Pamela Dellal, mezzo soprano


uncommon intelligence, imagination and textual awareness...



Motet Translations

John Harbison: "Chorale Cantata"

—Martin Luther (mov'ts 2 and 4); —Michael Fried (mov't. 3)

I. Chorale Prelude

II. Chorale Fantasia

From deep despair I cry to you
Lord God, you hear me crying.
Your gracious ear can surely hear,
Your grace can ease my sighing.
No matter what, I know you see
All sin and guilty that harries me,
For no one can outstay you.
From deep despair I call again:
Give ear to me and heal my pain.
My only hope is lodged in you-
Please take my hand and lead me through;
And if I die before you take me back
You must forgive the things I lack.
In this vale of tears
Show me how to rule my fears.
My sins have weighed me down so long
But only this defeat can make me strong.

III. Recitative and Aria

A Block of Ice
I stamp my foot and a black wave races across the field,
I close my eyes and white stones spring up that I must avoid,
My hand in the freezing water gropes for but
fails to find a block of ice.
On which to sign my name and the date and hour
of my death.

In a New Apartment
I open the curtains
And go back to bed.
Lying there I can see
The tower of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette
Massive, undecorated,
Not at all beautiful,
Nor indeed magnificent,
Not even in an unconventional way.

But, already,
A dark beacon
In the darker night
For my sleepless thoughts,
The fears that gather
As if outside the body
(and as if on wings)
To consecrate my rest.

IV. Chorale

If still today our sin is great
God’s grace takes sin away.
His helping hand will not abate
No matter how we stray.
He is alone our Savior
Who has released us evermore
From all our sin and error.