DAS WUNDER DER HELIANE [Taster w/ English Subtitles] by Erich Wolfgang Korngold


VOICES: Blessed are they that love. Those who have loved shall not die. And those who died for love shall rise again. for love… STRANGER: Men! I lived for you! Help me! Help! God? You? To you? God! You, in whom I do not believe, if you are with frightened children, if you give consolation to the most wretched hearts, will you forsake me in this hour? HELIANE: Peace be on your soul! I greet you! You shall not cry. I came here to bring you comfort. I love you. STANGER: Am I a child again? I behold a sea of sparkling shores, purple wine in a white goblet, doves fly overhead. and all around fruits bend towards me. I lie all alone and look into the light. The world is one long breath. I gather it to my breast, its heartbeat throbs within my blood, the golden stars of heaven have plunged into me. I am! I bloom! My body shouts for joy: Existence! Life!! HELIANE: A soul that strides through the morning cannot support the world all by itself! Heart, are you seeking me? I feel you, take you to my breast, like a child, your suffering and your joy have plunged into me. I am! I serve! I bloom and shout for joy: Together! Love!! STRANGER: Your hair must be golden, must pour down your brow like cool gold, like eternal light pouring upon your altar. Give, give me your hair, so that, within its flood, I may forget tomorrow! HELIANE: It is my gift to you. Why else should I have received it, if not to cool a fearful heart in it? STRANGER: Your feet sink into the golden foam. Your narrow, tiny feet Lady, I cannot see them! O give me your tiny white feet, so that I may kiss them until they come to me! HELIANE: They are my gift to you. Why else should they have walked so many of suffering, if not to stop at last with him, who is the poorest of all? STRANGER: Tomorrow morning I must die. Be mine this night! I love you!! Your hair is gold, your feet are crystal, your body must be mine like the Lord’s tabernacle, opened in creation’s last night!! HELIANE: Have mercy on me! I cannot, I cannot – mercy! O give me your body! Give me the miracle of your shining white body. so that when I behold it, I may bless my death, that with my kiss I may shout for joy across the world: All those who suffer shall find mercy! ANGELIC VOICES: Blessed are they that love. HELIANE: I went to him who is to die tomorrow. When evening came I went there. He asked me for my hair. I gave it to him. He asked me for my feet. I stepped out of my shoes and gave him my bare feet. He threw himself on the ground, begging for my body. So I took off my dress and stood before him as the Lord made me: naked. RULER: Do not allow her to continue! BLIND JUDGE: Were you his? HELIANE: I was his in my thoughts… yes, I was! On my knees I prayed to God to give me strength to fulfill it, to give me strength to fulfill it. I did not love him, my body was not inflamed with desire for him. But the youth was beautiful, beautiful like a setting star. And if I inclined to him, I did it so that his poor eyes might yet see love before they dimmed, and to this I swear, may God not take me into heaven if I do not swear the truth: it was not the blood’s desire that drove me to this youth, but I bore his grief with him and in sorrow, I became his. And now kill me. CROWD: Have you heard? The unutterable shall see the light of day, what is unchangeable shall be unchanged. Death will be conquered, the graves will fly open! A woman like us/you, even though she wears the crown, a mere mortal, will call him back, the messenger of light, so that he shall rise up and walk! Fear – where will you go now? Night – do you kneel? A woman [etc]… Do mothers still tremble lest their children die? The ocean bursts its banks – a mirror of eternity smiles upon us! Blessings upon the blessed woman! A goddess with the god! Brothers, sisters! Love, love, you who love! Rejoice, you who thirst, rejoice! Prime of life, blissful message: no more despair!! CROWD: Behold! Behold him! The dead man! Brought back to life! ANGELIC VOICES: And they will rise again who died for love. HELIANE: Do not look upon me! I cannot bear your eye. I am sinful beyond measure… STRANGER: You are mistaken! You did not seek yourself in another – you gave your body and your spirit: therefore you are pure and may approach His presence! HELIANE: Am I going to my death? Did you not guard me against death? STRANGER: I cannot take that pain from you. I am but human like you. I am but human like you.
RULER: I know that only too well!! STRANGER: You too have not reached your end: a further trial awaits you. HELIANE: Speak, my master – RULER: O, how they look into each other’s eyes! How they sink into each other! I suffer sevenfold agonies! Woe is me! STANGER: An angel stands at the seventh gate of pain, and if you are strong he will lead you to Him. RULER: Will no one look at me? Am I filth, spewed out from sundered hell? HELIANE: I will give myself to you, God has touched me through your eyes! If you will let me live, I shall live, and die, if death leads me to you. RULER: Then die! [He swings the sword high and drives it into her heart.] HELIANE: What have you done to me – my heart aches… STANGER: You child! You, the dearest woman in the world! The guilt that was put upon you is deepest grace: a pure heart. CROWD: He has killed his wife! She, to whom God showed mercy at the last!/
She, who showed compassion to everyone, through whose mouth Christ, Lord Jesus Christ comforted us! He has killed his wife. She, to whom God showed mercy at the last!/
She, who showed compassion to everyone, through whose mouth Christ, Lord Jesus Christ comforted us! He has killed his wife, his wife who saved us. STRANGER: Go, murderer! Brothers! Never again shall your soul thirst in the dark: your sister blesses you! The poorest of you shall not go without a breath of hope. which you shall glean from her suffering! Go, go into the morning! [to Messenger] You too shall be forgiven! CROWD: Our morning has come! A message to our children: Joy awaits you! Joy awaits us, brothers! Joy! Life! Liberty! Happiness! STRANGER: Now you are at the seventh gate, because you were tested seven times and have been chosen – Beloved, come! HELIANE: Is this my end? Is this death? STRANGER: The day shall never wake us again! HELIANE: Will no one hurt me ever again? STRANGER: Be not afraid! I am with you. HELIANE: Then I shall die? STANGER: Offne Himmel warten. HELIANE: Do you still love me? STRANGER: Since my heart went to its death, since then it loves you truly… [The gate opens] HELIANE & STRANGER: Not seeking my own self, I found you – now you and I flow in the same stream. Whoever gives himself has conquered himself and earthly prisons become the vault of heaven. We go to our death – We go to our life – fear has fallen away – time stands still – guilt is buried deep and far away: Only hearts have this power – and love alone is eternity, eternity.

4 Replies to “DAS WUNDER DER HELIANE [Taster w/ English Subtitles] by Erich Wolfgang Korngold”

  1. Heliane's Testimony is one of my favorite opera moments, tbh. The whole last act, too. It's a glorious opera that doesn't get enough attention, really.

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