Thursday, September 24, 2009

song to the moon

It's Flicka. Of course it's Flicka. I'm referring to Frederica von Stade, the mezzo-soprano from the land of the Sopranos. That's right, she hails from good old New Jersey USA. The fact that the Jersey Girl has a name derived from German Royalty (just like Liz!) and a voice to match makes her the perfect choice.

I've been obsessed with the haunting beauty of Song To The Moon. It's a lovely piece about the yearning of a young girl, but I'm picking up an additional meaning. To me the aria is about the longing for change, and right now the one longing is me. But change is happening, and I will keep you all informed.

From Dvorak's Rusalka, the aria is interpreted by Martha Kate Lind:

In the beginning of the aria, Dvorak uses large arpeggiated chords to invite the audience into the fairy tale land of Rusalka. The good-natured old Spirit of the Lake, Jezibab, is enjoying the singing of the Wood Nymphs, when his daughter, Rusalka, approaches him sadly. She tells him that she has fallen in love with a handsome young prince and wishes to become human in order to know the bliss of union with him. Deeply saddened, the Spirit of the Lake consents to her request, and leaves. All alone, Rusalka sings this beautiful aria, confiding in the moon the secrets of her longing.

Here's a translation:

Silver moon upon the deep dark sky,
Through the vast night pierce your rays.

This sleeping world you wander by,
Smiling on men's homes and ways.

Oh moon ere past you glide, tell me,
Tell me, oh where does my loved one bide?

Oh moon ere past you glide, tell me
Tell me, oh where does my loved one bide?

Tell him, oh tell him, my silver moon,
Mine are the arms that shall hold him,

That between waking and sleeping he may
Think of the love that enfolds him,

May between waking and sleeping
Think of the love that enfolds him.

Light his path far away, light his path,
Tell him, oh tell him who does for him stay!

Human soul, should it dream of me,
Let my memory wakened be.

Moon, moon, oh do not wane, do not wane,
Moon, oh moon, do not wane....


Willym said...

I was a Flicka groupie for many years ... followed her every performance and made it to many of them: Houston, Ottawa, Glyndebourne, Paris... she was always the best and gave her best.. a great artist and a lovely person to boot.

nisbetclan said...

Hello Jeff,
I came across your post while doing research on Rusalka's aria. I really like this translation and was wondering where you found this. I am a musician looking to write a song inspired by this piece and wanted to possibly use some of this text. I would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you! You can e-mail me at

Thank you!


Ingeborg said...