Ruhe in Frieden


Ruhe in Frieden  

Bertram Kottmann after Oscar Wilde

for baritone and piano


Schreit’ sachte, hier ruht sie
in kalter Erd’,
und flüstre, dass sie die
Maßliebchen hört.

Ihr Haar, schimmernd wie Gold,
welkte wie Laub.
Sie, die einst jung und hold,
zerfiel zu Staub.

Lilienrein und zart
des kaum gewahr,
dass schon zur Frau sie ward,
ging sie ins Jahr.

Sarg, Erd und schwerer Stein
decken sie nun,
mir bleibt die Qual allein,
ihr ist die Ruh.

Friede und Ruh sei ihr,
kein Wort, kein Lied,
mein ganzes Sein liegt hier,
begrabt es mit.

3 pages, circa 3' 25"

A new memorial marker for Isola Wilde


Oscar Wilde's sister who died in childhood in 1867 is buried in an unmarked grave, in Saint John’s Cemetery, Edgeworthstown, County Longford. A society promoting Oscar Wilde's work and life has placed a new marker to "mark" the locale. Wilde wrote a poem to her memory, and I had set the original text five years ago -  Requiescat.



The excellent translator, Bertram Kottmann, sent me this text among his translations. Somehow in some instances, his words and sensitivity move me musically in a way perhaps other than he might have intended. To me, this text while most assuredly related to Wilde's also speaks in other colors. Therefore his text suggested a different setting, moving through soft dissonances to more distant tonal domains. As I listened to Bertram's text, the setting composed itself. For other settings of Kottmann's texts, click here.




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.


Ruhe in Frieden