Ein Liebeslied - (2007)
for medium voice and piano
Sebastian Jacobs gewidmet
Komm zu mir in der Nacht - wir schlafen engverschlungen.
Müde bin ich sehr, vom Wachen einsam.
Ein fremder Vogel hat in dunkler Frühe schon gesungen,
Als noch mein Traum mit sich und mir gerungen.
Es öffnen Blumen sich vor allen Quellen
Und färben sich mit deiner Augen Immortellen .....
Komm zu mir in der Nacht auf Siebensternenschuhen....
This text remains under copyright in the US, though not in Europe and is therefore not fully reproduced herein.
[ 4 pages, circa 3' 40" ]
Else Lasker-Schüler (1869-1945) from a well-to-do family in the Rhineland's Elberfield, attributed her poetic inspiration to her mother, who loved literature. She was an influential member of the Berlin artistic community that emerged in the first years of the 20th century, referred to as the "Berlin Moderns" because of their contribution to the new modernist style. Lasker-Schüler was one of many sophisticated, cosmopolitan Jews who took part in and helped give birth to this artistic innovation. Creating and fostering innovative and experimental poetry, literature, theatre, and art, these Jews and their cultural sensibilities would later be attacked by German national socialism, and some would be dispersed to all corners of the world, others perishing in the Nazi genocide.
She married twice, each marriage ending in divorce, first a physician, Berthold Lasker, and then the critic and editor, Georg Lewin, who established the expressionist art journal, Der Sturm. She gave the name both the journal and its editor, giving Lewin the name Herworth Walden, which he used for the resmainder of his professional life. Her first book of poetry, Styx, was published in 1902, and she published prolifically in Der Sturm, as well as the many other avant garde Berlin art journals. Her life became increasingly unstable and poverty stricken. She spent much of her time in the cafes, and it was in the cafes that she wrote the expressionist poems that would be published as Meine Wunder and met many of the great expressionist artists of the era. In 1913, she published Hebraische Balladen, a collection of poems based on the figures of the Bible. In 1932 she received the prestigious Kleist Prize for literature. Several months later a group of Nazis beat her. She then left Germany forever.
From refuge in Switzerland, she visited Palestine and eventually moved to Jerusalem. The reality of Palestine's social and political turmoil before the establishment of the modern state of Israel, however, disillusioned her. She lived the rest of her life a pauper, partially through her own mismanagement of the support given to her by friends and admirers. In Israel, she was viewed mainly as an eccentric.
Come to me in the night -- we will sleep closely twined.
I am so weary, lonely from watching.
A strange bird had sung in the early darkness,
As did my dream of you force itself on me.
It opened blooms from all sources
and colored itself with the eyes of immortals.....
Come to me in the night on seven-starred shoes
and seek love late in my tent.
The moon rises out of the heaven's dusty chest.
We will like two rare creatures rest lovingly
in the tall reeds lying behind this world.
This setting is written for medium voice and piano, and though without a key signature it is built in E minor, with the augmented second between the lowered sixth and raised seventh, in the melodic manner of some Ashkenazic music. The accompaniment figure melds C major with B major over a similar and longer rhythm as the harmonic scheme. Thus the sixth and seventh of the natural E minor scale with a raised seventh dominates the harmonic colorings. The long-lined accompaniment moves between C and B, and the tonic minor, E, is reserved for the last few measures of the setting.
The score 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, currently available in an edition for medium voice.