In der Hütte am Berg - (2010)
for bass baritone and piano
Hanno Müller-Brachmann gewidmet
"Was ich lieb und was ich bitte,
Gönnen mir die Menschen nicht,
Darum, kleine, moosge Hütte,
Meid ich so des Tages Licht.
Bein herauf zu dir gekommen,
Wo ich oft der Welt vergaß,
Gerne sinnend bei dem frommen
Roten Kerzenschimmer saß.
Weil ich drunet mich veliere
In dem Treiben bang undhohl,
Schließe dich, du kleine Türe,
Und mir werde wieder wohl!"
So der Einsamkeit gegeben,
Hing ich alten Träumen nach,
Doch der Flamme ruhig Weben
Trost in meine Trauer sprach.
-- Leise, wie durch Geisterhände,
Öffnet sich die Rüre bald,
Und es tritt in meine Wände
Eine liebliche Gestalt.
Was ich lieb und was ich flehte,
Freundlich, schüchtern vor mir stand,
Ohne Sinn und ohne Rede
Hielt ich die geliebte Hand;
Fühle Locken bald und Wange
Sanft ans Antlitz mir gelegt,
Während sich im sel'gen Drange
Träne mir um Träne regt.
-- Freundlich Bild im himmelblauen
Kleide mit dem Silbersaum!
Werde nimmer so dich schauen,
Und mich täuschte nur ein Traum.
[ 6 pages, circa 6' 00" ]
"What I love and what I seek,
Many often begrudge me;
For this, small mossy hut,
I so avoid the light of day.
I am come here then
Where I can leave behind the world,
And willingly sit and think by
The pious red glow of candle light.
Because down there I lose myself
In the anxious and hollow bustle,
Shut yourself behind me, little door,
And I will refresh myself again."
There, given over to solitude,
I have dwelt on old dreams,
For the gentle weaving of the flame
Spoke consolation in my sorrow.
Softly, as if by ghostly hands,
soon another door will open
and into these four walls will appear
Again that pleasing form.
What I love and that for which I have plead
friendly, shyly has stood before me.
Without thinking, without speaking
I have taken the beloved's hand.
I have felt the locks of hair and a cheek
Gently laid against my face
While in blessed urgency
Those tears moved me to tears.
Pleasant image in sky-blue
Raiment hemmed with silver,
I will never so behold you,
As when deceived by this dream.
The eight strophes of this portrait (1822) of an artist's necessary solitude are set in three varying textures. The introduction also serves as the B section, after a repetition of an A section for the first two strophes. From a somewhat polytonal color of the introduction, the opening accompaniment to the vocal line settles on a widely-voiced diatonic.
The material of the introduction returns to underscore the more unsettled feeling of that "bustle" from which the author would flee. The sense of the subdominant minor yields to the supertonic diminished as the door acts to shut out the world below.
The tempo moderates as a more peaceful scene is painted, with sudden, pianissimo running sixteenths and a polytonal color announce the appearance of the "liebliche Gestalt" which later we learn the author knows to be a dream.
The "friendly picture" of this dream is further drawn by more arpeggios moving into greater consonance, as the setting -- often having dwelt on polytonality as well as the subdominant and diminished supertonic -- settles into the tonic major with which the work ends.
Hanno Müller-Brachmann is currently a Company Principal at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin, as well as having sung at the Bavarian State Opera, the Munich Festival, Vienna State Opera, San Francisco Opera and Vienna Klangbogen Festival. Acclaimed for the Bach Passions, he has sung with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Monteverdi Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, the Berlin Staatskapelle, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi and the European Youth Orchestra. His recital engagements have included the Schubertiade Festival in Schwarzenberg, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin. His recordings include Schubert recital discs for Harmonia Mundi and Naxos Records, a Schumann recital disc for Hyperion Records and Die Zauberflöte for Deutsche Grammophon which won Gramophone’s ‘Best Opera Recording of the Year’.
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.
In der Hütte am Berg