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Di mayse mit der velt 03:25
 

Liner Notes

Di mayse mit der velt (1930) is a dramatic narrative in which the sardonic humor of the poem is colorfully conveyed. Three musical ideas organize this parable in song: a short, rhythmic figure, recitative-arioso passages, and a mordant sequential refrain. The mode is prevailingly whole tone. The vocal part is more concerned with storytelling than with the invention of shapely melody.

By: Yehudi Wyner

 

Lyrics

Poet: Moshe Leib Halpern (1886–1932)

I decree that the world be conquered,
Said the king.
As this became known throughout the land,
The mother mourned her living son as though already dead.
But the plowshare in the field,
And the sole under the cobbler’s hammer,
And the mouse in the chamber,
Laughed silently
When the news came their way,
This dreadful news.

Now the world has been conquered!
What should be done with it?
It cannot fit into the king’s castle.
They forgot to measure the world
When they built the gate.
But the plowshare in the field,
And the sole under the cobbler’s hammer,
And the mouse in the chamber,
Are now rolling with laughter;
The king’s crown is trembling
From their frivolous laughter.

The courtiers advise: In the meantime
Let’s keep the world guarded outside the castle,
But the king is pale as death.
He is fearful that the world will get wet
When the rain comes.
But the plowshare in the field
And the sole under the cobbler’s hammer,
And the mouse in the chamber,
Are laughing so—that it is frightening.
They’re nearly dying from laughter
That the world is still left outside.

Poet: Moshe Leib Halpern (1886–1932)

ikh bafel men zol aynnemen di velt,
hot der kenig gezogt.
iz dos land gevor gevorn derfun,
hot di mame ir lebedikn zun vi an emesn toytn baklogt.
ober dos aker-ayzn in feld,
un di zoyl untern shusters hamer,
un di moyz in kamer,
hobn shtilerhayt gelakht
ven men hot zey di bsure gebrakht
di dosike finstere bsure.

itst hot men shoyn ayngenumen di velt.
vos zol men ton mit ir?
zi kon nit arayn in dem kenigs shlos.
me hot fargesn tsu nemen a mos
fun der velt ven men hot gemakht di tir.
ober dos aker-ayzn in feld,
un di zoyl untern shusters hamer,
un di moyz in kamer,
kayklen zikh far gelekhter shoyn.
se tsitert azsh baym kenig di kroyn
fun zeyer farshayt gelekhter.

di hoyflayt meynen di velt zol dervayl
a bavakhte in droysn shteyn.
nor der kenig iz vi der toyt azoy blas.
er hot moyre di velt ken nokh vern nas,
ven s’vet a regn geyn.
ober dos aker-ayzn in feld,
un di zoyl untern shusters hamer,
un di moyz in kamer,
lakhn azoy, az se iz shoyn a shrek.
zey shtarbn shier far gelekhter avek,
vos di velt shteyt nokh alts in droysn.


 

Credits

Composer: Lazar Weiner

Length: 03:25
Genre: Art Song

Performers: Robert Abelson, Baritone;  Barry Snyder, Piano

Date Recorded: 12/01/1992
Venue: Kilbourn Hall/Eastman School of Music (F), University of Rochester, New York
Engineer: Dusman, David
Assistant Engineer: Michael Isaacson and Samuel Rosenbaum

Additional Credits:

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

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