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Szene aus Faust (1814) D126

Szene aus Faust

Wie anders, Gretchen, war dir’s,
Als du noch voll Unschuld
Hier zum Altar trat’st,
Aus dem vergriffenen Büchelchen
Gebete lalltest,
Halb Kinderspiele,
Halb Gott im Herzen!
Gretchen! Wo steht dein Kopf?
In deinem Herzen, welche Missetat?
Bet’st du für deiner Mutter Seele,
Die durch dich zur langen,
Langen Pein hinüberschlief?
Auf deiner Schwelle wessen Blut?
– Und unter deinem Herzen
Regt sich’s nicht quillend schon,
Und ängstigt dich und sich
Mit ahnungsvoller Gegenwart?
Weh! Weh!
Wär’ ich der Gedanken los,
Die mir herüber und hinüber gehen
Wider mich!
Diesirae, diesilla,
Solvet saeclum in favilla.
Grimm fasst dich!
Die Posaune tönt!
Die Gräber beben!
Und dein Herz, aus Aschenruh
Zu Flammenqualen wieder aufgeschaffen,
Bebt auf!
Wär’ ich hier weg!
Mir ist als ob die Orgel mir
Den Athem versetzte,
Gesang mein Herz
Im Tiefsten lös’te.
Judex ergo cum sedebit,
Quidquid latet adparebit:
Nil inultum remanebit.
Mir wird so eng!
Die Mauern-Pfeiler befangen mich!
Das Gewölbe drängt mich! – Luft!
Verbirgdich! Zünd’ und Schande
Bleibt nicht verborgen.
Luft? Licht? Wehe dir!
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem patronum rogaturus?
Cum vix justus sit securus.
Ihr Antlitz wenden
Verklärte von dir ab.
Die Hände dir zu reichen,
Schauert’s den Reinen. Weh!
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem patronum rogaturus?

Scene from Faust

How differently you felt, Gretchen,
when, still full of innocence,
you came to the altar here,
mumbling prayers
from your shabby little book,
half playing children’s games,
half with God in your heart.
Gretchen! How is your head?
What sin lies within your heart?
Do you pray for the soul of your mother,
who because of you
overslept into a long, long agony?
And whose blood lies on your threshold?
And beneath your heart
does not something already stir and swell,
tormenting itself and you
with its foreboding presence?
Alas! Alas!
If only I could be free of the thoughts
which run to and fro in my mind,
against my will.
The day of wrath, that day
will dissolve the earth in ashes.
Anguish grips you!
The trumpet sounds,
the graves tremble!
And your heart, stirred up again
from ashen peace to blazing torment,
trembles likewise!
If only I could escape from here!
I feel as if the organ
were taking my breath away,
and the singing dissolving my heart
in its depths.
When therefore the judge takes his seat,
whatever is hidden will reveal itself;
nothing will remain unavenged.
I am so afraid!
The pillars of the walls are constricting me!
The vault presses down on me! – Air!
Hide yourself! Shame and sin
will not remain hidden.
Air? Light? Woe upon you!
What will I say then, wretch that I am?
What advocate entreat to speak for me?
When even the righteous may hardly be secure.
The blessed turn their faces
from you.
The pure shudder
to reach out their hands to you. Woe!
What will I say then, wretch that I am?
What advocate entreat to speak for me?
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

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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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