vocal | 1989



Year: 1989

Duration: 11'

Instrumentation: s/pf

Program Notes

Abendlied was commissioned by and is dedicated to Penelope Price-Jones and Philip Martin, who gave the first performance in the Royal Irish Academy of Music in July 1989. The texts are by the German Romantic lyric poets Clemens Brentano and Joseph von Eichendorff. The poems evoke the shimmering quiet of evening, with an almost mystical feeling for the sights and sound of nature. Abendlied is unified by the elaborate melismatic treatment of the vocal line throughout and by the development and variation of the piano’s harmonic and motivic devices.
Clemens Brentano

 Abendstanchen                                    Evening Serenade

Hor, es klagt die flote wieder                    Listen, the flute laments again

Und die kuhlen Brunnen rauschen,            And the cool fountains rustle,

Golden weh’n die Tone nieder;                  Golden the notes waft down;

Stille, stille, lass uns lauschen!                  Still, still, let us listen!


Joseph von Eichendorff

Der Abend                                                 Evening

Schweigt der Menchen laute Lust:            When the loud merriment of men is quiet;

Rauscht die Erde wie in Traumen              The earth rustles as in a dream

Wunderbar mit allen Baumen,                   Miraculously with all her trees,

Was dem Herzen kaum bewusst,               What the heart is hardly conscious of,

Alte Zeiten, linde Traur,                            Old times, gentle sadness,

Und es schweifen leise Schauer                 And quiet tremors sweep

Wetterleuchtend durch die Brust.              Like summer lightening through my breast.

Mondnacht                                              Moonlit Night

Es war, als hat der Himmel                        It was as though the sky

Die Erde still gekusst,                                Had gently kissed the earth,

Dass sie im Blutenshimmer                       So that she in the glory of blossom

Von ihm nun traumen musst                      Now had to dream of him

Die Luft ging durch die Felder,                 The breeze went across the fields,

Die Ahren wogten sacht,                           The ears of corn waved gently,

Es rauschten leis die Walder,                     The woods rustled softly,

So sternklar war die Nacht.                       The night was so starry-clear.

Und meine Seele spannte                          And my soul stretched

Weit ihre Flugel aus,                                  Wide its wings and

Flog durch die stillen Lande,                     Flew through the still lands,

Als floge sie nach Haus.                            As though it were flying home.




Penelope Price Jones (soprano)
Philip Martin (piano)