Der Tod - (2012)
medium voice and piano
Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht,
Das Leben ist der schwüle Tag.
Es dunkelt schon, mich schläfert,
Der Tag hat mich müd gemacht.
Über mein Bett erhebt sich ein Baum,
Drin singt die junge Nachtigall;
Sie singt von lauter Liebe -
Ich hör es sogar im Traum.
pages, circa 2' 40"
Death, this is the cool night;
Life is an oppressive day.
It darkens now; I grow weary,
The day has tired me.
Above my bed towers a tree,
And in it sings the young nightingale;
It sings aloud of love -
I hear it even as in a dream.
text is found in Heine's Buch der Lieder, Die Heimkehr, and normally
given the title of its first line, "Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht." The
setting rises out of a static and pianissimo E flat major, which turns
chromatic in one large arch, down then higher. Each two lines of the first
strophe is thus accompanied, the second arch transposed and in a
second verse moves into G major, this time the vocal line begins earlier and
over the static tonic major, with a raised fourth as a slight change in
coloration. The confluence of notions of death and dream is reflected in the
final cadence, leaning momentarily from E flat back to G major.
The score for
Der Tod is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial
performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement
with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.