(1996) BIRTWISTLE Canções "Celan"

9 Settings of Celan

Compositor: Harrison Birtwistle
Número de catálogo: não tem
Data da composição: 1989 a 1996
Estréia: 28 de abril de 1996 — Witten, Alemanha, na voz de Claudia Barainsky com Johannes Kalitzke regendo a Klangforum Wien

São canções tendo como texto os poemas do romeno Paul Celan, traduzidos do original em alemão para o inglês por Michael Hamburger. Junto a 9 movimentos de quartetos de cordas — aos quais apresentam-se intercalados — constituem a obra "Pulse Shadows". Algumas canções foram lançadas antetiormente nos anos de 1989 e 1994, de 3 em 3, até as 3 últimas saírem em 1996 e completar o conjunto.

A soprano solista — que ora canta, ora simplesmente recita — é acompanhada de duas clarinetas, viola, violoncelo e contra-baixo. O estilo é difuso, dissonante, com grande efeito dramático.

I. Thread suns
Thread suns
above the grey-black
A treehigh thought
tunes in to light’s pitch: there
still songs to be sung on the
other side
of mankind.

II. White and Light
Sickle dunes, uncounted.

In wind-shadow, thousandfold, you. 
You and the arm
with which naked I grew towards you, 
lost one.

The beams. They blow us together.
We bear the brightness, the pain and the name.

what moves us, 
without weight 
what we exchange. 
White and Light: 
let it drift.

The distances, moon-near, like us. They build.
They build the cliff
where the drift breaks, 
they build
with light-froth and wave turned to foam.

The drift that beckons from cliffs. 
It beckons
brows to come near, 
those brows we were lent 
for mirroring's sake.

The brows.
We roll with them there. 
To a shore of brows.

Are you asleep?

Ocean mill turns,
ice-bright and unheard,
in our eyes.

III. Psalm
No one kneads us again out of earth and clay,
no one incants our dust.
No one.
Blessed art thou, No One.
In thy sight would
we bloom.
In thy
A Nothing
we were, are now, and ever
shall be, blooming:
the Nothing-, the
our pistil soul-bright,
our stamen heaven-waste,
our corona red
from the purpleword we sang
over, O over
the thorn.

IV. With Letter and Clock
to seal the unwritten
that guessed
your name,
that enciphers
your name.

Swimming light, will you come now?

Fingers, waxen too,
through strange, painful rings.
The tips melted away.

Swimming light, will you come?

Empty of time the honeycomb cells of the clock,
bridal the thousand of bees,
ready to leave.

Swimming light, come.

V. An Eye, Open
Hours, May-coloured, cool.
The no more to be named, hot,
audible in the mouth.

No one's voice, again.

Aching depth of the eyeball:
the lid
does not stand in its way, the lash
does not count what goes in.

The tear, half,
the sharper lens, movable,
brings the images home to you.

VI. Todtnauberg
Arnica, eyebright, the
draft from the well with the
star-die on top,

in the

written in the book
- whose name did it record
before mine - ?
in this book
the line about
a hope, today,
for a thinker's
to come,
in the heart,

forest sward, unleveled,
orchis and orchis, singly,

crudeness, later, while driving,

he who drives us, the man,
he who also hears it,

the half-
trod log-
trails on the highmoor,


VII. Tenebrae
We are near, Lord,
near and at hand.

Handled already, Lord,
clawed and clawing as though
the body of each of us were
your body, Lord.

Pray, Lord,
pray to us,
we are near.

Wind-awry we went there,
went there to bend
over hollow and ditch.

To be watered we went there, Lord.

It was blood, it was
what you shed, Lord.

It gleamed.

It cast your image into our eyes, Lord.
Our eyes and our mouths are open and empty, Lord.

We have drunk, Lord.
The blood and the image that was in the blood, Lord.

Pray, Lord.
We are near.

VIII. Night
Pebbles and scree. And a shard note, thin,
as the hour's message of comfort.

Exchange of eyes, finite, at the wrong time:
the retina -
the sign of eternity.

IX. Give the Word
Cut to the brain – half? by three quarters? –,
nighted, you give the password – these:

“Tartars’ arrows”.
                                “Art pap”.


All come. Male or female, not one is missing.
(Siphets and probyls among them.)

A human being comes.

World-apple-sized the tear beside you,
roared through, rushed through
by answer,


Iced through – by whom?

“Pass” you say,


The quiet scab works free from off your palate
and fanwise at your tongue blows light,
blows light.

(tradução para o inglês dos poemas)