REX ISENBERG: Das Stunden​-​Buch (2013​)​, III. Ich bin, du Ängstlicher

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about

Das Stunden-Buch (The Book of Hours) (1905) is one of Rilke’s earlier works, consisting of a few dozen devotional poems expressing the poet’s intense and complex emotions towards God. The traditional “Book of Hours” was a popular manual for Christian life used throughout the year during the Middle Ages, and Rilke adapts its structure to depict one’s relationship with God at different stages of life and worship. My setting of Das Stunden-Buch includes four poems from the collection, which together reflect the overall dramatic narrative of the work, from wonderment and awe, to fear and misunderstanding, and finally to complete acceptance and embracing of a higher power. This short prelude serves to introduce the characters of the piano and clarinet, which represent the mind and soul of the poet, and to set the mysterious and contemplative tone for the piece.

- Dr. Rex Isenberg

lyrics

III. Ich bin, du Ängstlicher (I am, you anxious one)

I am, you anxious one. Don’t you hear me
surging against you with all my senses?
My feelings, which have found wings,
circle white around your face.
Can’t you see my soul
standing before you clothed in silence?
Doesn’t my springtime prayer
ripen in your glance like on a tree?
If you are a dreamer, I am your dream.
But if you want to be awake, I am your will
and become the master of all glory
and patrol like a star-silence
over the whimsical city of time.

credits

from Lieder​/​Canciones, released September 1, 2016

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sTem New York, New York

sTem champions the aural and theatrical possibilities of vocal chamber music through dramatic performances, innovative commissions, and community outreach.

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