Composer: Trevor Bača.
Forces: two violas.
Duration: 20 minutes.
Page 3 of Ins Wasser eingeschrieben (2014) for two violas.
Goethe published the following short poem under the title "Am Flusse":
Verfliesset vielgeliebte lieder,
Zum Meere der Vergessenheit!
Kein Knabe sing’ entzückt euch wieder,
Kein Mädchen in der Bluthenzeit.
Ihr sanget nur von meiner Lieben;
Nun spricht sie meiner Treue Hohn.
Ihr wart ins Wasser eingeschrieben,
So fliesst denn auch mit ihm davon.
English approximation ("At the river"):
Flow away, well-loved songs,
Off to the sea of forgetfulness.
No boy will delightedly sing you again,
Nor any girl in the time of blossoms.
You sang only of my love;
Now of my faithfulness she speaks with scorn.
You were engraved in water:
So then with water flow away.
Goethe would publish the poem twice more during his lifetime under the alternative title "An meiner Lieder" ("To my songs"). Schubert knew this text and set it to music two times. Schubert's first setting (D.160) dates from 1815 and responds squarely to the text's sense of love lost. But Schubert's second setting (D.766), from 1822, reveals a remarkably different relationship to the text. It is in the shadows of this second of Schubert's settings of Goethe's text that Ins Wasser eingeschrieben ("Engraved in Water") is conceived.
How are we to relate to the changing nature of the world and of our work amid the onward rush of time? Who are we in the moments our present selves look backwards to the past? How are we even to begin to understand of our relationships to history? And how are we not to be completely overcome as we try?