Songs

Rote Messe

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

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Text & Translation

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Rote Messe
German source: Otto Erich Hartleben

Zu grausem Abendmahle,
Beim Blendeglanz des Goldes,
Beim Flackerschein der Kerzen,
Naht dem Altar - Pierrot!

Die Hand, die gottgeweihte,
Zerreißt die Priesterkleider
Zu grausem Abendmahle,
Beim Blendeglanz des Goldes

Mit segnender Geberde
Zeigt er den bangen Seelen
Die triefend rote Hostie:
Sein Herz - in blutgen Fingern -
Zu grausem Abendmahle!

Red Mass (1996)
English translation © Roger Marsh

At ghastly grim communion,
Midst blinding golden brightness,
Midst flickering of candles,
Comes to the altar – Pierrot!
His hand now consecrated,
Rips wide the priestly cassock,
At ghastly grim communion,
Midst blinding golden brightness.
And signing absolution,
He shows the trembling, trembling people,
The blood soaked holy wafer:
His heart, in bloody fingers;
At ghastly grim communion.

Rote Messe
German source: Otto Erich Hartleben

Red Mass (1996)
English source: Roger Marsh

Zu grausem Abendmahle,
At ghastly grim communion,
Beim Blendeglanz des Goldes,
Midst blinding golden brightness,
Beim Flackerschein der Kerzen,
Midst flickering of candles,
Naht dem Altar - Pierrot!
Comes to the altar – Pierrot!

Die Hand, die gottgeweihte,
Zerreißt die Priesterkleider
Zu grausem Abendmahle,
Beim Blendeglanz des Goldes

Mit segnender Geberde
Zeigt er den bangen Seelen
Die triefend rote Hostie:
Sein Herz - in blutgen Fingern -
Zu grausem Abendmahle!

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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