Programme Note

Im Nebel is a choral work based on the poem of the same title by German poet Hermann Hesse.  The poem draws upon rich imagery of nature, and the image of the fog is used as a metaphor for loneliness and alienation.  The musical setting of the text is based upon shifting tonal contexts and lush chromatic melodic lines, and yet is only primarily constituted by triadic harmonies.

Im Nebel

Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!
Einsam ist jeder Busch und Stein,
Kein Baum sieht den anderen,
Jeder ist allein.

Voll von Freunden war mir die Welt,
Als noch mein Leben licht war,
Nun, da der Nebel fällt,
Ist keiner mehr sichtbar.

Wahrlich, keiner ist weise,
Der nicht das Dunkle kennt,
Das unentrinnbar und leise
Von allen ihn trennt.

Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!
Leben ist einsam sein.
Kein Mensch kennt den anderen,
Jeder ist allein.

In the Mists

Wondrous to wander through mists!
Parted are bush and stone:
None to the other exists,
Each stands alone.

Many my friends came calling,
Then, when my life was bright;
Now that the fogs are falling,
None is in sight.

Truly, only the sages
Fathom the darkness to fall,
Which, as silent as cages,
Separates all.

Strange to walk in the mists!
Life has to solitude grown.
Only the Single persists:
Each is alone.

Performance History

A scaled-down version premiered on 30 March 2014 by soprano Rose Hegele, alto Hailey McAvoy, tenor Sanders Lau, and bass Trevor Cook, at the Ray Wright Room, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, USA.

 


 

Im Nebel (2014)

for SATB chorus.

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