Kühle - (2010)     

Else Lasker-Schüler

   for mezzo soprano or soprano and piano


In den weissen Blüten
Der hellen Rosen
Mr ich verfluten.

Doch auf den Teichen
Warten die starren, seelenlosen Wasserrosen,
Meiner Sehnsucht Kühle zu reichen.

[ 1 page, circa 1' 20" ]

Else Lasker-Schüler


Into the white petals
Of bright blossoms
Would I be submerged.

There on the pond
Wait the stiff, soul-less water lilies
To caress my longing with their chill.





The text can be found in Die Gasammelten Gedichte, Leipzig, Verlag der Weißen Bücher, 1917, and many subsequent editions. As with much poetry, the multivalent meanings make many the possibilities for understanding. A watercolor-like wash of gently shifting "flat key" tonalities colors the setting as sequences of harmonic successions support a vocal part of one octave in range. The blurring of the piano's sostenuto pedal further washes the colors together, something akin to a impressionist's painting of water lilies.




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.