Winter (Jon Corelis)

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  • (Posted 2011-09-06)  CPDL #24372:       
Editor: Jon Corelis (submitted 2011-09-06).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 32 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Winter
Composers: Jon Corelis and Konrad von Würzburg
Lyricist: Jon Corelis

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: T
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:
Description: This is my attempt to write lyrics in English which would fit the melody for one of the standard pieces in the medieval secular music repertory: stanzas by Konrad von Würzburg (13th cent.) set to my arrangement of a melody usually attributed also to him (though as was common in the period he may have adopted the melody from elsewhere). My translation of Konrad's Middle High German is necessarily rather free -- creating an English version which was literally accurate and idiomatic English and fit the music was simply beyond me, so I settled for attempting the last two -- but I think it's close enough to be called a translation. This is a "song-book" type score just meant to give the words and melody (which is all that the original texts give) with optional accompaniment left to the performers. Synth flute used in this sound file to simulate voice. I've written it with male tenor voice in mind, though it's usually sung by countertenor.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

translated from the Middle High German by Jon Corelis

Winter withers all the meadow’s flowers,
and the frozen hours
paint the woodlands pale:
as the snowfalls thicken,
lindens cast their stricken
branches stark against the season’s whiteness.

Yet I mourn this barrenness less sadly
than I grieve how badly
Shame and Honor fail:
Honor’s stream runs shallow,
Virtue’s field lies fallow,
no heart seeks to cull the rose of rightness.

The spring restores the leaves and petals to the flowers on the thorn-hedge,

but the man whom wickedness has taken
and who has forsaken
Honor’s holy pledge
walks a path of sorrows,
nor can face tomorrow’s
gleaming dawn secure in manhood’s brightness.