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Songs

Abendbilder

by Franz Schubert

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This song was recorded live at the Oxford Lieder Festival as part of Hugo Wolf: The Complete Songs on Stone Records.
Click here to listen to this song with Marcus Farnsworth and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.

Text & Translation

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Abendbilder
German source: Silbert, Johann

Still beginnt’s im Hain zu tauen; 
Ruhig webt der Dämm’rung Grauen
Durch die Glut
Sanfter Flut,
Durch das Grün umbuschter Auen, 
So die trunk’nen Blicke schauen.

Sieh! der Raben Nachtgefieder 
Rauscht auf ferne Eichen nieder.
Balsamduft
Haucht die Luft; 
Philomelens Zauberlieder 
Hallet zart die Echo wieder.

Horch! des Abendglöckleins Töne 
Mahnen ernst der Erde Söhne,
Dass ihr Herz
Himmelwärts,
Sinnend ob der Heimat Schöne, 
Sich des Erdentands entwöhne.

Durch der hohen Wolken Riegel 
Funkeln tausend Himmelssiegel,
Lunas Bild
Streuet mild
In der Fluten klaren Spiegel 
Schimmernd Gold auf Flur und Hügel.

Von des Vollmonds Wiederscheine 
Blitzet das bemooste kleine
Kirchendach.
Aber ach!
Ringsum decken Leichensteine 
Der Entschlummerten Gebeine.

Ruht, o Traute! von den Wehen, 
Bis beim grossen Auferstehen
Aus der Nacht
Gottes Macht
Einst uns ruft, in seiner Höhen 
Ew’ge Wonnen einzugehen. 

Nocturne
English translation © Richard Wigmore

Softly, dew begins to fall in the grove; 
gently the grey dusk
weaves through the red glow
of the calm waters, and through
the green meadows, fringed with bushes, 
that distort before the eye.

See, the ravens’ nocturnal flight 
descends with a swish on distant oaks;
the air breathes
a balmy fragrance. 
Echo tenderly repeats 
Philomel’s magic songs.

Hark! The vesper-bell
solemnly urges the sons of earth
to forego all earthly dross
and turn their hearts
towards heaven,
reflecting upon that fair dwelling-place.

A thousand celestial stars
sparkle through chinks in the barrier of high clouds;
the moon
shines gently
in the clear mirror of the waters, 
tingeing hill and meadow with gold.

The mossy roof of the little church 
gleams in the reflection
of the full moon.
But all around 
tombstones cover
the bones of the departed.

Rest, beloved ones, from your cares, 
until, at the Great Resurrection,
God in his might
calls us from the night 
to eternal bliss
on high.

Abendbilder
German source: Silbert, Johann

Nocturne
English source: Richard Wigmore

Still beginnt’s im Hain zu tauen; 
Softly, dew begins to fall in the grove; 
Ruhig webt der Dämm’rung Grauen
gently the grey dusk
Durch die Glut
weaves through the red glow
Sanfter Flut,
of the calm waters, and through
Durch das Grün umbuschter Auen, 
the green meadows, fringed with bushes, 
So die trunk’nen Blicke schauen.
that distort before the eye.

Sieh! der Raben Nachtgefieder 
See, the ravens’ nocturnal flight 
Rauscht auf ferne Eichen nieder.
descends with a swish on distant oaks;
Balsamduft
the air breathes
Haucht die Luft; 
a balmy fragrance. 
Philomelens Zauberlieder 
Echo tenderly repeats 
Hallet zart die Echo wieder.
Philomel’s magic songs.

Horch! des Abendglöckleins Töne 
Hark! The vesper-bell
Mahnen ernst der Erde Söhne,
solemnly urges the sons of earth
Dass ihr Herz
to forego all earthly dross
Himmelwärts,
and turn their hearts
Sinnend ob der Heimat Schöne, 
towards heaven,
Sich des Erdentands entwöhne.
reflecting upon that fair dwelling-place.

Durch der hohen Wolken Riegel 
A thousand celestial stars
Funkeln tausend Himmelssiegel,
sparkle through chinks in the barrier of high clouds;
Lunas Bild
the moon
Streuet mild
shines gently
In der Fluten klaren Spiegel 
in the clear mirror of the waters, 
Schimmernd Gold auf Flur und Hügel.
tingeing hill and meadow with gold.

Von des Vollmonds Wiederscheine 
The mossy roof of the little church 
Blitzet das bemooste kleine
gleams in the reflection
Kirchendach.
of the full moon.
Aber ach!
But all around 
Ringsum decken Leichensteine 
tombstones cover
Der Entschlummerten Gebeine.
the bones of the departed.

Ruht, o Traute! von den Wehen, 
Rest, beloved ones, from your cares, 
Bis beim grossen Auferstehen
until, at the Great Resurrection,
Aus der Nacht
God in his might
Gottes Macht
calls us from the night 
Einst uns ruft, in seiner Höhen 
to eternal bliss
Ew’ge Wonnen einzugehen. 
on high.

Composer

Franz Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He…

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