Aus Einem April

Aus Einem April

for Solo Viola


Program Notes:

Aus einem April for solo viola is based on the poem by Rainer Maria Rilke and shares with it the same spirit of rejoicing in the coming of spring after a long, difficult winter. The piece was written during a year spent living in Vienna – a time when the grayness and loneliness of the city mirrored my own and when Rilke’s poetry was my constant companion. It reflects the feeling of relief and rebirth that comes when darkness and emptiness finally begin to subside, and the beauty of the coming spring brings with it an exhilarating feeling of hope and of newfound inner peace. Several images struck me in their beauty – Rilke speaks of birds lifting up the sky, which during the winter had felt so heavy on the shoulders. He writes of the “newer” hours of sun which follow the long, rainy afternoons, and he ends the poem with all noise fading to silence as the rain runs softly over glistening stones. The piece also fades to silence – all loneliness, pain and sadness flowing away like the gentle trickling of rain in a newly made spring stream.

Aus Einem AprilL

Wieder duftet der Wald.
Es heben die schwebenden Lerchen
mit sich den Himmel empor,
der unseren Schultern schwer war;
zwar sah man noch durch die Aste den Tag,
wie er leer war, –
aber nach langen, regenden Nachtmittagen
kommen die goldubersonnten
neueren Stunden,
vor denen fluchtend an fernen Hauserfronten
alle die wunden
Fenster furchtsam mit Flugeln schlagen.
Dann wird es still. Sogar der Regen geht leiser
uber der Steine ruhig dunkelden Glanz.
Alle Gerausche ducken sich ganz
in die glanzenden Knospen der Reiser.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Out of an April

Once again the forest is full of fragrance.
It lifts the soaring larks
up into the heavens,
which laid so heavy upon our shoulders.
It is true, one could see the days
through the branches, how empty they were,

but after long, rain-filled afternoons,
come the newer hours
overflowing with golden sunshine,
before which, the sore windows of the distant
facades of houses
flee in reverence with beating wings.
Then it is quiet. Even the rain goes more softly
over the stones’ peacefully darkening shine.
All sounds tuck themselves wholly away
under the glistening buds of the brushwood.

(tr. Cliff Crego)