“Mozart. A Mournful Soul”

Often, a highly-gifted artist passionately recognizes extraordinary abilities of another genius. For example, a German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche adored Carmen opera by a French composer George Bizet. No wonder that a Kazakh poet Mukagali Makataev (1931 – 1976) dedicated one of his verses to an Austrian composer Mozart. Last year, a Kazakh publishing house “Өнер”, which means Art, published the richly illustrated book of his poetry, celebrating 85th anniversary of the poet. Among other poetical masterpieces, it contains verses, whose title literally means: Mozart. The Requiem. But, translating the verses more carefully, we could rightfully call it: Mozart. The Soul’s Mourning. Because, in this particular case a Kazakh noun “жаназа” (requiem) was divided in two as “жан азасы” (a soul’s mourning). Thus, translating the verses more elaborately, one may interpret the separated noun as A Mournful Soul. 

By the way, existing translations of Mukagali Makataev into English have been made from Russian translations, not the Kazakh original text. My humble translation of these particular verses is directly based on  the Kazakh original text.

Do I dream or am I wide awake?
Oh, my goodness!
A key has been pressed
To feel the piano’s pulse.
So long, my friend, farewell!
As though sighing in a heavy voice.
– Farewell, Mozart!
Does the heart tell so?!
Hesitating a little, he turns pale.
– Compose a requiem, Mozart!
– Good heavens! Did an angel or demon
Order the requiem? Who was it?!

Once again, the piano’s key is pressed.
A mournful, heavy sound is produced.
The whole life is overshadowed
By this mournful, heavy sound.
Suffering much, life and death lead
A tragic dialogue.

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