#2, September, from the Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) of Richard Strauss, 1949. My accompanist is the sensational…sorry. No names here. But he is one of the best in the world. These are orchestral pieces, but Strauss wrote the piano reduction first. My collaborative pianist is the closest thing in the world to an orchestra with ten fingers. God bless him.
The pieces were written as Strauss was aware that his life was coming to a close. It is a story of that journey and full of gentle assessment and acceptance for the new life he was walking into.
The first three poems are taken from Hermann Hesse, and the fourth by Eichendorf.
I hope you enjoy! Texts and translation below.
(Text: Hermann Hesse)
|Der Garten trauert,
kühl sinkt in die Blumen der Regen.
Der Sommer schauert
still seinem Ende entgegen.Golden tropft Blatt um Blatt
nieder vom hohen Akazienbaum.
Sommer lächelt erstaunt und matt
In den sterbenden Gartentraum.Lange noch bei den Rosen
bleibt er stehn, sehnt sich nach Ruh.
Langsam tut er
die müdgeword’nen Augen zu.
|The garden is in mourning.
Cool rain seeps into the flowers.
quietly awaiting his end.Golden leaf after leaf falls
from the tall acacia tree.
Summer smiles, astonished and feeble,
at his dying dream of a garden.For just a while he tarries
beside the roses, yearning for repose.
Slowly he closes
his weary eyes.
Composed: September 20, 1948