Twelve Persian Songs (Rubinstein)

The words of Anton Rubinstein's Twelve Persian Songs (TH 334 ; ČW 633-644) [1], were translated from German to Russian by Tchaikovsky in December 1869, at the request of Pyotr Jurgenson [2]:

  1. Nicht mit Engeln in blauen Himmelszelt (Ах. сравню ль тебя)
  2. Mein Herz schmückt sich mit Dir (Как солнце небесам)
  3. Seh' ich Deine zarten Füsschenan (Как увижу твои ножки я)
  4. Es hat die Rose sich beklagt (Мне розан жалобно сказал)
  5. Die Weise guter Zecher ist (Тому, кто хочет жить легко)
  6. Ich fühle deinen Odem (Нас по одной дороге)
  7. Schlag' die Tschadra zurück (Скинь чадру с головы)
  8. Neig' schöne Knospe (Нераспустившийся цветочек)
  9. Gelb rollt mir zu füssen (Кубится волною)
  10. Die helle Sonne leuchtet (Над морем солнце блещет)
  11. Th' nicht so spröde schönes Kind (Не будь сурова, милый друг)
  12. Gott hiess die Sonne glühen (Велел создатель солнцу)

Anton Rubinstein's Lieder des Mirza-Schaffy, Op. 34 (1851), were set to words by "Mirza-Shaffi" — actually a pseudonym of the German writer Friedrich Bodenstedt (1819-1892). In 1877 Tchaikovsky wrote to Nadezhda von Meck: "Rubinstein's Persian Songs were set to a German text by the poet Bodenstedt. Bodenstedt (a translator of Lermontov and Pushkin) wrote some verses in imitation of Hafiz and invented the name of Mirza-Shaffi, an imaginary author of Persian plays, for them. I happen to know that Bodenstedt (whom I met last year in Bayreuth) knows no Persian. I did the translation from the German" [3].

Tchaikovsky's translations of the songs were published by Pyotr Jurgenson in 1870 [4].

The manuscript of Tchaikovsky's translation is now preserved in the Russian National Museum of Music in Moscow (ф. 88, No. 176) [view].

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Notes and References

  1. Entitled "Persian Songs" in ČW.
  2. See Letter 171 to Vasily Bessel, 21 December 1869/2 January 1870.
  3. Letter 679 to Nadezhda von Meck, 6/18 December 1877.
  4. Passed by the censor on 18 February/2 March 1870.