Die Heimat (Home)
from Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente (1958)
by Benjamin Britten
transcribed by yours truly for solo piano
it's been almost three weeks since I moved to this city, which I've spent largely without a piano. as you can imagine this has been rather disorienting for me, and I've been spending much time composing and arranging as a way to stay musically (and spiritually) moored.
I've loved this song by Britten ("Home", on an originally German text by Hölderlin) since I first heard it, and had always wanted to get my hands on it somehow – in the first few days upon my arrival it seemed only fitting to transcribe it for piano, and I couldn't be happier to finally give it a whirl.
Friedrich Hölderlin (translated by Emily Ezust)
the boatman turns homeward on the mute river
from distant islands, where he has been gathering his harvest;
gladly would I also turn toward home now;
but what have I gathered except sorrow?
you lovely banks that brought me up,
can you still love's grief?
ah, can you give me,
when I come to you woods of my childhood,
can you give me that peace once again?"