Wie nah? - (2006)
for soprano and piano
Rachel Harnsich gewidmet
In diesem schwarzen Hauch
da findest du mich auch...
Kein Strahlen mehr, kein Licht...
Ach, wüsst es er doch auch...
Wie nah ist Lachen dem Weinen?
Wie nah das Leben dem Sterben?
Ich will weinen, schreien, bin überall...
Wer nimmt es?
Copyright © 2006 Rachel Harnisch All international rights reserved. Used by permission.
This text was written in Torino, 2006, during performances of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro Regio. Rachel was a fine Pamina, and had reflected on events in her life as in the life of her character, and penned a short sketch thereby creating this text which I have set for her as a classical arietta.
In this black mood
there you find me...
No more radiance, no light...
Oh, that it were otherwise...
How near is laughter to weeping?
How near is living to dying?
I will weep, cry aloud,
Who will bear this?
In Mozart's aria, "Ach ich fühl's," the character as well as librettist and composer surveyed the sense of impending loss which we all as humans experience to one degree or another throughout life, for life is about both love and loss. The opening gestures extend a classic texture into more chromaticism, echoing musical styles of the past for today. Beginning with a short prelude, the opening lines are an accompanied recitative, giving way to the arietta itself at the words, "Wie nah...."
The vocal gestures are meant to "sit" between laughing and crying, and the augmented second of the vocal line adds additional poignancy to the expression.
In true classic style, the arietta's opening theme returns with some decoration and final cadences, meant to be performed in an operatic fashion as is done with Mozart's wonderful aria.
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.