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

By Logan K. Young on Aug 14, 2013 08:53 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.


With a beam of light fantastic,
The moon illuminates the crystal flasks
On the sacred black rack
Of Bergamo's muffled dandy.

In the great bronze basin,
The water stream laughs light, a metallic sound.
With a beam of light fantastic,
The moon illuminates the crystal flasks.

Pierrot, his visage waxen,
Stands reflected, thinking: "How can I make up today?"
He eschews red and the green of the East,
Painting a face aristocratic
With the moon's fantastic beam.

Up next: "Eine Blasse Wäscherin"

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

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