Mechthild Von Magdeburg: Minnelieder An Got (2005) for SATB chorus, string quintet and harp.

Thomas Oboe Lee

About this work:

Coommissioned by the Foundation for Universal Sacred Music.

Susanne Peck, Music Director

Society for Ethical Culture, New York City October 29, 2005

Text from “Das Fließende Licht der Gottheit” by Mechthild von Magdeburg (ca. 1210-1282)


I. Prayer

Wir loben dich, herre, das du úns hast gesuchet mit diner demutekeit.

We praise you, Lord, that you have sought us out in your humility.

Wir loben dich, herre, das du úns hast behalten mit diner barmeherzekeit.

We praise you, Lord, that you have harbored us with your mercy.

Wir loben dich, herre, das du úns hast geheret mit diner [güete.]

We praise you, Lord, that you have glorified us with your kindness.

Wir loben dich, herre, das du úns hast gefuoret mit diner miltekeit.

We praise you, Lord, that you have nourished us with your bounty.

Wir loben dich, herre, das du úns hast geordent mit diner wisheit.

We praise you, Lord, that you have instructed us with your wisdom.

Wir loben dich, herre, das du úns hast beschirmet mit diner gewalt.

We praise you, Lord, that you have sheltered us with your might.

Wir loben dich, herre, das du úns hast gehelget mit diner edelkeit.

We praise you, Lord, that you have sanctified us with your grandeur.

Wir loben dich, herre, das du úns hast gewiset mit diner heimlichkeit.

We praise you, Lord, that you have shown us the path with your intimacy.

Wir loben dich, herre, das du úns hast gehoehet mit diner minne.

We praise you, Lord, that you have ennobled us with your love.

II. Recitative

Seiest wilkomen, liebú tube,

Welcome, precious dove,

Du hast so sere geflogen in dem ertriche,

So far and wide have you flown in this earthly realm

Das dine vedern sint gewahsen in das himelriche.

that your feathers have expanded into the kingdom of heaven.

Du smekest als ein wintrúbel,

Your taste is that of a grape from the vineyard,

Du rúchest als ein balsam,

Your fragrance is that of balsam,

Du lúhtest als dú sunne,

You shimmer as does the sun,

Du bist ein zuonemunge miner hoehsten minne.

You are the increase of my most exalted love.

III. Aria

O du giessender got an diner gabe,

O you God who spills over with your gifts,

O du vliessender got an diner minne,

O you God who flows with your love,

O du brennender got an diner gerunge,

O you God who burns with your desire,

O du smelzender got an der einunge mit dinem liebe,

O you God who melts in the union with your beloved,

O du ruowender got minen brústen!

O you God who finds repose on my breasts!

Ane dich ich nút wesen mag!

Without you I cannot live on! O du schoene rose in dem dorne,

O you rose lovely amongst the thorns,

O du vliegendes bini in dem honge,

O you bee darting about in the honey,

O du reinú tube an dinem wesende,

O you dove pure in your essence,

O du schoenú sunne an dinem schine,

O you sun lovely in your radiance,

O du voller mane an dinem stande!

O you full moon in your grandeur!

Ich mag mich nit von dir gekeren.

From you I cannot turn aside.

IV. Chorale

In der groesten sterki kumt si von ir selber,

In the greatest strength she loses herself,

In dem schoensten liehte ist si blint an ir selber

In the loveliest light she is blind even to herself,

Und in der groesten blintheit sihet si allerklarost.

And in the greatest blindness she sees most clearly.

In der groesten klarheit ist si beide tot und lebende.

In the most boundless clarity she is both living and dead.

V. Meditation

Ie si langer tot ist, ie si vroelicher lebt;

The longer she is dead, the more joyously she lives;

Ie si vroelicher lebt, ie si mer ervert;

The more joyously she lives, the more she embraces;

Ie si minner wirt, ie ir mer zuoflússet;

The more she withers, the more flows to her;

Ie si sich mere vorhtet.

The more she lives in fear.

Ie si richer wirt, ie si armer ist;

The more wealth she accrues,

the more destitute she is;

Ie si tieffer wonet, ie si breiter ist;

The more basely she dwells, the more expansive she is;

Ie si gebietiger ist.

The greater is her dominion.

Ie si me arbeitet, ie si sanfter ruowet;

The more she toils, the more gently does she find rest;

Ie si me begriffet.

The more she comprehends.

Ie sin lust me wahset,

The more his longing grows,

Ie ir [hochzit] groesser wirt;

The more bounteous their festival becomes;

Ie das minnebet enger wirt,

The more cramped the love-bed becomes,

Ie die umbehalsunge naher gat;

The more intimate the embrace;

Ie das muntkússen suesser smekket,

The sweeter the taste of their lips,

Ie si sich minneclicher ansehent;

The more lovingly do they behold one another;

Ie si sich noeter scheident,

The more anguished is their parting,

Ie mer er ir gibet;

The more abundant is his gift to her;

Ie me si verzert, ie me si hat;

The more she consumes,

the more she does have;

Ie si demueteklicher urlop nimt,

The more humbly she takes her leave,

Ie e si wider kumt;

The sooner does she return;

Ie si heisser blibet,

The more ardent she remains,

Ie si e entfunket;

The sooner does she break out in flames;

Ie si mere brennet, ie si schoener lúhtet;

The more she burns, the more splendidly does she glimmer;

Ie gottes lob mer gebreitet wirt,

The more widespread God’s praise is made,

Ie ir girheit groesser blibet.

The more fervent remains her longing.

Year composed: 2005
Duration: 00:17:00
Ensemble type: Chorus, with or without Solo Voices:Chorus with Chamber Ensemble
Instrumentation: 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello, 1 Double bass, 1 Harp, 1 S, 1 A, 1 T, 1 B

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