Lenz - (2015)    

Bertram Kottmann, after William Blake

for soprano and piano

Sónia Grané gewidmet

Nun ist's still.
Gestern, heut,
Vögleins Freud;
drunt' im Tal,
Lerche steigt,
alles zeigt
fröhlich grüßt, fröhlich grüßt den Lenz in diesem Jahr.

Büblein heut
strahlt vor Freud;
klein und fein;
stimmt dabei
freudig ein,
fröhlich grüßt, fröhlich grüßt den Lenz in diesem Jahr.

Lämmchen klein
hol mich ein.
Stups mich dann
zärtlich an.
Ich zupf schnell
dein weich' Fell
schmus' mit dir
kleines Tier
fröhlich grüß, fröhlich grüß ich dich in diesem Jahr.

Copyright © Bertram Kottmann     Used with permission.

4 pages, circa 3'00"



Sound the flute!
Now it's mute!
Bird's delight,
Day and night,
In the dale,
Lark in sky,
Merrily merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little boy,
Full of joy;
Little girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

William Blake (1757-1827)



Bertram Kottmann's translations are, for me, reinterpretations as well which capture something in one language which perhaps would "sing" differently in another. He sent a color photo, an excerpt from which is above in grayscale. The joy which springtime inspires was Blake's, is Kottmann's and is mine. For other of Kottmann's texts set to music, click here.


As with the continual change of colors as spring blossoms into its bright palette, the three stanzas of the text move through changing tonalities as well as small changes in the accompaniment's figurations and vocal line.



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.