Femmes Fatales: three aquatic portraits

(voorjaar 2013)

Bezetting: theremin & piano

Opdrachtcompositie voor Thorwald Jørgensen en Thijn Vermeulen

In de toekomst: bewerking voor cello & piano, orkestratie pianopartij (3*23*2-4231-tmp+2-str)


I Sirene, of the sea

I had hardly finished telling everything to the men before we reached the island of the two Sirens, for the wind had been very favorable. Then all of a sudden it fell dead calm; there was not a breath of wind nor a ripple upon the water, so the men furled the sails and stowed them; then taking to their oars they whitened the water with the foam they raised in rowing. When we had got within earshot of the land, and the ship was going at a good rate, the Sirens saw that we were getting in shore and began with their singing.

‘Come here,’ they sang, ‘renowned Odysseus, honor to the Achaean name, and listen to our two voices. No one ever sailed past us without staying to hear the enchanting sweetness of our song – and he who listens will go on his way not only charmed, but wiser, for we can tell you everything that is going to happen over the whole world.’

They sang these words most musically, and as I longed to hear them further I made by frowning to my men that they should set me free; but they quickened their stroke, and Eurylokhos and Perimedes bound me with still stronger bonds till we had got out of hearing of the Sirens’ voices. Then my men took the wax from their ears and unbound me.


II Lorelei, of the river

Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten,
Daß ich so traurig bin;
Ein Märchen aus uralten Zeiten,
Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.
Die Luft ist kühl und es dunkelt,
Und ruhig fließt der Rhein;
Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt
Im Abendsonnenschein.

Die schönste Jungfrau sitzet
Dort oben wunderbar,
Ihr goldnes Geschmeide blitzet,
Sie kämmt ihr goldnes Haar.
Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme,
Und singt ein Lied dabei;
Das hat eine wundersame,
Gewalt’ge Melodei.

Den Schiffer, im kleinen Schiffe,
Ergreift es mit wildem Weh;
Er schaut nicht die Felsenriffe,
Er schaut nur hinauf in die Höh’.
Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen
Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn;
Und das hat mit ihrem Singen
Die Loreley getan.

Heinrich Heine

III Rusalka, of the lake

Above the lake the mist was lifting;
Through milky clouds across the sky
A ruddy moon was softly drifting,
When water drew the friar’s eye
He looks; his heart is full of trouble,
Of fear he cannot quite explain;
He sees the waves rise more than double
And suddenly grow calm again.

Then, white as first snow of the highlands,
Light-footed as nocturnal shade,
There comes ashore and sits in silence
Upon the bank a naked maid.
She looks at him and brushes gently
The hair and water off her arms.
He shakes with fear and looks intently
At her seductive, luscious charms.

With eager hand she waves and beckons,
Nods quickly, smiling from afar,
And shoots within two flashing seconds
Into still water like a star.
The grove puts on the gown of nightfall;
The moon walks on the cloudy floor;
And there’s the maiden—young, delightful,
Reclining on the spellbound shore.

She looks at him, her hair she brushes,
Smiles, sends him kisses sweet and wild,
Plays with the waves—caresses, splashes –
Now laughs, now whimpers like a child,
Moans tenderly, calls louder, louder…
“Here, monk, here, monk! To me, to me!”
Then vanishes in limpid water,
And all is silent instantly…

Alexander Pushkin

One Response

  1. Premières en een toegift · January 23, 2014 at 17:44:09 · →

    […] is inmiddels bekend dat Thorwald Jørgensen mijn stuk Femmes Fatales nog vóór deze zomer in première gaat brengen, en het daarna ook meeneemt op zijn tour door de VS […]

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