If you’re a singer and you’ve not yet happened upon the LiederNet archive, here is a brief introduction to a long-standing labour of love.
Established in 1995, the website is home to an ambitious collection of song texts and their translations and transliterations in multiple languages.
Many of the translations are close to literal and meant primarily as an aid for understanding the original language, while others attempt to capture some of the original’s rhythm or rhyme. Different types of translations are useful in different situations, and a second opinion is often quite useful, so we are always happy to offer more than one translation to the same language.
The texts are there to assist you in fully studying the meaning of songs in the standard (and rarer) repertoire items, covering works by poets and composers from Aagaard to Zwintscher, all made neatly searchable with extensive footnotes.
The project was established as a student project by Emily Ezust, whose goal was to collect and present the texts to “art songs, partsongs, madrigals, and choral works which are based on stand-alone poems” and their translations into as many different languages as possible.
As well as being an essential resource for singers learning new material, the translations can be licenced for reproduction in concert programmes – very handy for letting your audience in on the detailed meanings of the songs you’re performing.
We love this website, and have frequently called upon it to elucidate textual context. New materials are added daily, and at the time of writing this, is home to 85,500 texts associated with musical settings. If you would like to contribute a translation, volunteer submissions are warmly welcomes, especially new translations, so why not get involved.
Find out more via www.lieder.net/lieder/intro.html