Skip to main content

Songs

Songs

Ist als wenn eins gerufen hätt (1911)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Sechs Monologe aus Jedermann 


Ist als wenn eins gerufen hätt

Ist, als wenn eins gerufen hätt,
Die Stimme war schwach und doch recht klar,
Hilf Gott, dass es nit meine Mutter war.
Ist gar ein alt, gebrechlich Weib,
Möcht, dass der Anblick erspart ihr bleib.
O, nur so viel erbarm dich mein,
Lass das nit meine Mutter sein !

It's as if someone had called

It's as if someone had called,
The voice was faint and not quite clear,
I pray to God it was not my mother.
She's such an old and frail woman,
I should like her to be spared this sight.
O show me this much mercy,
May it not be my mother!
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.

Composer

Frank Martin was a Swiss composer, who lived a large part of his life in the Netherlands.


See Full Entry

Poet

Hugo Laurenz August Hofmann von Hofmannsthal (1 February 1874 – 15 July 1929) was an Austrian prodigy, a novelist, librettist, poet, dramatist, narrator, and essayist. He became internationally famous through his work with Richard Strauss.

The only child of a bank director, Hofmannsthal studied law at Vienna. At 16 he published his first poems, under the pseudonym Loris. They created a stir in Vienna and in Germany with their lyrical beauty, magic evocativeness of language, and dreamlike quality. Their anticipation of mature experience and formal virtuosity seem incredible in one so young. After his year of compulsory military service, he studied Romance philology with a view to an academic career but in 1901 married and became a free-lance writer.

Between 1891 and 1899 Hofmannsthal wrote a number of short verse plays, influenced by the static dramas of the Belgian writer Maurice Maeterlinck, the dramatic monologues of the English Romantic poet Robert Browning, and the proverbes dramatiques of the French poet Alfred de Musset. Of the same exquisite beauty as the poems, these playlets are lyric reflections on appearance and reality, transience and timelessness, and continuity and change within the human personality—themes constantly recurring in his later works. After the turn of the century, however, Hofmannsthal renounced purely lyrical forms in his essay “Ein Brief” (also called “Chandos Brief,” 1902). This essay was more than the revelation of a personal predicament; it has come to be recognized as symptomatic of the crisis that undermined the esthetic Symbolist movement of the end of the century. You can read it here in German or English. 

Read more about Hofmannsthal, as well as some of his poetry in English, here. You can find an extensive collection of his poetry in the original German here, on zeno.org. 

Information taken from Wikipedia and Encycolpedia Brittanica. For the full Wikipedia article, click here. For the full Encyclopedia Brittannica entry, click here.


See Full Entry

Sorry, no further description available.

Previously performed at:

(As part of a song cycle/series:)

About Oxford Lieder

Oxford Lieder is one of the world's leading promoters of song and the winner of a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award. The focal point of each year is the two-week Oxford Lieder Festival in October.

Find out More

Mailing List