René Mense – Komponist



Child of Ocean (2001)
based on "Prometheus Unbound"(1819) by Percy B. Shelley
für Mezzosopran, Flöte, Cello und Klavier; 16'40"

UA  am 26.1.2002 im Rolf-Liebermann-Studio des NDR durch Karen-Leonie Leiber (Mezzosopran) und das Ensemble klangwerkstatt weimar

Auftragswerk für das neue werk beim Norddeutschen Rundfunk, Hamburg

Child of Ocean

First Part

Hark, sister! what a low yet dreadful groan
Quite unsuppressed is tearing up the heart
Of the good Titan, as storms tear up the deep,
And beasts hear the sea moan in inland caves.

Canst thou speak, sister? all my words are drowned.

The Earth:
I felt thy torture, son; with mixed joy
As pain and virtue give. To cheer thy state
I bid ascend those subtle and fair spirits,
Whose homes are the dim caves of human thought,
And who inhabit, as birds wing the wind,
Its world-surrounding aether: they behold,
Beyond that twilight realm, as in a glass,
The future.

Look, sister, where a troop of spirits gather,
Like flocks of clouds in spring's delightful weather,
Thronging in the blue air!

More yet come, one by one: the air around them
Looks radiant as the air around a star.
Sister, I hear the thunder of new wings.
Behold'st thou not two shapes from the east and west
Come, as two doves to one belovèd nest,
Twin nurslings of the all-sustaining air
On swift still wings glide down the atmosphere?
And hark! their sweet, sad voices! 'tis despair
Mingled with love and then dissolved in sound.


Second Part

Thou speakest, but thy words
Are as the air: I feel them not: Oh, lift
Thine eyes, that I may read his written soul!
Thine eyes are like deep, blue, boundless heaven
Contracted to two circles underneath
Their long, fine lashes; dark, far, measureless,
Orb within orb, and line through line inwoven.
Lift up thine eyes,
And let me read thy dream.

The mountain mists, condensing at our voice
Under the moon, had spread their snowy flakes,
From the keen ice shielding our linkèd sleep.
Then two dreams came. One I remember not.
But in the other his pale wound-worn limbs
Fell from Prometheus, and the azure night
Grew radiant with the glory of that form.
I saw not, heard not, moved not, only felt
His presence flow and mingle through my blood
Till it became his life, and his grew mine,
And I was thus absorbed, until it passed,
And like the vapours when the sun sinks down,
Gathering again in drops upon the pines,
And tremolous as they, in the deep night
My beeing was condensed.

As you speak, your words
Fill, pause by pause, my own forgotten sleep
With shapes.
Low, sweet, faint sounds, like the farewell of ghosts,
What fine clear sounds! O, list!

Echoes (unseen).

Echoes we: listen!
   We cannot stay:
As dew-stars glisten
   Then fade away-
Child of Ocean!

In the world unknown
   Sleeps a voice unspoken;
By thy step alone
   Can its rest be broken;
Child of Ocean!

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