Evelin Seppar



for 8 solo voices SSAATTBB
Duration ca 22′
Commissioned by: the Netherlands Chamber Choir

Premiere: November 25, 2016
Netherlands Chamber Choir; Lodewijk van der Ree
Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam, Holland

Score preview

The text is compiled by Evelin Seppar from the poetry of Vasko Popa and Czeslaw Milosz

Out of the mirage, a city rises.
Between the Gothic towers the flight of swallows.
You, alien city on a dusty plain
a city of high houses and long streets
towers up to the sky,
who will want me here
as I walk in the cloudy dawn
spring morning full of dew.
Who will want me here?
Flock of birds fly by.

I journey
and the highway journeys too.
I journey further

Every night
between midnight and twelve three seas meet
to bathe the city
they’ve given birth to.
They rinse off its walls
the layers of plots and spices and errors of all times.
Every dawn the city gleams in the endless blue.

I journey
and the highway journeys too.
I journey further

A city of cathedrals, of marble squares.
Here there was not a tree,
and in the birdless sky, racing through filmy clouds
the sun went down between black concretions.
Where there were forests, now there are factories.
Approaching the mouth of the river we hold our noses.
Its current carries oil and chlorine and methyl compounds.
A huge stain of artificial color poisons fish in the sea.
We used to read in old poets about the scent of earth
and grashoppers. Now we bypass the fields:
ride as fast as you can through the chemical zone of the farmers.
The insect and the bird are extinguished.
Far away a bored man drags the dust with his tractor.
Land of unfertile earth of large mists and a sad sky.
We were broken dolls
of plaster and bandages
filling the hospital waiting room.
One doll confides in us
she’s a factory girl who tried
to clean a machine while it was running
and lost her left hand.
Her man just doesn’t know
how to comfort her.
Don’t you worry my love
from now on I’ll cuddle you
with my three hands.

I journey
and the highway journeys too.
I journey further

The lights of metro station flew by.
You lean from the window
woods flow by.
A field like any other
a hand and a half of green
two crossed sunbeams.
a blackbird reads aloud
the secret letters scattered over the field.
Peonies high as heaven
a field like none other
heaven above it
heaven below.
The city, all in flowers.
Always in peonies and late lilacs.
Its towers soaring towards the sky.
This bit of heaven in my eyes
I journey further