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Abendregen (1875) Op. 70 no.4


Langsam und schimmernd fiel ein Regen,
In den die Abendsonne schien;
Der Wanderer schritt auf engen Wegen
Mit düstrer Seele drunter hin.
Er sah die großen Tropfen blinken
Im Fallen durch den goldnen Strahl;
Er fühlt’ es kühl aufs Haupt ihm sinken
Und sprach mit schauernd süßer Qual:
Nun weiß ich, daß ein Regenbogen
Sich hoch um meine Stirne zieht,
Den auf dem Pfad, den ich gezogen,
Die heitre Ferne spielen sieht.
Und die mir hier am nächsten stehen,
Und wer mich scharf zu kennen meint,
Sie können selber doch nicht sehen,
Wie er versöhnend ob mir scheint.
So wird, wenn andre Tage kommen,
Die sonnig auf dies Heute sehn,
Ob meinem fernen, bleichen Namen
Der Ehre Regenbogen stehn.

Evening Rain

Slowly and gleaming fell the shower,
Through which the evening sun shone;
The traveller walked down narrow paths
With a sombre soul.
He saw the great drops glint
As they fell through the golden ray;
He felt them splash cool on his head,
And spoke quiveringly in sweet torment:
‘I know now that a rainbow
Rises high around my brow,
And on the path that I had taken
The distance smiles to see it play.
And those who stand here closest to me
And those who reckon to know me best—
Not even they can see
How redeemingly it shines above me.
So it shall be in days to come
That will look back sunnily on this today:
Above my distant pale name
A rainbow of honour shall stand.’
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. 

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by many. 

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