Steht nicht an meinem Grab


Steht nicht an meinem Grab - (2011)   

text of Bertram Kottmann

for soprano or mezzo soprano and piano


Steht nicht an meinem Grab und weint,
ich schlafe nicht, wie ihr es meint.
Ich bin der Wind in Wald und Feld,
ich bin ein Schnee, der sachte fällt.
Ich bin ein leiser, linder Regen,
ich bin der Fluren reicher Segen.
Bin in des Morgens stillem Lächeln,
ich bin im ersten scheuen Fächeln
der milden Frühlingsluft,
ich bin ein Sommerrosenduft,
ich bin des Herbstwalds bunte Pracht,
ich bin der Sternenglanz der Nacht.
Ich bin ein Lied, ein Vogelsang,
ich bin ein heller Glockenklang.
Drum trauert nicht, habt Zuversicht:
Ich bin nicht hier - ich sterbe nicht.


Copyright © 2011 by Bertram Kottmann,, reproduced on this website with kind permission.

Please contact the copyright-holder when requesting permission to reprint.

[ 3 pages, circa 3' 30" ]


The text by Bertram Kottmann is, as he wrote, "rather a free adaptation than a translation" of a poem in English which he re-imagined in German. As an adaptation and not a translation, it is his original work which I chose to set with his kind permission. Available in two keys, it was conceived in the lower as the musical imagery came swiftly to mind. For the citation on Emily Ezust's extensive resource which has served me so well for inspiration, The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive, click here.



A four-part chorale with voices in parallel motion introduces the lyrical solo line. The moving alto line as at measures 5-7 might suggest the slow drop of tears. The setting is treated in hymn-like fashion, a second musical strophe beginning at measure 17. Episodic material break the mood, as images of spring dance lightly in a soprano voice and non-harmonic chords make strange and wondrous the imagery of  a "Sternenglanz" of night, as of the bright and distant ringing of bells. A return to the chorale texture in the accompaniment ends the setting.



The repetition of phrases gently emphasizes the assertion, "Ich bin nicht hier," with a quiet reference in the accompaniment to the distant bells as the chorale ends peacefully.



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.


Steht nicht an meinem Grab - B flat


Steht nicht an meinem Grab - D flat