Georgy Vasilevich Sviridov (1915-1998)
Six Romances (1935)
Text by Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)
1. Winter Night
2. Winter Road
3. For Nanny
4. Approaching Izhory
6. The Forest in purple-red losing its attire
The 'Six Romances' were one of Sviridov's earlierst compositions, and resulted in the 19-year-old being invited to join the Union of Soviet Composers, quite an achievement for someone so young. The work, written for baritone and piano, is a suite of six songs, based on the texts of Pushkin.
2. Winter Road
Through the murk the moon is veering,
Ghost-accompanist of night,
On the melancholy clearings
Pouring melancholy light.
Runs the troika with its dreary
Toneless jangling sleigh-bell on
Over dismal snow' I'm weary,
Hungry, frozen to the bone.
Coachman in a homely fashion's
Singing as we flash along;
Now a snatch of mournful passion,
Now a foulmouthed drinking-song.
Not a light shines, not a lonely
Dusky cabin. . . Snow and hush. . .
Streaming past the troika only
Mileposts, striped and motley, rush.
Dismal, dreary. . . But returning
Homewards! And tomorrow, through
Pleasant crackles of the burning
Pine-logs, I shall gaze at you:
Dream, and go on gazing, Nina,
One whole circle of the clock;
Midnight will not come between us,
When we gently turn the lock
On our callers. . . Drowsing maybe,
Coachman's faded, lost the tune;
Toneless, dreary, goes the sleigh-bell;
Nina, clouds blot out the moon.
Translated by D.M. Thomas