Philological Miscellanea


Verbal Gate Into Music Treasury

 Those were short epigraphs forwarding musical compositions to make me think of euphonic poetical translations. My brains worked out the following ideas: if any composer had an intention to induce the user of his piece to its mood by means of some definite verses, why not to translate this exact poem implying pure verbal phonations.

In 2003 the Compozitor Publishing House – St.Petersburg offered to the world attention the new edition of  Franz Liszt's Consolations for piano. There appeared the opportunity for me to show my poetical craft in full swing.

Here is the poem Seliger Tod by the German romanticist Ludwig Uhland adduced as the original variant, the Russian interpretation by my father Lazar Ardov and the English version fulfilled by me.

IMG_1418Seliger Tod by Ludwig  Uhland

Gestorben war ich
Vor Liebeswonn,
Begraben lag ich
In ihren Armen;
Erwecket ward ich
Von ihren K
Den Himmel sach ich
In ihren Augen.

Людвиг Уланд. Блаженная смерть

Перевод на русский язык Л. З. Ардова

Я умер
От любовного блаженства,
Я похоронен был
В ее объятьях.
Я пробудился
От ее лобзаний
И небо вижу я
В ее очах.

Seliger Tod by Ludwig  Uhland

Translated to English by Asya Ardova

I died
Of  blissful love,
I'm buried
Inside her thrown arms.
I've woken up
Being kissed by her,
She showed sky to me
Inside her eyes.

Both the Russian and the English versions preserve the laconic brevity, syllabic abruptness and thirst for love peculiar to the German romantic poetry satiated amply with nervous sentimentality.

Here is the epigraph to the Sonata N 5 by A. Skriabin edited by the Compozitor- St.Petersburg in 2005. The French and Russian versions belong to the composer himself, while the English translation is mine:
IMG_1420Я к жизни призываю вас, скрытые стремленья,
, утонувшие в темных глубинах
творящего, вы, боязливые
зародыши, вам дерзновенье я приношу.

А. Скрябин

Je vous appelle à la vie, ô forces mystérieuses!
Noyées dans les obscures profondeurs
De l'esprit créateur, craintives
Ébauches de vie, à vous j'apporte l'audace.

A. Skriabin

I appeal to you, oh, mysterious forces!
The ones concealed in precipices dark
Being afraid of creative resources,
I'm striving to give you the buds of luck.

A. Skriabin. Translated to English by Asya Ardova

In 2001-2004 the Compozitor publishing House- St.Petersburg was celebrating the tercentenary of St.Petersburg by three gorgeous albums "Petersburg - Music", dedicated correspondingly to the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
I fortuned to translate into English all the three albums, including the introduction by Leonid Gakkel to the whole trilogy. The poetry from old chants of Peter the Great and up to Mayakovsky passed before me being transformed to the English psychological spheres. Here I'd like to adduce my English interpretation of the Ekaterinian canticle.

Всплещи, рекой играя, Геликон,
Настрой сладчайшу арфу, Аполлон,
Песнь пойте, музы, красну,
С сим временем согласну,
Возвеселитесь все - Екатерина
Се днесь грядет
И Павла юного с собой ведет.

Из сборника трехголосных кантов ХVIII века

Wave, playing with your spring, oh, Helicon,
Attune the sweetest harp, Apollo,
You, muses, sing the charming song,
In harmony with our times,
Let everyone rejoice - Ekaterina
Is coming since today
A-leading Pavel young with her.

Three-voiced chant from the collection of the 18th century
Translated to English by Asya Ardova

Here you happened to visit three different epochs and styles. Languages are like instruments, verses are like clefs, which reveal  mind-sets according to their own regularities, however, capable to make ages sound bursting into concealed music constructions.

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