Three Poems of Miguel de Unamuno
composer: Nancy Galbraith (2013)
author: Miguel de Unamuno
genre: choral
length: 3 movements, 12:00 minutes
orchestration: (1) women's choir, piano
(2) men's choir, a cappella
(3) SATB, piano
publisher: Subito Music Publishing (ASCAP)
60 Depot Street, Verona, NJ 07044
mail@subitomusic.com • 973-857-3440
audio/video:                    

movements: 1. By the Lake of El Cristo at the Hamlet of Yeltes on a Night of Full Moon
2. The Moon and the Rose
3. The snowfall is so silent
world premiere: 6 December 2013
Harvard Glee ClubRadcliffe Choral SocietyAndrew Clark, conductor
Sanders Theater • Cambridge, Massachusetts
program notes: "Three Poems of Miguel de Unamuno" was commissioned by the Harvard Glee Club and the Radcliffe Choral Society for their 2013 Christmas concert. The songs are set using English translations of the original Spanish texts. Miguel de Unamuno (1864–1936) was a writer, poet, and philosopher from the Basque region of Spain.
source: nancygalbraith.com

  By the Lake of El Cristo at the Hamlet
of Yeltes on a Night of Full Moon

White night wherein the crystal water
sleeps still on its lake bed
while a round full moon
that guides a host of stars
 
keeps watch, and in the terse
mirror a round ilex is mirrored,
white night wherein the water
cradles the highest, deepest counsel.
 
It is a shred of heaven Nature
holds embraced in its arms,
a shred of heaven that came to rest
 
and in the night's silence prays
the prayer the lover says who yields
but to that love, his only wealth.
 
trans. Michael Smith

Junto a la Labuna de Cristo en la Aldehuela
de Yeltes una Noche de Luna Llena

Noche blanca en que el agua cristalina
duerme queda en su lecho de laguna
sobre la cual redonda llena luna
que ejército de estrellas encamina
 
vela, y se espeja una redonda encina
en el espejo sin rizada alguna,
noche blanca en que el agua hace de cuna
de la más alta y más honda doctrina.
 
Es un rasgón del cielo que abrazado
tiene en sus brazos la Naturaleza,
es un rasgón del cielo que ha posado
 
y en el silencio de la noche reza
la oración del amante resignado
sólo al amor que es su única riqueza.


  The Moon and the Rose

In the starry silence
the Moon gave to the rose
and the aroma of the night
filled it—thirsty mouth—
the palate of the spirit,
that sleeping her grief
opened the night sky
of God and Mother all...
All quiet hair,
the Moon, quiet and alone,
Stroked the Earth
with its rose
wild, white, hidden...
the Earth, from its rocks,
exhaled her womb
cast of love, her aroma...
Among the brambles, its nest,
was another moon rose,
hair all clotted
in the cradle, its corolla;
the tangled hair
of the Moon and rose
and in the crucible of the night
cast in one...
In the starry silence
the Moon gave to the rose
while the rose gave
to the moon, still and alone.
 
trans. Annoymous

La Luna y la Rosa

En el silencio estrellado
la Luna daba a la rosa
y el aroma de la noche
le henchía—sedienta boca—
el paladar del espíritu,
que adurmiendo su congoja
se abría al cielo nocturno
de Dios y su Madre toda...
Toda cabellos tranquilos,
la Luna, tranquila y sola,
acariciaba a la Tierra
con sus cabellos de rosa
silvestre, blanca, escondida...
La Tierra, desde sus rocas,
exhalaba sus entrañas
fundidas de amor, su aroma...
Entre las zarzas, su nido,
era otra luna la rosa,
toda cabellos cuajados
en la cuna, su corola;
las cabelleras mejidas
de la Luna y de la rosa
y en el crisol de la noche
fundidas en una sola...
En el silencio estrellado
la Luna daba a la rosa
mientras la rosa se daba
a la Luna, quieta y sola.


  The snowfall is so silent

The snowfall is so silent
so slow,
bit by bit, with delicacy
it settles down on the earth
and covers over the fields.
The silent snow comes down
white and weightless;
snowfall makes no noise,
falls as forgetting falls,
flake after flake.
It covers the fields gently
while frost attacks them
with its sudden flashes of white;
covers eveything with its pure
and silent covering;
not one thing on the ground
anywhere escapes it.
And wherever it falls it stays,
content and gay,
for snow does not slip off
as rain does,
but it stays and sinks in.
The flakes are skyflowers,
pale lilies from the clouds,
that wither on earth.
They come down blossoming
but then so quickly
they are gone;
they bloom only on the peak,
above the mountains,
and make the earth feel heavier
when they die inside.
Snow, delicate snow,
that falls with such lightness
on the head,
on the feelings,
come and cover over the sadness
that lies always in my reason.
 
trans. Robert Bly

La nevada es silenciosa

La nevada es silenciosa,
cosa lenta;
poco a poco y con blandura
reposa sobre la tierra
y cobija a la llanura.
Posa la nieve callada
blanca y leve;
la nevada no hace ruido;
cae como cae el olvido,
copo a copo.
Abriga blanda a los campos
cuando el hielo los hostiga;
con sus lampos de blancura;
cubre a todo con su capa
pura, silenciosa;
no se le escapa en el suelo
cosa alguna.
Donde cae alli se queda
leda y leve,
pues la nieve no resbala
como resbala la lluvia,
sino queda y cala.
Flores del cielo los copos,
blancos lirios de las nubes,
que en el suelo se ajan,
bajan floridos,
pero quedan pronto
derretidos;
florecen solo en la cumbre,
sobre las montanas,
pesadumbre de la tierra,
y en sus entranas perecen.
Nieve, blanda nieve,
la que cae tan leve
sobre la cabeza,
sobre el corazon,
ven y abriga mi tristeza
la que descansa en razon.