view and the sweet linden tree.                 
Wie der Quell   so lieblich klinget  
 as the source  so lovely   sounds
Und die zarten Blumen küßt, 
and the  tender flower kisses 
Wie der Fink im Schatten singet 
as the  finch in  shadow sing
Und das  nahe  Lienbchen grüßt! 
and the  nearby love    greets 
Wie die Lichter zitternd schweifen 
as the  light   tremble   wonder
Und das Gras sich     grün erfreut, 
and the grass itself green pleased
Wie die Tannen weithin greifen 
as the   firs   widely grab
Und die Linde  Blüten streut! 
and the linden flowers scatters 
In der Linde   süß Gedüfte, 
in the linden sweet fragrance
In der Tannen Riesellaut, 
in the firs   rustling loud
In dem Spiel der Sommerlüfte 
in the play the  summerbreeze 
Glänzet sie als Frühlingsbraut. 
sparkles as they   spring bride
Aber Waldton, Vogelsingen, 
but   forest   bird singing
Duft der Blüten, haltet ein, 
scent the flowers hold one 
Licht, verdunkle, nie gelingen 
 light  darken   never succeed
Kann es euch, ihr gleich zu sein! 
 can it you    her equal to be
(English Translation by Carl Johengen)  
How the fountain so lovely sounds
and kisses the tender flowers,
how the finch in the shade sings
and greets the nearby sweetheart!

How the lights curve trembling
and the grass rejoices in its green,
how the firs reach out far
and the lime tree strews its blooms!

In the lime tree's sweet fragrance,
in the firs loud rustling,
in the play of summer air
She appears as a spring bride.

But forest sounds, birdsong,
Fragance of blooms, cease,
light, die away, you can never
Be like unto her!
-to stop something  

-any of various types of small singing 
bird with a short wide pointed beak

-a tall evergreen (= never losing its leaves) 
tree that grows in cold countries and has leaves that are like needles