This work is dedicated to the memory of a friend who died much too early, and is inspired by the poem Schliesse mir die Augen beide by Theodor Storm, twice set to music by the composer Alban Berg. The piece unfolds in one long and two shorter arcs. The piano propels the music forward in insistent, repetitive rhythmic and harmonic patterns, while the song flows rather slowly and, at times, lifelessly. The text to the piece is a synthesis of the original German and an English translation. The words themselves have such power that even though the line of the text is continually broken by the weaving together of the German and the English, the basic Romantic character of the text is more than well understood. The collision between the static musical lines and the frenetic fluctuation between languages is meant to create an imaginary extension lasting fourteen minutes of what could have been a few short seconds of a mental state.
Schliesse mir die Augen beide
mit den lieben Händen zu!
Geht doch alles, was ich leide,
unter deiner Hand zur Ruh.Und wie leise sich der Schmerz
Well’ um Welle schlafen leget,
wie der letzte Schlag sich reget,
füllest du mein ganzes Herz.
Close both my eyes
with your beloved hands!
Let all my suffering
gain rest beneath your hand.And as gently the pain
wave upon wave lies in sleep,
As the last blow falls
you fill my whole heart.