The online opera guide to Wagner’s aria EINSAM IN TRÜBEN TAGEN
Read Interesting facts and hear great YouTube Videos about the famous Aria “EINSAM IN TRÜBEN TAGEN”.
The Aria – Synopsis & Background
Synopsis: The German King Heinrich has come to Brabant. He wants to oblige this part of his empire to join the fight against the Hungarian attackers. In Brabant there is a dispute. The deceased count had two children, Elsa and Gottfried. He placed them under the guardianship of Count Friedrich von Telramund and promised him Elsa’s hand. But she refused to marry him. Then Friedrich married Ortrud. After the mysterious death of Gottfried, Friedrich accused Elsa of killing Gottfried with the help of a mysterious man. Now the king is to judge in front of the court tree. Elsa is given the opportunity to defend herself in court. She appears and makes an absent impression, she is still in a state of shock caused by the death of her brother. Instead of defending herself, Elsa tells of her grief over the death of her brother and of a dream that a knight will appear who will fight for her and prove her innocence.
After a short beginning of flutes and strings, Elsa begins her dream with a pure and luminous voice. The slow tempo intensifies the feeling of loneliness. The word “God” must be sung with warmth and affection.
The following section contains a great crescendo. It begins with “da drang aus meinem Stöhnen” and ends with “in die Lüfte”, wonderfully accompanied by tremolo violins.
The next section is dreamy, almost in a trance.
Elsa sinks to sleep and a beautiful orchestral transition leads into the Grail motif.
The Grail Motif:
Now her vision begins in piano, but sung with brilliance and confidence.
In the winds we hear the Lohengrin-Motif:
Intensity and warmth increase continuously to their first peak, “er soll mein Streiter sein” («he shall be my champion»).
The beginning of the final part is sung in full voice. The mood then changes to piano. Accompanied by buzzing violins in piano, Elsa’s words vanish with the words “Wenn er mich Mann nennen will, gebe ich ihm, was ich bin” (“if he wants to call me husband, I’ll give him what I am”).
The Aria – the text of EINSAM IN TRÜBEN TAGEN
Einsam in trüben Tagen
hab’ ich zu Gott gefleht,
des Herzens tiefstes Klagen
ergoß ich im Gebet.
Da drang aus meinem Stöhnen
ein Laut so klagevoll,
der zu gewalt’gem Tönen
weit in die Lüfte schwoll:
Ich hört’ ihn fernhin hallen,
bis kaum mein Ohr er traf;
mein Aug’ ist zugefallen,
ich sank in süßen Schlaf.
In lichter Waffen Scheine
ein Ritter nahte da,
so tugendlicher Reine
ich keinen noch ersah.
Ein golden Horn zur Hüften,
gelehnet auf sein Schwert,
so trat er aus den Lüften
zu mir, der Rechke wert;
mit züchtigem Gebahren
gab Tröstung er mir ein:
des Ritters wil ich wahren,
er soll mein Streiter sein!
Hört, was dem Gottgesandten
ich biete für Gewähr :
in meines Vaters Landen
die Frone trage er,
mich glücklich soll ich preisen,
nimmt er mein Gut dahin,
will er Gemahl mich heissen,
geb’ ich ihm, was ich bin!
Lonely in gloomy days
I have prayed to God,
The deepest lamentations of my heart
I poured out in prayer.
Then from my groaning
A sound so plaintive
that swelled to a mighty sound
Far into the air it swelled:
I heard it echo far away,
Till scarce my ear it met;
my eye fell closed,
I sank into sweet sleep.
In light arms shine
A knight approached,
So virtuous and pure
I saw none yet.
A golden horn at his hip,
Leaning on his sword,
he came out of the air
To me, worthy of reckoning;
With chaste demeanor
he gave me comfort:
I will keep the knight,
He shall be my champion!
Hear what I offer to the messenger of God
I offer for guarantee :
in my father’s lands
the frone he wears,
I shall be happy and praise myself,
He will take my goods,
He will call me husband,
I’ll give him what I am!
Written for a “juvenile dramatic soprano”
The role of Elsa is written for a dramatic soprano. The dramatic soprano must have a strong, voluminous voice with juvenile freshness. The voice must be powerful but without forcing. The voice must radiate freshness and vitality. The role requires a high resilience and endurance of the singer.
Famous interpretations of EINSAM IN TRÜBEN TAGEN
Gundula Janowitz’s interpretation of this aria is simply great. We hear in this aria the purity, vulnerability and confidence of Elsa. Her crescendo is breathtaking and the ending is outworldly.
Einsam in trüben Tagen – Janowitz
Anna Netrebkos is obviously trying hard to articulate the German well, which she also succeeds. In an interview with the FAZ, she confessed: “Now I’ll tell you a secret: I can’t memorize any German text. Perhaps my brain is too organized in Russian after all, it is simply not capable of it. French, Italian, I can sing all that, but German lyrics are too difficult for me. “Lonely in gloomy days”, okay, until then. Silenzio, end, I can’t remember how it goes on. I got a teleprompter for the Elsa in Dresden. Christian Thielemann had made it clear to me that it all depends on the words. He said he didn’t want to hear any musical lines from me, he wanted to hear tttexssssttt! Vowels! consonants! Elsa was really hard. Now I sing Puccini first. ”
Besides the piano passages, the expressive, colorful deep passages are particularly beautiful.
Einsam in trüben Tagen – Netrebko
Elisabeth Grümmers Interpretation ist strahlend und doch entrückt.
Einsam in trüben Tagen – Grümmer
Accompanied by the magnificent orchestra of the Vienna Philharmonic we hear the expressive, brilliant voice of Jessye Norman. Her interpretation shows less the intimacy of Janowitz or Grümmer, than a woman who burns, which makes this aria a gripping piece of music.
Einsam in trüben Tagen – Norman
Waltraud Meier’s interpretation is very colourful. Her voice is mezzo-coloured and somewhat thicker, which creates an autumnal charm.
Einsam in trüben Tagen – Meier
Peter Lutz, opera-inside, the online opera guide to the aria “EINSAM IN TRÜBEN TAGEN” from the opera Lohengrin from Richard Wagner.