Performance of Schubert’s song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin by singer Thomas Beavitt and pianist Alexander Polyakov at Ekaterinburg’s Dom Muzyki on 19th April 2019
Смерть поэта (М.Ю. Лермонтов)
Погиб поэт! — невольник чести, —
Убит!.. К чему теперь рыданья,
Что ж? Веселитесь… он мучений
И что за диво?.. Издалёка,
И он убит — и взят могилой,
Зачем от мирных нег и дружбы простодушной
И, прежний сняв венок, — они венец терновый,
Замолкли звуки чудных песен,
Но есть и божий суд, наперсники разврата!
The Bard is Dead! (tr. T. Beavitt)
The bard is dead! – conscience of our age –
Eternity! Spare your crocodile tears…
Well? Enjoy the show! He burned
Occidental – quelle surprise! –
And so he was slain, and his body taken,
Why, from calm obscurity and artless geniality,
Then, replacing with a crown of thorns, his wreath,
The mellifluous tones of our tragic nation
And you, O arrogant descendants,
But there is a sacred court, O intimates of vice!
Сон (М.Ю. Лермонтов)
В полдневный жар в долине Дагестана
Лежал один я на песке долины;
И снился мне сияющий огнями
Но в разговор весёлый не вступая,
И снилась ей долина Дагестана;
Dream (tr. T. Beavitt)
The sun beats down on a Dagestani chasm.
Alone, as I lie upon the sands of that ravine,
I seem to dream a hundred gleaming candles –
But, not participating in this merry theme,
In her dream, a Dagestani valley;
Желание (М.Ю. Лермонтов)
Зачем я не птица, не ворон степной,
На запад, на запад помчался бы я,
Я стал бы летать над мечом и щитом
Но тщетны мечты, бесполезны мольбы
Последний потомок отважных бойцов
Yearning (tr. T. Beavitt)
If I were a raven, a raptor of the plain,
To the west, to the west, I’d be gone in an hour!
I would fly over the sword and the shield,
But disconsolate dreams, unfulfillable yearning
The last scion of a race that routed foes
Гроб Оссиана (М.Ю. Лермонтов)
Под занавесою тумана,
Летит к ней дух мой усыпленный
Ossian’s Tomb (tr. T. Beavitt)
Beneath a swirling shroud of mist,
My wearied spirit flies to her
Die Schöne Müllerin
Franz Schubert’s song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin will be presented in the original German language by Scottish vocalist Thomas Beavitt on 19th April 2019 at Ekaterinburg’s Dom Muzyki (House of Music). Accompanied by the pianist Alexander Polyakov, laureate of international competitions, all 20 songs from one of the most popular songs cycles of the Romantic era will be heard from the venue’s stage.
Although the rhythmic pattern and melody of each song are quite distinct, they are united by a common theme – the love and life of a young apprentice miller, whose heart is broken by the miller’s beautiful daughter. However, his dream of love turns into a tragic nightmare when, instead of our young hero, the heroine chooses a dashing hunter as her suitor.
The cycle’s memorable melodies are written in a folky spirit, with marvellous landscapes opened up by the piano accompaniment, which glides, murmurs and tumbles along to the vocalist’s emotional outpourings just like the brook, representing our protagonist’s inner state and only true friend.
The songs from Die Schöne Müllerin became very popular in Germany following their first performance (32 years after their creation), being performed by professional vocalists and amateurs alike. To this day, Schubert’s songs are very well known and actively performed in European countries.
“In Russia, it is fairly rare for a performer to take on the performance of this cycle; in Yekaterinburg, all the more so. Sometimes you can hear it in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but not here,” commented Alexei Petrov, the well-known Ekaterinburg singer, winner of all-Russian and international competitions and the Sverdlovsk Governor’s Prize. “Reasons for this include the foreign language and the technical demands placed on the singer. ”
This is not the first year that Thomas Beavitt has explored the work of Schubert. In April 2018, on the same stage, he presented the cycle Winter Journeyman (in his own English translation), which is a kind of sequel to Die Schöne Müllerin.
Concert «Die Schöne Müllerin» (Franz Schubert).
Vocal ‑ Thomas Beavitt (Scotland),
Piano ‑ laureate of international competitions Alexander Polyakov (Russia).
19 April at 19:00, Dom Muzyki, 30 Sverdlova street
Today I am going to try to address the main problem with this website, which is that, although my lovely webmistress Olga and I have been beavering away to try to obtain a harmonious marriage of form and content, the editorial glue that should hold this whole thing together has, until now, been lacking.
So, what is Global Village Bard about and why might it be of interest to you? Essentially, the concept is that the activity of song and verse translation produces rich, meaningful artistic collaborations, whether in the area of video or audio production, live performances, happenings and so on.
Since I am the founding Global Village Bard and I happen to be currently located in Ekaterinburg, Russia, a lot of the collaborative work is presently anchored in Russian culture. So, for example, the project of translating the Russian poet Lermontov, who had Scottish family roots, has not only generated a repertoire performed by the vocal group ‘Rhyming Thomas & the Three Muses’, but is currently the focus of a collaboration with two young composers Andrey Bokovikov and Nikita Nikitin. This work is essentially a spoken word composition, in which musical themes (leitmotivs) are combined with rhythms derived from contemporary rap as well as those present in the poetry itself. We hope that there will be not only an English but also a Russian language version of this work – the former recited by me and the latter by a special guest to be announced later. We are very much looking forward to sharing this work with you!
Another collaboration I am currently engaged in here is with the pianist Alexander Polyakov, who teaches at the Ural State Pedagogical University. Alexander is a really great musician! One of the really great things about living in this city is the opportunity to work with such talented and hard-working people! We have been working on Schubert’s song cycles – last year it was Winterreise, which we performed in my contemporary English translation. This year we will be performing Die Schöne Müllerin but sticking to the original German, at least for now!
The oil painting you see below was done by Chisha Paszczyk, who also did the series of paintings illustrating Winterreise last year. Her work caught the eye of Iain Phillips, whose encyclopaedic tribute to Winterreise features our version of the work.
So, what has this to do with you? Well, on the one hand, it is hoped that you might simply enjoy viewing, listening and reading what is presented here – or even attending an event sometime. But on the other hand, the Global Village Bard concept is based on the insight that everyone is in the process of developing themselves and potentially has something to contribute. If this form of development interests you, get in touch!
Contemporary English interpretation of Schubert’s iconic song cycle based on Wilhelm Müller’s original German verses. Sung and translated by Thomas Beavitt, accompanied by Alexander Polyakov on piano. Artwork by Chisha Paszczyk.
Song about human relationships. We are communicative bridges for each other. But bridges can be burnt as well as built.