TRANSLATION: Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21 - "Columbine"

By Logan K. Young on Aug 13, 2013 08:27 PM EDT

Lost in the fire of last year's Pierrot centennial was translation. After all, it was Otto Erich Hartleben's German--translated from the original French of Albert Giraud--that Arnold Schoenberg had set.

And with Stanley Appelbaum's Anglicised Hartleben turning 20 next year (not to mention having its own Twitter account @PierrotTweets), Classicalite figured a new English language translation was passed due.

To wit, for the next 21 weekdays, we'll be offering a new take on each of Giraud/Hartleben/Appelbaum's 3x7 poems...alongside some of our favorite performances.


The pale moonlight flowers,
That white-rosed miracle,
Bloom at night in July--
Oh, if I might pluck only one!

For my pain, to relieve my load,
I search along the dark current.
The pale moonlight flowers,
That white-rosed miracle.

All my desires would be stilled
Could I--as secret as a fable,
So tenderly--but scatter
the petals over your brown tresses.
The moonlight pale flowers.

Up next: "Der Dandy"

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TagsTranslation, Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire, Part I, Columbine, Albert Giraud, Otto Erich Hartleben, Stanley Appelbaum

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