Dmitry Smirnov - Eternal Refuge

English > Adaptations > Music > Classical music > Dmitry Smirnov

Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov (°1948) is a Russian and, since 1991, British composer. He was born in Minsk, Belarus, in a family of opera singers, and from 1967 to 1972 he studied in Moscow at the Music Conservatory. In 1976 he was awarded with the first prize in a music competition in Maastricht, the Netherlands, for his Solo for harp.

In 1979, the Union of Soviet Composers put him on the blacklist as a member of the Khrennikov Seven, a group of Russian composers who had participated in some festivals of Soviet music in the West without being authorised. He was also one of the founders of the Russian Society for Contemporary Music, which was founded in 1990 in Moscow.

In 1991, Smirnov moved to England where he worked as a composer at the St John's College of the University of Cambridge. Since 2003 he is lecturer at the Goldsmiths College at the University of London.

In 1972, he composed Вечный приют [Vechny priyut] or Eternal Refuge, a piece for a trio of voice and piano, which was inspired by The Master and Margarita. Later he made a version for chamber orchestra, which was premiered on January 31, 1982, at the Philharmonie Hall in Tula (Russia) with conductor Yuri Nikolaevsky. In 2002, Smirnov revised both versions of his work.

The lyrics

Вечный приют

Боги, Боги мои!
Как грустна вечерняя земля!
Как таинственны туманы над
Кто блуждал в этих туманах,
Кто много страдал перед
Кто летел над этой землёй,
Неся на себе непосильный груз,
Тот это знает.

Боги, Боги мои!
Как грустна вечерняя земля!
Это знает уставший.
И он без сожаления
Покидает туманы земли,
Её болотца и реки,
Он отдаётся с лёгким сердцем
В руки смерти,
[Реqуием аетерна дона еис,
[Он отдаётся с лёгким сердцем
В руки смерти,]2
Зная, что только она одна
Успокоит его.

Eternal Refuge

Oh gods, my gods!
How sad is the evening earth!
How musterious are the mists
over the marshes!
Who wandered in those mists,
Who suffered so much
before dying,
Who flew over the earth,
Carrying an unbearable burden,
He knows.

Oh gods, my gods!
How sad is the evening earth!
He knows it is tiring.
And he has no regrets.
He leaves the earthly mist,
Its swamps and its rivers,
Lighthearted he is given
In the hands of death.
[Requiem aeterna dona eis,
Domine] 1
[Lighthearted he is given
In the hands of death.] 2
Knowing that she is the only
giving him peace.

Share this page |