Lahusen, Komm Trost der Welt
The composer of today’s work, Christian Lahusen (1886-1975), was born in Argentina to German parents. He attended high school in Germany and went on to study music in Leipzig. He held various posts as a pianist, teacher, and Kappellmeister. Although little known in the U.S., he has some following in the German choral world.
He chose a text by one of the most prominent 19th-century Romantic literary figures, the Prussian poet, novelist, and playwright Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857). Many composers turned to Eichendorff’s poems, including Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Richard Strauss, and others. See, e.g., Schumann’s Liederkreis, Op. 39, and the last of Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs, Im Abendrot.
This particular poem, Der Einsiedler (The Hermit) was first published in 1837.
|Komm, Trost der Welt, du stille Nacht!
Wie steigst du von den Bergen sacht,
Die Lüfte alle schlafen,
Ein Schiffer nur noch, wandermüd’,
Singt übers Meer sein Abendlied
Zu Gottes Lob im Hafen.
|Come, comfort of the world, you still night!
How gently you climb from the mountains,
The breezes all are sleeping.
A lone sailor tired from wandering
Sings his evening song over the sea
To God’s praise in the harbor.
|Die Jahre wie die Wolken gehn
Und lassen mich hier einsam stehn,
Die Welt hat mich vergessen,
Da tratst du wunderbar zu mir,
Wenn ich beim Waldesrauschen hier
|The years go by like the clouds
And leave me standing here alone,
The world has forgotten me.
Then you came to me wonderfully,
When I was here at the rustling wood
Lost in thought.
|O Trost der Welt, du stille Nacht!
Der Tag hat mich so müd’ gemacht,
Das weite Meer schon dunkelt,
Laß ausruhn mich von Lust und Not,
Bis daß das ew’ge Morgenrot
Den stillen Wald durchfunkelt.
|O Comfort of the world, you still night!
The day has left me so tired,
The wide sea already darkens.
Let me rest from my joy and suffering,
Until the eternal dawn
Illuminates the quiet forest.
N.B. Lahusen wrote a collection of 150 short sacred songs called Ein Schöpfungsgesang (A Song of Creation) for three female voices. Many of these have been recorded by the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt Chamber Choir under the direction of Christian Ridil. Despite being posted on YouTube more than two years ago, the songs have virtually no views. (If you see 1 view, it’s mine.) This 2-disc set of about 50 songs has also been released on CD and complements another 2-disc set.