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Baym bentshn likht 01:56
 

Liner Notes

Baym bentshn likht (1974) is tenderly dedicated to the memory of Weiner’s two mothers, Gisse-Malke and Khassia. The murmured chant suffused with Yiddish melos is enveloped by a texture of slow-moving chords that dissolve into a quiet stream of melody at the end of each strophe. The suspended chords create an aura of stillness, remoteness, and mystery, astutely and graphically evoking the image of the lighting of the Sabbath candles with the corresponding benediction. The touching melancholy of the song, a mixture of hope, regret, and reminiscence—suggested by the hot tears of the weeping candles—is conveyed with inconspicuous, assured mastery.

By: Yehudi Wyner

 

Lyrics

Poet: Joseph Rubinstein (1905–1978)

My mother weeps when lighting the [Sabbath] candles; I do not hear her words;
I can only see the tears rolling down her face.
I observe—the candlestick stands showered in tears.
The candlestick weeps like her, with hot drops of wax.

I still see how my mother’s hands flutter at her forehead,
Her eyes half shut, peering into the distance.
And through the bright glow that glimmers from her tears,
A forever unforgettable Sabbath glow.

Poet: Joseph Rubinstein (1905–1978)

mayn mame veynt baym bentshn likht, ikh her nisht ire verter,
ikh ze nor vi di trern trifn op af ir gezikht.
ikh kuk zikh tsu—a laykhter shteyt in gantsn a fartrerter,
a laykhter veynt vi zi mit heyse tropns fun a likht.

ikh ze nokh alts mayn mames hent, vos fligln bay ir shtern,
di oygn ire halb-farmakhte in der vayt gevendt
un durkh der heler shayn vos finklt op in ire trern
a keynmol nisht-fargesenem, a shabesdikn blend.


 

Credits

Composer: Lazar Weiner

Length: 01:56
Genre: Art Song

Performers: Elizabeth Shammash, Mezzo-soprano;  Yehudi Wyner, Piano

Date Recorded: 12/01/2001
Venue: Lefrak Concert Hall/Colden Center for the Arts (D), Flushing, New York
Engineer: Lazarus, Tom
Assistant Engineer: Frost, David
Project Manager: Schwendener, Paul

Additional Credits:

Translations and Transliterations: Eliyahu Mishulovin
Preliminary preparations by Adam J. Levitin

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