Katherine Wren Translator

Translating and writing about culture and sport
German-English Translation/Deutsch-Englisch
Specialist area Classical Music/ Fachgebiet klassische Musik

Music Translation/Übersetzungen für Musik

Vier Letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) - Strauss

Im Abendrot

(Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff)


Wir sind durch Not und Freude

Gegangen Hand in Hand,

Vom Wandern ruhen wir beide

Nun überm stillen Land.


Rings sich die Täler neigen,

Es dunkelt schon die Luft,

Zwei Lerchen nur noch steigen

Nachträumend in den Duft.


Tritt her, und laß sie schwirren

Bald ist es Schlafenszeit,

Daß wir uns nicht verirren

In dieser Einsamkeit.


O weiter, stiller Friede!

So tief im Abendrot,

Wie sind wir wandermüde

Ist das etwa der Tod?

At Sunset

(Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff)


Through joy and travail

We travelled hand in hand,

We rest now from wandering

Over this silent land.


Around us, the valleys slope,

The skies are already darkening,

Only two larks still rise

Dreamily in the fragrant air.


Come away and let them fly,

Soon it will be time to sleep,

So we do not lose ourselves

In this solitude.


Oh wide, still peace!

So deep in the sunset,

How weary we are of wandering

Is this, then, death?

Pressemitteilung für TACET

Peng! - ein Luftballon platzt. Peng! - ein zweiter. Und dann purzelt eine Menge bunter Melodien von der Bühne des Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Das Nederlands Philharmonisch Kammerorkest spielt frech wie kleine Kinder auf der Straße. Der langsame Satz glüht innig. Dem Publikum geht das Herz auf. Ist das wirklich Charles Gounod, der Langeweiler mit dem Ave Maria? Alle lauschen gebannt einem Feuerwerk aus Ideenreichtum, Instrumentationskunst und Spielfreude und staunen, wie es dem Geiger Gordan Nikolic gelingt, in all dies eine Atmosphäre des Geschehenlassens hineinzuzaubern, die den Hörer zu nichts zwingt und doch unwiderstehlich ist.

Bang! A balloon bursts. Bang! A second one. And then a whole bunch of colourful melodies tumble from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw stage. The Netherlands Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra plays as boldly as little children in the street. The slow movement glows inwardly. The audience's hearts are filled with joy. Is that really Charles Gounod, the boring one who wrote that Ave Maria? Everyone listens spellbound to a cascade of rich ideas, artful instrumentation and the sheer joy of playing. They are amazed how, in the midst of all this, the violinist Gordan Nikolic manages to conjure up an atmosphere of simply letting it all happen, which doesn't demand anything of the listener and yet is completely compelling

Matthias Jung is a fairly unassuming person (as are other TACET musicians such as Evgeni Koroliov or the Auryn Quartet). He places his musicality and his ability completely in the service of music. He understands how to transfer the traditional and yet timelessly modern characteristics of the German language into music and how to blend the melody of the language with musical melody in a way that is reminiscent of the high culture of the 19th century, stemming from Mendelssohn and in which Mendelssohn himself felt at home.

Matthias Jung's recording of the complete songs for mixed a capella choir by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, with the Sächsisches Vocalensemble, has already received numerous awards on CD, such as "5 tuning forks" (5 stars) from the French magazine Diapason or the recommendation from Klassik Heute with 10 points. The new Blu-ray disc takes the sound quality even further. As ever, the TACET "Real Surround Sound" continues to fascinate. It places the listener right in the middle of the music, this time in a quite special way. Mendelssohn several times expressed a wish, including in writing, to perform these songs in a suitable place in a wood, more precisely in a wood of tall beech trees. He even painted a picture of this (see attachment/supplementary booklet). Allow yourself to be surprised by the sound of this on the Blue-ray disc in stereo and in multi-channel sound. And so these simple, expressive and yet so refined texts and songs have even more appeal.

Mahler Symphony (Section)

Pater Profundus  (tiefe Region)


Wie Felsenabgrund mir zu Füßen

Auf tiefem Abgrund lastend ruht,

Wie tausend Bäche strahlend fließen

Zum grausen Sturz des Schaums der Flut,


Wie strack, mit eig'nem kräft'gen Triebe,

Der Stamm sich in die Lüfte trägt:

So ist es die allmächt'ge Liebe,

Die alles bildet, alles hegt.


Ist um mich her ein wildes Brausen,

Als wogte Wald und Felsengrund,

Und doch stürzt, liebevoll im Sausen,

Die Wasserfülle sich zum Schlund,

Berufen, gleich das Tal zu wässern;

Der Blitz, der flammend niederschlug,

Die Atmosphäre zu verbessern,

Die Gift und Dunst im Busen trug:


Sind Liebesboten! sie verkünden,

 Was ewig schaffend uns umwallt.

 Mein Inn'res mög' es auch entzünden,

Wo sich der Geist, verworren kalt,

Verquält in stumpfer Sinneschranken,

Scharfangeschloss'nem Kettenschmerz.

O Gott, beschwichtige die Gedanken,

Erleuchte mein bedürftig Herz!

Pater Profundus (from the lower regions)

As the rocky precipice at my feet

Rests heavily on the profound abyss,

As thousands of streams luminously flow

Towards the terrifying plunge of the foaming flood,

As the tree, under its own strong impulse,

Thrusts upwards into the air:

So it is almighty love,

That shapes and nourishes all things.


A wild roar sounds all around me,

As if the wood and cliffs surged,

And yet, rushing down lovingly,

The abundant water plunges into the abyss,

Appointed even to bathe the valley below:

The lightning that blazed down,

Enhancing the atmosphere,

Which bore in its breast a poisonous haze:


They are love’s messengers! They proclaim

That which eternally creates and surrounds us.

May they also illuminate my heart,

Where the spirit, confused and cold,

Languishes, bound by dulled senses,

The pain of tightly bound chains.

Oh God, assuage my thoughts,

Illuminate my needy heart!



25 Years of TACET - published on http://www.tacet.de/main/seite1.php?language=en&filename=25Jahre.php&layout=tacet

25 years ago it was enough to bring out a CD of a well-known artist with a programme of his or her choice and sales success was guaranteed. Today you could say, to paraphrase Karl Valentin, everything has already been recorded, but not yet by everybody. To preserve  artist A with programme B in room C so that the sound is at least easily recognisable can now be done by almost any mobile phone. Why should you spend money on it? If the artist is famous and has something personal to say, then a concert will always seem more rewarding.

Photography is similar. In the past a photo was an expensive affair. Today the cheapest digital camera delivers razor sharp images. Anyone wanting something special no longer takes snapshots. Presentation of photos is becoming ever more important. This is demonstrated, for example, in the cost and effort that goes into wedding photographs. My wife and I have just one; without feet...

As a Tonmeister I could never accept "the disc" as a poor substitute for a live concert. I have always tried to regard it as its own artistic medium. Today, more than ever, it is important to present works and interpretations in a special but meaningful way and, indeed, in a way that is not possible in a concert. It is important to support the artist, to challenge him, to show him the differences between concert and disc and to go with him on an adventurous treasure hunt beyond the concert hall. Unusual and well-thought-out recordings are always interesting.

That is how we wish to continue in years to come.

Berg - First of Seven Early Songs

by Ferdinand Max Hauptmann (1858-1921)

Dämmern Wolken über Nacht und Tal,
Nebel schweben, Wasser rauschen sacht.
Nun entschleiert sich's mit einemmal:
O gib Acht! Gib Acht!
Weites Wunderland ist aufgetan.
Silbern ragen Berge, traumhaft groß,
Stille Pfade silberlicht talen
Aus verborg'nem Schoß;
Und die hehre Welt so traumhaft rein.
Stummer Buchenbaum am Wege steht
Schattenschwarz, ein Hauch vom fernen
Einsam leise weht.
Und aus tiefen Grundes Düsterheit
Blinken Lichter auf in stummer Nacht.
Trinke Seele! Trinke Einsamkeit!
O gib Acht! Gib Acht!


By Ferdinand Max Hauptmann (1858-1921)


Clouds glower over night and dale,

Mist floats past, water gently swirls.

And now all is suddenly unveiled:

Oh pay heed! Pay heed!

A vast, wondrous land has emerged.

Silver mountains tower above, fantastically high,

Silent paths like silver threads drawn

From the valley’s hidden lap;

And the sublime world so fantastically pure.

A silent beech tree stands by the path;

Deep in shadow, a breath from the distant grove,

Soft and lonely, wafts past.

And out of the valley’s gloom,

Lights blink in the stillness of the night.

Drink, my soul! Drink solitude!

Oh pay heed! Pay heed!