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Songs

Orest auf Tauris

by Franz Schubert

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Text & Translation

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Orest auf Tauris
German source: Johann Mayrhofer

Ist dies Tauris, wo der Eumeniden
Wut zu stillen Pythia versprach?
Weh! die Schwestern mit den Schlangenhaaren
Folgen mir vom Land der Griechen nach.

Rauhes Eiland, kündest keinen Segen:
Nirgends sprosst der Ceres milde Frucht;
Keine Reben blüh’n, der Lüfte Sänger,
Wie die Schiffe, meiden diese Bucht.

Steine fügt die Kunst nicht zu Gebäuden,
Zelte spannt des Skythen Armut sich;
Unter starren Felsen, rauhen Wäldern
Ist das Leben einsam, schauerlich!

„Und hier soll,“ so ist ja doch ergangen
An den Flehenden der heilige Spruch,
„Eine hohe Priesterin Dianens
Lösen meinen und der Väter Fluch.“

Orestes on Tauris
English translation © Richard Wigmore

Is this Tauris, where Pythia promised
to appease the anger of the Eumenides?
Alas, the snake-haired sisters
pursue me from the land of the Greeks.

Bleak island, you announce no blessing:
nowhere does Ceres’ tender fruit grow;
no vines bloom; the singers of the air,
like the ships, shun this bay.

Art does not fashion these stones into buildings;
in their poverty the Scythians erect only tents.
Amid harsh rocks and wild forests
life is lonely and frightening.

‘And here,’ according to the sacred decree
revealed to the suppliant,
‘a high priestess of Diana
is to lift the curse on me and my fathers.’

Orest auf Tauris
German source: Johann Mayrhofer

Orestes on Tauris
English source: Richard Wigmore

Ist dies Tauris, wo der Eumeniden
Is this Tauris, where Pythia promised
Wut zu stillen Pythia versprach?
to appease the anger of the Eumenides?
Weh! die Schwestern mit den Schlangenhaaren
Alas, the snake-haired sisters
Folgen mir vom Land der Griechen nach.
pursue me from the land of the Greeks.

Rauhes Eiland, kündest keinen Segen:
Bleak island, you announce no blessing:
Nirgends sprosst der Ceres milde Frucht;
nowhere does Ceres’ tender fruit grow;
Keine Reben blüh’n, der Lüfte Sänger,
no vines bloom; the singers of the air,
Wie die Schiffe, meiden diese Bucht.
like the ships, shun this bay.

Steine fügt die Kunst nicht zu Gebäuden,
Art does not fashion these stones into buildings;
Zelte spannt des Skythen Armut sich;
in their poverty the Scythians erect only tents.
Unter starren Felsen, rauhen Wäldern
Amid harsh rocks and wild forests
Ist das Leben einsam, schauerlich!
life is lonely and frightening.

„Und hier soll,“ so ist ja doch ergangen
‘And here,’ according to the sacred decree
An den Flehenden der heilige Spruch,
revealed to the suppliant,
„Eine hohe Priesterin Dianens
‘a high priestess of Diana
Lösen meinen und der Väter Fluch.“
is to lift the curse on me and my fathers.’

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…

Poet

Johann Mayrhofer

Johann Baptist Mayrhofer , was an Austrian poet and librettist. He is best known for his close friendship with the composer Franz Schubert. Mayrhofer was born in Steyr, educated and Novitiate in St. Florian's Priory Upper Austria. In 1810 he began…

Performances

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