German Libretto

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German Libretto

Post  vmkwinner on Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:00 pm

Mmk so, I found the German libretto and I found the lyrics to Hannibal too. On the last part of the song (The trumpeting Elephant sounds..), It says its "Ihr Kampf-Elefanten ertönt, hört, Römer, sie und zittert. Marschiert, dass die Erde erdröhnt, trommelt, trommt! Hannibal kommt!" I know this is how it's pronounced/how it is in the Viennese, Swiss, and Hamburg productions. But what I don't get is why It was pronounced differently in Stuttgart and Essen. There's its pronounced (not like, spelled) "... ear rear door ont da showert" (the best way I could spell it..) As opposed to "hört, Römer, sie und zittert". Why is this?

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Re: German Libretto

Post  Lycanthrope on Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:03 pm

It's actually a lyric change from what I can gather, so it goes "hört Römer und erschauert" instead of "hört, Römer, sie und zittert" (erschauern is basically a cognate of zittern, "to shiver/tremble"). Hope that helps!

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Re: German Libretto

Post  MajesticPhantom on Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:43 am

Why was the libretto so noticebly altered after the Vienna production? I tend to prefer many of the words used in the Vienna libretto, but perhaps, since I'm not a native German speaker, I am missing something obvious. (Example: was there a big cultural reason for the change from Engel der Lieder to Engel der Muse?)

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Re: German Libretto

Post  Loettchen on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:43 pm

I can't speak to the official reason for the lyric changes, but in a lot of cases the newer/changed lyrics were changed to be a more direct translation of the English.
For instance, the Phantom's line from "Masquerade:"

Old: Maskenball! Niemand ist der, für den ihn and're halten. (Masquerade! No one is the man others believe him to be.)

New: Maskenball! Dein Gesicht bleibt versteckt und keiner sieht dich. (Masquerade! You face remains hidden and no one sees you.)

English: Masquerade! Hide your face so the world will never find you.

If you go through, you'll find lots of similar examples where older lyrics, which remained true in spirit but altered the meaning a little, were changed. That's my guess for why they did it. I'm very fond of the Viennese lyrics, but there are things I like about both.

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Re: German Libretto

Post  MajesticPhantom on Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:32 am

Thank you very much! Can't imagine a better answer!

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Re: German Libretto

Post  Scorp on Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:11 am

MajesticPhantom wrote:Why was the libretto so altered after the Vienna production? I tend to prefer many of the words used in the Vienna libretto, but perhaps, since I'm not a native German speaker, I am missing something obvious. (Example: was there a big cultural reason for the change from Engel der Lieder to Engel der Muse?)

Me too, I also prefer the Vienna libretto. In particular I think 'Der letzte Schritt' is a much more imaginative rendering of PoNR and I think that the 'Von nun an...' version is too much of a mouthful and too literal.

Does "Engel der Muse" even really make sense?

That said there are some odd words in the Vienna libretto. I'm not very familiar with Austrian German, but how common is the word "präpotent"?

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Re: German Libretto

Post  Eowyn on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:56 am

"Präpotent" is a quite common word - "er hat ein präpotentes Auftreten/Verhalten" and so on.

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Re: German Libretto

Post  Josephine on Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:18 am

I'm sorry, Eowyn, but I have to disagree with you. I'm a native speaker of German (as, I imagine, are you). I'm a student of literature, a language tutor and a major bookworm. And I have never seen the word "präpotent" used in any context other than this libretto. So it can't be all that common.

Edit: I've just googled it and found that the word seems to be common in Austria, but not so much in Germany. Then again, I've never read it in a book written by an Austrian, either. Hmm...

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Re: German Libretto

Post  operafantomet on Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:25 am

Scorp wrote:
MajesticPhantom wrote:Why was the libretto so altered after the Vienna production? I tend to prefer many of the words used in the Vienna libretto, but perhaps, since I'm not a native German speaker, I am missing something obvious. (Example: was there a big cultural reason for the change from Engel der Lieder to Engel der Muse?)
Me too, I also prefer the Vienna libretto. In particular I think 'Der letzte Schritt' is a much more imaginative rendering of PoNR and I think that the 'Von nun an...' version is too much of a mouthful and too literal.
I agree, especially about the original Austrian PONR lyrics VS the German ones. But I talked to a German fan, and he said that to the common German parts of the Austrian lyrics didn't sit quite right. I said I preferred the Austrian title song which kept the vowels of the English original: "Ganz nah ist das Phantom der Oper da". But according to him it's a slightly clumsy way of placing the words, and the "da" in the end doesn't really make sense. It's something a child could say. I guess I don't pick up on these nuances.

And "Der letzte Schritt" and "Engel der Lieder" sits so much better in my untrained ears.

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Re: German Libretto

Post  Lycanthrope on Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:30 pm

I'll agree with you both in preferring the Austrian lyrics. There are some odd moments in the German version, namely when rhymes get lost. For example, at the end of PONR it harks back to the Austrian version: "Lass alles hinter dir und nimm mich mit/Von nun an gibt es kein zurück" which ruins the original mit/Schritt rhyme, unless we're stretching the rules of rhyme in German as can be done. This mit/zurück "rhyme" occurs at the end of the Phantom's first verse as well in the German version. Plus PONR in the German version just doesn't scan at all - it always like it has to be rushed to fit all the syllables in, whereas the Austrian version fits very nicely indeed.

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Re: German Libretto

Post  Scorp on Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:28 am

While we're talking about this, is the complete Hamburg libretto available anywhere? I have the Hamburg PONR lyrics for some reason on my computer and they look like they've been cut and paste from a libretto as it includes stage directions. I have the Vienna libretto at the back of the Alles über das Phantom der Oper book.

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Re: German Libretto

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