Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The German Requiem, section two:

In another chorus, with another director, we sang the second section of Brahms’ German Requiem (in English). There is a very dramatic moment when the chorus sings “Aber, das Herrns’ Wort” (But the Lord’s word …). “Aber” is set to two loud, syncopated chords, and sounds wonderful. Our English translation used “But” for “Aber”, and simply left one of the two chords out, ruining the musical moment. Our conductor (a Viennese) hated that. One day he asked me about the word “Albeit”. I thought that it would do, although it does not mean the same thing. We sang AL’Be’it instead of But. The music sounded fine, and no one complained about the accuracy of the translation.

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