Hvem er Det (who is it) [sop, alto, contralto voices]

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for 3 female singers: two sopranos, one mezzo-soprano (or alto)

2009

Text by Inger Christensen

Commissioned by Peter Zumthor.

First performance, Vals, Switzerland, by Leslie Leon, Beatriz Elena Martinez, and Sylvia Nopper. Written at the MacDowell Colony, May 2009.

Original Danish:

Hvem er det der fortryller dette møde
med et strejf af sjælefred og søde løgne
og sommersyner af forsvundne døde?
Mit øre svarer med sin døve ringen:
Det er døden som med egne øjne
ser dig an fra sommerfuglevingen.

English translation:

Who is it who bewitches this meeting with whiffs of peace of mind and sweet lies and
summer faces of disappeared dead?
My ear answers with its dull ringing: it is death, who stares at you with his own eyes from the wings of a butterfly.

German translation:

Wer ist es, der diese Begegnung verzaubertmit Anflügen von Seelenfrieden und süssen Lügenund Sommergesichten verschwundener Toter?
Mein Ohr antwortet mit seinem tauben Klingen: Es ist der Tod, der dich mit eigenen Augenvom Schmetterlingsflügel aus anblickt