Der nakht vekhter 03:50

Liner Notes

Paul Lamkoff’s Der nakht vekhter (The Night Watchman) is a setting of Avraham Reisen’s (1875–1953) poem about a tried, melancholy watchman who envies the restfulness and fortunes of the inhabitants of houses over which he watches. In his forlorn mood, he cries out, “Only I have nothing; so I watch over the happiness and peace of people I don’t even know.”

By: Neil W. Levin



Poem: Avraham Reisin
Sung in Yiddish

Late, the night is cold and dark,
Foggy and wet;
In the houses all are resting;
It’s dead silent in the street.

Lonely, the night watchman
Drags himself around the streets.
He peers into the quiet houses
In quiet silent melancholy.

There, in a soft, warm bed
They sleep so well.  
Oh, how his bones would have
Found rest there.

And he laments to heaven:
“Behold my grief,
I alone have nothing, so I watch
Over the happiness and peace of strangers.”

Poem: Avraham Reisin

shpet, di nakht iz kalt un finster,
nepldik un nas.
in di hayzer ruen ale
toyt un shtum in gas.

elnt shlept zikh nor der vekhter
af der gas arum,
in di shtile hayzer kukt er
veymutik un shtum.

dort in veykhn varemen betl
shloft zikh azoy gut,
oy vi voltn zayne beyner
dort zikh oysgerut.

un er klogt zikh farn himl:
ze mayn troyer tsu,
ikh aleyn hob gornit, hit ikh
fremdns glik un ru.



Composer: Paul Lamkoff

Length: 03:50
Genre: Art Song

Performers: Raphael Frieder, Baritone;  John Musto, 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:

Translation: Eliyahu Mishulovin


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