Songs

Nacht

by Arnold Schoenberg From Pierrot Lunaire (1912) Op. 21

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Text & Translation

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Nacht
German source: Otto Erich Hartleben

Finstre, schwarze Riesenfalter
Töteten der Sonne Glanz.
Ein geschlossnes Zauberbuch,
Ruht der Horizont - verschwiegen.
Aus dem Qualm verlorner Tiefen
Steigt ein Duft, Erinnrung mordend!
Finstre, schwarze Reisenfalter
Töteten der Sonne Glanz.
Und vom Himmel erdenwärts
Senken sich mit schweren Schwingen
Unsichtbar die Ungetume
Auf die Menschenherzen nieder...
Finstre, schwarze Riesenfalter.

Night (1996)
English translation © Roger Marsh

Black enormous butterflies
Have blotted out the sun’s bright rays.
A forbidden book of spells,
Broods the night time sky – mysterious.
From the misty gloom below them,
Comes a perfume that wipes out memory.
Black enormous butterflies
Have blotted out the sun’s bright rays.
And then earthwards from the sky,
Flittering down with massive wingspan,
Unperceived, the monstrous creatures,
Light on human hearts and settle.
Black enormous butterflies.

Nacht
German source: Otto Erich Hartleben

Night (1996)
English source: Roger Marsh

Finstre, schwarze Riesenfalter
Black enormous butterflies
Töteten der Sonne Glanz.
Have blotted out the sun’s bright rays.
Ein geschlossnes Zauberbuch,
A forbidden book of spells,
Ruht der Horizont - verschwiegen.
Broods the night time sky – mysterious.
Aus dem Qualm verlorner Tiefen
From the misty gloom below them,
Steigt ein Duft, Erinnrung mordend!
Comes a perfume that wipes out memory.
Finstre, schwarze Reisenfalter
Black enormous butterflies
Töteten der Sonne Glanz.
Have blotted out the sun’s bright rays.
Und vom Himmel erdenwärts
And then earthwards from the sky,
Senken sich mit schweren Schwingen
Flittering down with massive wingspan,
Unsichtbar die Ungetume
Unperceived, the monstrous creatures,
Auf die Menschenherzen nieder...
Light on human hearts and settle.
Finstre, schwarze Riesenfalter.
Black enormous butterflies.

Composer

Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Franz Walter Schoenberg or Schönberg was an Austrian composer, music theorist, and painter. He was associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School.

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