Saturday, September 18, 2010

A sorrowful song

Henyrk Górecki - from Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 , "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," Third Movement

David Zinman, conductor, and Dawn Upshaw, soprano. (Unaccountably, the video does not give the orchestra a credit.)

The song for the third movement is taken from a Silesian folk song, comprising the lament of mother for her son, missing in the battles of an uprising the Polish region of Opole.

The libretto in translation:
Where has he gone
My dearest son?
Perhaps during the uprising
The cruel enemy killed him

Ah, you bad people
In the name of God, the most Holy,
Tell me, why did you kill
My son?

Never again
Will I have his support
Even if I cry
My old eyes out

Were my bitter tears
to create another River Oder
They would not restore to life
My son

He lies in his grave
and I know not where
Though I keep asking people

Perhaps the poor child
Lies in a rough ditch
and instead he could have been
lying in his warm bed

Oh, sing for him
God's little song-birds
Since his mother
Cannot find him

And you, God's little flowers
May you blossom all around
So that my son
May sleep happily.

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