Hanns Eisler: Music

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Easter Sunday (Hollywood Songbook) RealAudio Buy
Text: Bertolt Brecht. Matthias Goerne, baritone; Eric Schneider, piano.

Bertolt Brecht in the 1920s.
After their flight from Nazi Germany, Brecht and his family found refuge for a time on a Danish island. In this poem, a simple request by his son helps Brecht find a moment's respite from his preoccupation with the terror then threatening Europe. In Brecht's "Arbeitsjournal," the poet referred to Eisler's setting of this song: "I see his settings the same way as a performance is to a play: the test. He reads with immense precision."

Today, Easter Sunday morning
a sudden snowstorm swept over the island.
Between the greening hedges lay snow.
My young son drew me
to a little apricot tree by the house wall
away from a verse
in which I pointed the finger at those
who were preparing a war which
could well wipe out the continent, this island,
my people, my family
and myself.
In silence
we put a sack
over the freezing tree.

Music sample © 1998 The Decca Record Company Ltd., London. Translation by Derek Bowman in "Bertolt Brecht: Poems 1913-1956" © 1979 Methuen London Ltd.

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