Monday, August 10, 2020

English Translations of Art Song & Aria Texts

English versions of all texts, ©2006-2020, by Edward Lein;
all rights reserved. Please notify & credit if reprinting.

edward_lein@hotmail.com | LEINmachine (homepage)
ORIGINAL POETRY


Open a pdf file of program notes for Mozart's REQUIEM written for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, including an original translation of the Latin Requiem Mass text. REQUIEM MASS | J.S. BACH
Schafe können sicher weiden

(Sheep May Safely Graze,
from Hunt Cantata, BWV 208)
Bach
| BELLINI
Dolente immagine di Fille mia
Il fervido desiderio

Bellini
| BERLIOZ
Les nuits d'ete

Berlioz
| CONTI
Il mio bel foco

Conti
| DA CAPUA
O sole mio

de Capua
| DE CURTIS
Torna a Surriento

De Curtis
| DONAUDY
Ah, mai non cessate
Amorosi miei giorni
O del mio amato ben perduto
Quando ti rivedrò?
Sento nel core

Donaudy
| FAURE
Adieu
Ici-bas
Lydia
Rencontre

Fauré
| GLUCK
Divinités du Styx (Alceste)

Gluck
| GRIEG
Ein Traum
Gruß (Greeting)
Dereinst, Gedanke mein
Die verschwiegene Nachtigall
Lauf der Welt
Zur Rosenzeit (Wehmut)

Grieg
| HAHN
Venezia (Venice)

(6 chansons in Venetian dialect)
Hahn
| LISZT
Du bist wie eine Blume
Im Rhein, im schönen Strome
Hohe Liebe

Liszt
|
| La llorona (The Weeping Woman)
(Latin American folk-song)
La llorona (folk-song)
| MASCAGNI
Voi lo sapete, o mamma

from (Cavalleria rusticana)
Mascagni
| MOZART
Abendempfindung an Laura
Dalla sua pace (Don Giovanni)
Porgi, amor (Le nozze di Figaro)
L'amerò, sarò costante

Mozart
| OBRADORS
Al amor
Del cabello más sutil
La mi sola, Laureola

Obradors
| PLAZA
English versions only of
selections from
Siete canciones venezolanas:
2. La noche del llano abajo
3. Cuando el caballo se para
4. Hilando el copo del viento
5. Por estos cuatro caminos

Plaza
| POULENC
Hôtel
Mazurka ("Les bijoux aux poitrines")

-- (English version only)
Rosemonde
Voyage à Paris

Poulenc
| PUCCINI
Chi bel il sogno di Doretta (La Rondine)
Donde lieta uscì (La bohème)
O soave fanciulla (La bohème)

Puccini
| RACHMANINOFF
Do Not Sing for Me
Here All Is Just Right (How Fair Is This Place)
Lilacs
A Dream

Rachmaninoff
|
| RAVEL
Shéhérazade

Ravel
| SANTOLIQUIDO
I canti della sera

(song cycle)
Santoliquido
| SCHUBERT
Gretchen am Spinnrade
Ständchen
Der Jüngling am Bache
Der Jüngling an der Quelle
Der Jüngling und der Tod
Die schöne Müllerin

-- Cycle of 20 songs
Schubert
| R. SCHUMANN
Meine Rose
Du bist wie eine Blume

Schumann
| R. STRAUSS
Morgen!
Breit' über mein Haupt
Zueignung (Dedication)
Ich trage meine Minne
Heimliche Aufforderung

R. Strauss
| TCHAIKOVSKY
None but One Who Knows Longing

-- (aka "None But the Lonely Heart")
Amidst the din of the ball
Had I but Known
I Opened Wide My Window
Was I Not a Sprig of Grass
Whether Daylight Reigns

Tchaikovsy
| TIRINDELLI
O Primavera

Tirindelli
| TOSTI
Ideale
La serenata

Tosti
| VERDI
La donna è mobile

(from Rigoletto)
Verdi
| WOLF FERRARI
Quattro rispetti (Four Respects)

Wolf Ferrari
|

These English versions of various sung texts mostly have been made to use in program notes I have written. But, first off, let me state that I am not fluent in any language other than English. My versions have depended on online translation tools and the literal translations of others (special thanks to former JPL Children's Associate Marie Myers for helping me with some of the French texts).

What I have attempted is to take the literal and translate it into poetry, either as free verse, or, when I can, using the rhyme schemes of the original poetry, as well as adopting prevailing poetic conventions of English poets living during the time a particular poem was written.

Poetry is just as much about sound as it is about meaning, and if the translation is ugly, awkward, and unnecessarily hard to follow, it isn't much better than simply pasting the lines into an online translator and accepting the output as the intended meaning. If the translation ignores the lyrical aspects of the poetry it does a disservice to the poet, and also ignores the essence of why the composer set the words in the first place. And if it ignores the grammatical conventions of the new language it might also mask the intended meaning of the lines, even if it does define each separate word correctly.

Although my English versions try to be completely faithful to the meanings of the originals, I deliberately make changes if I think the lyrical qualities of the English version are improved by, e.g., adding adjectives or adverbs (I do this especially to more closely approximate the meter of the original language), or by changing verbs to verbals (or vice-versa).

So, if you require an exactly literal translation be forewarned.

For me, a good translation of a poem will read like a poem in the new language, too. I find this especially important in program notes for a live performance; I think (hope) most listeners read the translation before the singing starts and then pay attention to the singer.

That being said, I also believe that the original language as set by the composer should almost always be retained for sung performances.

J.S. BACH
Schafe können sicher weiden

(Sheep May Safely Graze,
from Hunt Cantata, BWV 208)
BELLINI
Dolente immagine di Fille mia
Il fervido desiderio
BERLIOZ
Les nuits d'ete
CONTI
Il mio bel foco
DA CAPUA
O sole mio
DE CURTIS
Torna a Surriento
DONAUDY
Ah, mai non cessate
Amorosi miei giorni
O del mio amato ben perduto
Quando ti rivedrò?
Sento nel core
FAURE
Adieu
Ici-bas
Lydia
Rencontre
GLUCK
Divinités du Styx (Alceste)
GRIEG: 6 Lieder, Op. 48
Ein Traum
Gruß (Greeting)
Dereinst, Gedanke mein
Die verschwiegene Nachtigall
Lauf der Welt
Zur Rosenzeit (Wehmut)
HAHN
Venezia (Venice)

(6 chansons in Venetian dialect)

La llorona
(Latin American folk-song)
LISZT
Du bist wie eine Blume
Im Rhein, im schönen Strome
Hohe Liebe
MASCAGNI
Voi lo sapete, o mamma

(from Cavalleria rusticana)
MOZART
Abendempfindung an Laura
Dalla sua pace

    (Don Giovanni)
MOZART (continued)
Porgi, amor
    (Le nozze di Figaro)
L'amerò, sarò costante
OBRADORS
Al amor
Del cabello más sutil
La mi sola, Laureola
PLAZA (English only)
Siete canciones venezolanas:

2. La noche del llano abajo
3. Cuando el caballo se para
4. Hilando el copo del viento
5. Por estos cuatro caminos
POULENC
Hôtel
Mazurka ("Les bijoux
    aux poitrines")

Rosemonde
Voyage à Paris
PUCCINI
Chi bel il sogno di Doretta

    (La Rondine)
Donde lieta uscì (La bohème)
O soave fanciulla (La bohème)
RACHMANINOFF
Do Not Sing for Me
Here All Is Just Right
    (How Fair Is This Place)
Lilacs
A Dream
RAVEL
Shéhérazade

Requiem Mass (liturgical texts)
SANTOLIQUIDO
I canti della sera
(cycle)
SCHUBERT
Gretchen am Spinnrade
Ständchen
Der Jüngling am Bache
Der Jüngling an der Quelle
Der Jüngling und der Tod
Die schöne Müllerin
R. SCHUMANN
Meine Rose
Du bist wie eine Blume
R. STRAUSS
Morgen!
Breit' über mein Haupt
Zueignung (Dedication)
Ich trage meine Minne
Heimliche Aufforderung
TCHAIKOVSKY
None but One Who Knows
    Longing

-- (aka "None But the Lonely Heart")
Amidst the din of the ball
Had I but Known
I Opened Wide My Window
Was I Not a Sprig of Grass
Whether Daylight Reigns
TIRINDELLI
O Primavera

TOSTI
Ideale
La serenata
VERDI
La donna è mobile

(from Rigoletto)

WOLF FERRARI
Quattro rispetti (Four Respects)

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