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Pater ecstaticus from the Eighth Symphony - ‘Schlußszene aus Faust’ (1906)

Pater ecstaticus from the Eighth Symphony - ‘Schlußszene aus Faust’

Ewiger Wonnebrand,
Glühendes Liebeband,
Siedender Schmerz der Brust,
Schäumende Gotteslust.
Pfeile, durchdringet mich,
Lanzen, bezwinget mich,
Keulen, zerschmettert mich,
Blitze, durchwettert mich!
Daß ja das Nichtige
Alles verflüchtige,
Glänze der Dauerstern,
Ewiger Liebe Kern.

Pater Ecstaticus

Rapture which yearns for ever,
Love that burns for ever,
Seething pain in my breast,
Frothing love of God.
Come, arrows, and pierce me through,
Lances – subdue my flesh,
Maces, come batter me,
Lightnings – shatter me!
That nothingness
Might drown all in emptiness,
Let one constant star shine,
The kernel of eternal love.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Gustav Mahler (7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian late-Romantic composer and conductor.

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Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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