Advent - (2011)    

Rainer Maria Rilke

for soprano or mezzo soprano and piano


Es treibt der Wind im Winterwalde
die Flockenherde wie ein Hirt
und manche Tanne ahnt, wie balde
sie fromm und lichterheilig wird,
und lauscht hinaus. Den weißen Wegen
streckt sie die Zweige hin, bereit
und wehrt dem Wind und wächst entgegen
der einen Nacht der Herrlichkeit.

2 pages, circa 2' 10"

Rainer Maria Rilke


The original and this following lovely translation by Bertram Kottmann are found in Emily Ezust's fine site, The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive, click here.


In wintry woods the wind is driving
the flock of snowflakes, shepherd-like,
and many a fir-tree feels how soon then
by lights it will be sanctified,
and listens well. To the white pathways
it stretches out its branches wide
to brave the wind and grow - to live for
that single blissful holy night.


Copyright © 2010 by Bertram Kottmann,, reproduced on this website with kind permission.

Please contact the copyright-holder when requesting permission to reprint.



A simple, folk-like setting captures the mood of the song, as well as the mood of a lovely scene of snow-laden trees, one lit by lights, as sent me by Kottmann as a holiday greeting. The text suggested a setting "so fort," as in the example from the setting in the higher key. The graphic above show the ranges for each key, as available below.



Poets have written of the Tanne in various metaphors and personification. For another view, please see my song setting of E. E. Cummings' text, little tree.


The score for 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.


Advent - high key


Advent - low key