Douglas Ovens: Schwarzgeburt (Black Birth)

Instrumentation: baritone, 2 tenors, fl, cl, 2 percussion, piano
Playing time: 6'45"

Douglas Ovens’ “Schwarzgeburt” is a lament for Hiroshima.   Poem by Richard Exner; translation from the German by Richard Exner:

Black Birth      Ghastly      rupture     you lay         poised in tight Nessus   shirts when on the sixth  of the eighth month in forty-     five hell was born in       heaven above    death      clogged bridge piers of        the Ota, Oh rip tide of black       tears whose rain dissolves     eyes mouth and skin        where        are you where heart-      disgorged beings?          Faces boiled         by this sun shredded shedding       Downward emitting tongues     a ghastly          wind               Before night came we were naked     and nothing      but bones   On the third day    the womb crammed with             death tore open     once more      in heat wide open        black bearer.

  • /
Update Required
To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.