Love Songs (for SASSAS)

SASSAS Listening Party at Steve and Sari Roden’s house, October 21, 2012

1. Lied Des Lotterieagenten (from Der Silbersee, by Georg Kaiser and Kurt Weill) Recorded by Ute Lemper in Berlin in 1988

2. Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus (#10 – Regard de l’Esprit de joie) Recorded by Pierre-Laurent Aimard in Paris in 1999

3. Akhnaten and Nefertiti (from the opera Aknaten, music by Philip Glass, words are an historical love poem translated by Sir Alan Gardiner) Recorded by the Stuttgart Opera in Ludwigsburg in 1984, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, sung by Paul Esswood and Milagro Vargas


Lied Des Lotterieagenten

Was zahlen sie für einen Rat,
wie man sein Geld anlegt mit Nutzen?

Hast du Geld, lass’ es nicht bei dir im Sack.
Geh’ zu den Menschen und säe es aus.
Das ist ein Acker, der düngt sich mit Blut,
da wächst etwas, da kommt etwas heraus.
Das produziert die Krone des Gewinns:
Zins und Zinsenszins.

Zuerst kommt das und dann kommt nichts danach.
Für dich schließt sich des Lebens Bilderbuch.
Du schlägst nur pünktlich den Kalendar auf
und liest Termine und du liest genug.
Das kalkuliert die Krone des Gewinns:
Zins und Zinsenszins.

Trägst du ein Herz von Fleisch, erhärte es zu Stein
und wund’re dich nicht, wenn es nicht gleich gelingt.
Sei einmal hart vor einer großer Not,
bald siehst du zu, wenn wer ins Wasser springt.
Das garantiert die Krone des Gewinns:
Zins und Zinsenszins.

Bau’ einen Turm von Quadern um dich,
du hörst nicht, wie sie draußen kläglich schrein.
Sei blind — sei taub, erlass keine Schuld,
du büßt ja Geld und Geldes Nutzen ein.
Verleugne nie die Krone des Gewinns:
Zins und Zinsenszins.

Darum lerne, wie man’s macht,
daß einem Zinsenszins und Zinsensfreude lacht.

Sie sind jetzt ein reicher Mensch…
Sie haben viel Geld auf Ihrem Konto…
Sie sind ein Millionär…
Dann können Sie machen, was Sie wollen…


What will you pay for advice
on how to use your money wisely?

If you’ve got money, don’t leave it in your pocket.
Go to the people and sow it.
They are a field, fertilised with blood,
something grows there, something’s coming up.
That produces the cream of your prolific
and compound interest.

That’s the most important thing, nothing follows that,
close your picture book on life.
Just open your diary punctually,
read your appointments and you will have read enough.
That’s how you calculate the cream of your profit:
and compound interest.

If you’ve got a human heart, harden it into stone
and don’t be surprised if it’s not successfulstraight off.
Just once be firm when faced with great need,
soon you’ll be able to watch them jump into the river.
That guarantees the cream of our profit:
and compound interest.

Build a towering block around you,
you won’t hear the4 accusing screams outside.
Be blind, be deaf, forego no debt,
or you’ll forfeit money and money’s benefit.
Never disown the cream of your profit:
and compound interest.

Learn by this how it happens
that compound interest and the joy of interest smile on someone.

Now you are a  rich man.
You have an account full of money.
You are a millionaire.
Now you can do what you want.

(My video for this song kinda sucks, shaky hand, etc. The song is not available anywhere, except pay sites. So just try to enjoy the music… Thanks.)

Vingt regards #10 Regard de l’Esprit de joie

Commentary by Kurt Theil, from the recording by Pierre-Laurent Aimard:

“No. 10 is the cycle’s (Vingt regards’) central axis, a “watch of the spirit of joy” spun out over seven sections and involving a musical language akin to jazz and ragtime.”

Aimard on the Vingt regards:

“(Vingt regards) brings together everything that made up Messiaen’s world at that time – his spiritual, cultural, musical and technical world…it is a summation.”

Akhnaten and Nefertiti

Act II: Years 5 to 15 – Thebes and Akhnaten, Scene 2: Akhnaten and Nefertiti

An orchestral transition prepares the scene, which is devoted entirely to a duet between Akhnaten and Nefertiti.

With the introduction of the solo trombone, the Scribe begins reciting a poem. The first time we hear the poem it is as if addressed to a god.

With the entrance of the strings, the poem is heard again, this time spoken as an exchange between two lovers. During this second reading, Akhnaten and Nefertiti appear. There follows the duet between the two, not alone together. The vocal text is the same poem sung in Egyptian.
At the end of the duet the music returns to the orchestra alone. There is a brief pause, then Akhnaten and Nefertiti resume singing while behind them is seen the funeral cortege in a later stage of its journey, this time ascending on wings of large birds to the heavenly land of Ra.

Text: Recited by the Scribe and then sung in Egyptian by Akhnaten and Nefertiti (love poem found in a royal mummy of the Armarna period, from Journal of Egyptian Archæology, translated by Sir Alan Gardiner)

I breathe the sweet breath
Which comes forth from thy mouth.
I behold thy beauty every day.
It is my desire
That I may be rejuvenated
With life through love
Of thee.

Sesenet neftu nedjem
Per em rek
Peteri nefruk em menet
Ta-i nehet sedj emi
Kheruk nedjem en mehit
Renpu ha-i em ankh
en mertuk.

Give me thy hands, holding thy spirit.
that I may receive it and may live by it.
Call thou upon my name unto eternity
And it shall never fail.

Di-ek eni awik kher ka-ek
Shesepi su ankhi yemef
I ashek reni er heh
Ben hehif em rek

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