None but the lonely heart

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For the 1944 film starring Cary Grant and Ethel Barrymore, see None but the Lonely Heart (film).

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed a set of six romances for voice and piano, Op. 6, in late 1869; the last of these songs is the melancholy "None but the Lonely Heart" (Russian: Нет, только тот, кто знал, Net, tol'ko tot, kto znal), a setting of Lev Mei's poem "The Harpist's Song," which in turn was translated from Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship.

Tchaikovsky dedicated this piece to Alina Khvostova. The song was premiered by Russian mezzo-soprano Yelizaveta Lavrovskaya in Moscow in 1870, following it with its St. Petersburg premiere the following year during an all-Tchaikovsky concert hosted by Nikolai Rubinstein;[1] the latter was the first concert devoted entirely to Tchaikovsky's works.[2]

Text[edit]

Mei's Russian translation:

Net, tol'ko tot, kto znal svidan'ja, zhazhdu,
pojmjot, kak ja stradal i kak ja strazhdu.
Gljazhu ja vdal'... net sil, tusknejet oko...
Akh, kto menja ljubil i znal — daleko!
Akh, tol'ko tot, kto znal svidan'ja zhazhdu,
pojmjot, kak ja stradal i kak ja strazhdu.
Vsja grud' gorit...
Kto znal svidan'ja zhazhdu,
pojmjot, kak ja stradal i kak ja strazhdu.


Goethe's German original:

Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Weiß, was ich leide!
Allein und abgetrennt
Von aller Freude,
Seh ich ans Firmament
Nach jener Seite.
Ach! der mich liebt und kennt,
Ist in der Weite.
Es schwindelt mir, es brennt
Mein Eingeweide.
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Weiß, was ich leide!

An English translation:

None but the lonely heart
Can know my sadness
Alone and parted
Far from joy and gladness
Heaven's boundless arch I see
Spread out above me
O(h) what a distance drear to one
Who loves me
None but the lonely heart
Can know my sadness
Alone and parted
Far from joy and gladness
Alone and parted far
From joy and gladness
My senses fail
A burning fire
Devours me
None but the lonely heart
Can know my sadness

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Early Years, 214—215; Warrack, 59.
  2. ^ Spencer, New Grove (1980) 10:556.

References[edit]