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Thomas Hampson / Twenty Songs

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From the anger and suffering of these songs, the cycle moves into its bitterest phase. Associating the folk strains of the wedding with a cynical tale of a jilted youth (Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen), the singer suddenly abandons his mask of anonymity to rail at fate which has made a harmless fairy tale into a living reality and made HIM the victim! Half-hallucinating, half-yearning, the poet imagines that nature echoes his anguish in Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen, and finally he cries out at the end of Es leuchtet meine Liebe: "When I am in the grave, only then will this fairy tale be ended!" Acknowledging the illusory nature of his love, the poet's fantasy suddenly takes on a nightmarish quality in the mocking specters of Mein Wagen rollet langsam. Recurring dreams torment the poet in Ich hab' im Traum geweinet and Allnächtlich im Traume, as the text voices his misery, while the music attempts to wrestle an unspoken understanding.


Es leuchtet meine Liebe
In ihrer dunkeln Pracht,
Wie'n Märchen, traurig und trübe,
Erzählt in der Sommernacht.

My love shines
In its dark power,
Like a fairytale--sad and gloomy,
Told on a summer's evening.

Im Zaubergarten wallen
Zwei Buhlen stumm und allein,
Es singen die Nachtigallen,
Es flimmert der Mondenschein.

In a magic garden wander
Two lovers silent and alone,
The nighingales sing,
The moonlight flickers.

Die Jungfrau steht still wie ein Bildnis,
Der Ritter vor ihr kniet.
Da kommt der Riese der Wildnis,
Die bange Jungfrau flieht.

The maiden stands still as a painting.
The knight kneels before her.
Then comes a giant out of the wilderness,
The terrified maiden flees.

Der Ritter sank blutend zur Erde,
Es stolpert der Riese nach Haus,
Wenn ich begraben werde,
Dann ist das Märchen aus.

The knight sinks bleeding to the ground,
The giant stomps off home.
When I am in the grave,
Only then will this fairy tale be done.

Twenty Songs : I-III : IV-VI : VII - XII : XIII-XVIII : IXX-XX