SIX CELAN SONGS
This cycle of settings of poems by Paul Celan was written between May and July 1990 for Ute Lemper. The texts are taken from the following collections: 'Chanson einer Dame im Schatten' and 'Corona' from Mohn und Gedachtnis (1952), 'Nachtlich geschurzt' from Von Schwelle zu Schwelle (1955), 'Blume' from Sprachgitter (1959), and 'Es war Erde in ihnen' and 'Psalm' from Die Niemandsrose of 1963.
The settings of 'Corona' and 'Blume' both introduce an eight-bar chord sequence derived from Chopin's Mazurka in A minor, Op.17 No.4 (the introduction to which was used by Gorecki in his Symphony No.3). During the writing of 'Blume', on 7th June 1990, my mother died, and the cycle is dedicated to her memory.
© Michael Nyman