Polish Music Journal
Vol. 4, No. 2, Winter 2001. ISSN 1521 - 6039




Libretto for Paderewski's MANRU:

by Alfred Nossig

English translation by Henry E. Krehbiel

Transcribed from the score by Zak Ozmo


ACT III.
Scenes: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |


Scene I.
Manru. Voice from the mountains.


Stage picture: To the left and slightly in the background, a lake; in the back of the lake a mountainous landscape with practicable paths and a small platform capable of holding several persons. Suggestions of sultry summer storms.



MANRU
Air! Air! I stifle!
Close was the cottage;
wild was the dream that held me bound!
My heart I thought would split in twain!
Ah! Now I breathe again!
(Clouds are seen driving across sky)
The mists depart;
Wher'er I look, night can be seen;
And yet I feel the moon behind her cloudy veil.
Ah! These refresh, the lake's cool breezes
and from the heights the forests smell!

A VOICE FROM THE MOUNTAINS
(Soprano, heard in the distance)
Here we'll rest and seek repose!

MANRU
Who calls?

THE VOICE
Here we'll rest and seek repose!

MANRU
Was't not a distant cry? No!

THE VOICE
Here we'll rest and seek repose!

MANRU
Twas the echo'quiv'ring sight!
The blood within my veins doth surge!
A nameless impulse onward doth me urge!
Me thinks that voices from the lake are singing,
and from the skies accordant harps are ringing!
May hap I have drunk of a magic cup!
It were God's vengeance were I bewitch'd!
Alas! I can not think.
No! No! It is the moon, now shining full!
Wild beats my heart!
My unrest grows!
(Manru's strength seems to desert him.
He staggers and sinks down upon a rock.)

'Tis well! 'Tis well!
Let me but slumber! Slumber! Slumber!

(The clouds disappear in part, disclosing the edge of the moon's bright disk. Manru moves about uneasily, without rising to his feet. The clouds again veil the moon. Manru grows quiet and seems to be dreaming on. More of the moon's disk becomes visible than before, and for a longer space. Manru again grows uneasy. The moon disappears, somewhat slowly, behind the cloud. Manru seems quieted. The full disk of moon appears in all its refulgence. Manru rises slowly to his feet, as if lifted by a mysterious power, his eyes still closed. With arms extended, his eyes still closed, Manru walks toward the mountains. Dark clouds hide the moon, and gusts of wind presaging an approaching storm are heard. Manru stumbles, and falls to the ground as if in a faint.)


Scene II.
Manru, Asa, Oros. Gypsies, Men and Women, Children.



A VOICE FROM THE MOUNTAIN
(Tenor in the distance)
Onward, onward let us wander!
Onward, onward let us wander!

(Group of gypsies appear descending the paths on either side of the stage. In each group there are musicians, principally violin and bass players. Picturesque costumes.)
(The Gypsies reach the stage, but at some distance from Manru.)

CHORUS OF GYPSIES
Like the restless billows curling,
Gipsy song now loud are skirling!
Like the restless billows curling,
Gipsy song now loud are skirling!
Hoo, ha! Hoo, ha! Hoo, ha!
Hear the hills loud echoes hurling!
Gipsy song now loud are skirling!
Hoo, ha! Hoo, ha!
Like the landslip downward whirling!
Let us wander from place to place!
In the rudy flame now we gaze,
Reading fate in the blaze!
Like the ruddy flame blasts our gaze,
dealing fate through the blaze!
Onward, onward let us wander!
Let us wander!
(A rude beat is seen upon the lake, bearing Asa and other Gypsy women besides Oros and Aged Gypsy men. Many carry torches.)
Like the landslip downward whirling,
Gipsy songs are loudly skirling!
La, la, la, la, la, la!
By the flames that we replenish,
hearth and home our foes may trace!
Onward, onward let us wander,
let us roam from place to place!
Let us roam from place to place!
(The Gipsy women coming down from the mountain find Manru lying on the ground. At the same moments boat lands and Asa, first of the boats company steps ashore.)

ASA
Why stay ye?

THE CHORUS
Ah! A man lies here! A man lies here!
'Tis Romany! A Romany?

ASA
A Romany? It is Manru!
Hither torches, torches!

THE CHORUS
Manru!

OROS
Is it Manru?

CHORUS
Is it Manru? Is it Manru?

ASA
Know ye not of Manru's face?

OROS
Yes, it is Manru!

CHORUS
Yes, 'tis Manru! Yes, 'tis Manru!

ASA
Why gaze ye, stupid boobies!
Sprinkle water on his face!

CHORUS
Sprinkle water on his face!
Water, water!
(Youths and maidens bring the water from the lake!)

ASA
Well I knew!
'Twas the magic's thrill, led him to his kindred here.

CHORUS
Water! Water! Water!

ASA

It was my own resistless will,
compelled him to appear!
(Water is sprinkled on Manru's face)

MANRU
What ails me? Speak!
Where am I?

ASA
'Mongst thy kindred!
Now arise!
(Asa offers her hand to Manru)
Stay with us!
OROS
No! No!
A traitor he to us, a renegade!

MALE CHORUS
A traitor he to us, a renegade!

OROS
Thou hast other kinsfolk,
thou our tents must not invade!

ASA
Oros, take him back! For my sake!
OROS
No! No! No!
Who deserts his father's race,
seeks the black blood to debase,
which thro'his own veins doth chase,
he be accurst!

CHORUS
Accurst! Accurst!

ASA
No, oh no!

CHORUS
Accurst! Accurst!

ASA
No, oh no!
OROS
He who does not hate our foes,
in his hart our tribe enclose,
he who Gipsying foregoes,
he be accurst!

ASA
No, oh no! No, oh no!

CHORUS
Accurst, accurst!

OROS
Who prefers steadfast roof,
holds not from the whites aloof,
mingles with the gentile woof,
he be accursed!

CHORUS
Accurst! Accurst!
He who does not hate our foes, he be accurst!
He who Gipsying forgoes,he be accurst!
Who prefers a steadfast roof,
holds not from the whites aloof,
mingles with the gentile loof!

ASA
Oros, thy harsh words withdraw!

OROS

By Mroden Oro! That word is law!

CHORUS
Hi sword is law! Hi sword is law!

ASA
'Tis well! As thou wilt!

CHORUS
His word is law! His word is law!
His word is law!

ASA
'Tis well! Ay, 'tis well!
Twice happy he!

MALE CHORUS
What means she? Strange her glance!

ASA
For him the pathway to my heart is free!
(Approaches Manru and is about to embrace him.)

OROS
Fall back!
(Hurling her back.)
Thou never more may'st see him!
ASA
A vain command!
I see whome'er I please!

OROS
Fall back! Back to the women!
(Raising his staff)
Dread my anger!

MANRU
(Grasping the staff of Oros)
Be quiet Oros! I cannot go!
Alas! Alas! I ma no longer free.
'Tis meet that thou from me should'st know!
No more, no more I'll roam with thee!

ASA
Ha, ha, ha, ha!

OROS
Dost mark him, vain coquette!
He loves her! Loves the chains that bind him!
Now try! Thou has my leave;
mayhap thou cans't bind him!
Manru will not follow thee!

ASA
Thou see'st, he taunts
(Turning to the chorus.)
A moment more we'll tarry here,
than onward, else where we'll fare!

CHORUS
(At a little distance)
Onward, onward let us wander!
ASA
(Drawing Manru to the left foreground)
Didst thou for us no morning feel?

CHORUS
Onward, onward, let us wander!

ASA
Canst to others thou be loyal?

MANRU
Asa!

ASA

.....

MANRU
...feathers it creates,
and hopelessly it binds us!

ASA
Such feathers do not bind a fool,
his will's his only kaylor;
He yields enjoyment for a whim,
and death's at last his bailor!

MANRU
Ah, yes!
I'll to thee all confess! Ah, yes!
Who his freedom himself destroys,
has seen last of his happiness;
and, living still, has tasted death.
The passing hours to him are one,
decrepit, lame, the days their lengths unwinding,
change what were joys to plague and torments grinding!
His house is a grave,
which e'en he dares not shun;
None understands him,
none his plaint is minding!

ASA
(Passionately)
Then come with us,who love thee truly!
Then come with me who knows thy heart!
Manru, come, come! Ah!
Come with me who knows thy heart!

MANRU
Spare me, oh spare me!
My life is blighted,
since I no more with you may dwell;
'Gainst her to whom my faith is plighted,
'Gainst her e'en my heart rebel!
Woe is me! Woe is me!

ASA
Nature's waif is the Gipsy child:
Born is he of the blazing faggots,
fathered he by the whirlwind!
And the dew give him his nurture!
(Swinging the tambourine)
Tra, la, la, la...!

CHORUS
Onward, onward let us wander from place to place!
Let us wander, let us wander!

ASA
Wand'ring over hill and dale,
early he dreams of love's travail.
Hot as campfire, furious as the wind,
sweet as the dew in the buds enshrined.

CHORUS
Let us wander! Let us wander!

ASA
Haunted he by dread forebodings,
How both life and love depart.
Consumed like the faggots,
dispelled like the dew,
wafted like breezes out of view!
(Again shaking the tambourin)
Tra, la, la, la....! Out of view!
(At the last words of Asa the maidens arise and join in her song)

CHORUS
Tra, la, la...!

MANRU
'Tis our song!
The days of childhood, like pictures,
arise before my gaze!

CHILDREN
Tra, la, la...!
(The entire chorus joins the song.)

Tr, la, la!

MANRU
Asa dancing in the wild wood!
And the campfire's ruddy blaze!

CHORUS
Tra, la, la, la...!

MANRU
Away!
To other haunts betake you,
lest fortune here forsake you!

CHILDREN
Tra, la, la, la...

ASA
Tra, la, la...

MANRU
Desist! Desist! I thee implore
Have done, and do not tempt me no more!
Have done! Have done!

ASA
La, la, la...

OROS
Enough!
With rage I am burning!

ASA
To us Manru's returning!

OROS
Away from him! Away from him!
(To Manru)
He goes with me!

OROS
I'll hear of no defence!

CHORUS OF MEN
Thou traitor, hence! Thou traitor, hence!
Endeavour no defence!

OROS
No more I'll hear of this idle jest!
He is proscribed, the die is cast!

THE CHORUS OF MEN
The die is cast!

OROS
The respite that I gave, is past,
away from him, that accurst outcast!

CHORUS
That accursed outcast! That accursed outcast!
The die is cast, he is proscribed!

ASA
My heart is his! What care I for thy ban?

OROS
Thou lov'st him?

ASA
(Embraces Manru)
See!

OROS
And dar'st to me confess it!

ASA
To all the world I will express it!

OROS
Away from him!

CHORUS
Away from him!

OROS
Away, 'twill be thy death!


Scene III.
The Same. Jagu.



JAGU
(Entering suddenly and holding up his violin.)
She loves the fellow, 'tis her right!
No jealousy should that excite!

CHILDREN
'Tis jealousy! Jealousy!
Ha, ha, ha! 'Tis jealousy!
Ha, ha, ha! 'Tis jealousy!

OROS
Have ye forgotten his offence?
Beware the fearful consequence!

MALE CHORUS
'Tis true, 'tis true!

ASA
A weak device!

OROS
United ye shall never be!

ASA
That we shall see!

OROS
My just decree must be respected!

CHORUS
It must, it must!
Silence! Silence!

ASA
If not rejected!

OROS
Obey the chief whom you've elected!

CHORUS
Ye must, ye must!

JAGU
Hear me! Hear me!

CHORUS
Hear Jagu! Hear Jagu!

JAGU
Should you not by you be protected!

CHORUS
No, no!

JAGU
Should Manru now rejoin our band,
forgiveness is the law's command!

CHORUS
'Tis true! 'Tis true!
Forgiveness is the law's command!

OROS

I'll not endure!

JAGU
With striplings we have patience ever;
(Jagu's words appear to make an impression.)
Should punishment than last forever?

CHORUS
'Tis true! 'Tis true!

JAGU
'Tis true! If harsh vengeful thoughts we smother,
we shall regain a friend and a brother!

CHORUS
'Tis true! 'Tis true!

JAGU

Romany should not be degraded!
He is our kinsman! Kinsman!

ASA AND JAGU
Kinsman! Kinsman! Kinsman!

OROS
Cease, mumbling fool!
Cease, and obey!
(In a rage)
Rebellious crew, no more delay!
Act not like a sheep without reason!
(To Jagu)
I'll teach you how to foment treason!
Break camp!
And thou, thou traitor, hence!
Hence!

ASA
Tra, la,la...!

OROS
Thou shameless creature!

CHORUS
Tra, la, la...

OROS
Would that the earth thee'd swallow!
Ye babblers. peace!

CHORUS
Come, come, come, we'll hold thee safe!
We'll hold thee safe!
Tra, la, la...
Manru, come with us! Come with us!
He goes, he goes with us!
Come with us! Manru, come with us!
Tra, la, la...

OROS
Traitors, all! Behold!
(He throws down his staff of office.)
But dread my direful vengeance! Curs!
(He haughtily leaves the scene.)

CHORUS
He goes! He goes!
He goes! He goes!

ASA
The deed is done, now is all one!

SOPRANOS, ALTOS, AND TENORS
The deed is done! Now all is one!
He is no man! What boots his ban?
A silly fool, why mind his rule?
Are we his pack? No, no, his words we spurn!
That us he may again oppress?
Our freedom we have won!
Have done! His time is past!
Again we're free, again we're free!
BASSES
Stay, Oros, stay! Stay, Oros, stay!
Bid him return! Haste, haste!
Call him back!
But who shall now our leader be?
Who shall now our leader be?

TUTTI CHORUS
Manru! Manru!
Manru! Manru!

MANRU
No! No! For chieftain choose one of your number.

ASA
Thou must consent!

CHORUS
Thou must! Thou must!
It is our custom!

MANRU
No! Pray you, leave me to my fate!

ASA
Dost wish to flee?

MANRU
My grief abate!

ASA
He'll go with us; he is our choice!
Play, fiddles, play!
And all rejoice!
(Jagu plays his violin.)

ASA
Listen! Manru!
Dost thou hear the strain!

CHORUS
Is he heartless?
Dull his brain?

BASS
(Approaching Manru)
Art thou Romany chal?

MANRU
Ah yes! How leaps my heart!
Hear I these viols!

ASA
'Tis true!

MANRU
Command their silence!
Command their silence!

ASA
They laugh, complain; they sigh, exclaim!

MANRU
I dare not hear! I must not hear!

CHORUS
See, see, his face grows with fear!

MANRU

BASS
See, he is held in magic's thrall!
SOPRANOS AND ALTOS
See, Jagu! He dreams!
TENORS
As transformed he dreams, he dreams!
BASSES
Haste with our schemes!

ASA
At least he's mine!

CHORUS
(Approaching Manru)
Come with us, thy hand as token!
Come! And do no shame thy blood!
Life anew for thee's bespoken!
Ah, come with us! In joy and sorrow!
Ah, come with us! Ah, come!
At dawn of morn, at even tide;
ah, come with us!
SOPRANOS AND TENORS
O'er the hill and dale we'll roam tomorrow!
Come with us! Ah, come with us, with us abide!
Ah, come! Ah, come!

MANRU
(Ecstatically, to Asa)
Ah, thine am I, take thou my soul!

SOPRANOS AND ALTOS
To love's sweet call thou must answer!
BASSES
Courage, Manru, come!

MANRU
Sweet, to thee I yield control!
Take me hence, I will be free!
Still am I a Romany!

CHORUS
Come, Manru, come!

MANRU
Ah, anew my blood is gushing,
Manru's fiery, fuming blood!
Thou 'tis to destruction rushing,
I will float on passion's flood!
Thine am I, thine!

ASA
Mine art thou, mine!

CHORUS
Ay, ay! Lead ye our band!
Ay, ay, lead ye our band!
Ay, ay , lead ye our band!

MANRU
Thine am I, thine!


Scene IV.
Manru, Urok, Gypsies.

UROK
(Appearing suddenly)
Not quite so fast, my Gipsy lad!
Art thou quite mad?

ASA
What wants the hunchback here?

UROK
O no, o no!

TENORS
Off, off with you, go, go!

MANRU
Thou burdock! Check thy sneer!

UROK
Thou reprobate! Thou base ingrate!
On duty wait!

SOPRANOS
What means the knave?

ASA
What means the knave?

CHORUS
What means the knave?
List to him rave! Off! Off!
Off with you, go!

Be off, away!

UROK
Ye graceless varlets! Knavish pagans!
Ye've turn'd his brain, and made him truant!
I'm glad! I'm glad!

CHORUS
Ha, ha, the little beast talks like a priest!
Ha, ha, the little beast!

UROK
The deeds of which you now are boasting,
you'll rue in hell, when you are roasting!
I am glad! I am glad!

SOPRANOS, ALTOS, AND BASSES
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
He is a bore, we'll hear no more!
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Away! Away! Away!
TENORS
The little beast talks like a priest!
Ha, ha! The little beast!
Away! Away! Away!

UROK
And Ulana?

ASA
Drive him away!

CHORUS
(The chorus crowds around Urok)
Away!

UROK
Thy wife, thy child?

ASA
Make haste, away!

TENORS AND BASSES
Away!

UROK
Did'st thou declare that thou would fare?
And thou dare let her despair, let her despair?

TENORS
Away! Away! Off! Off! Off!
SOPRANOS AND ALTOS
Off with him! Away!
Off with him! Away!
BASS
Away! Away!

UROK

Ye thieving wretches!
Ye hellish witches!

ASA
No more words! Give blows!
Blows! Blows!

CHORUS
No more words! Give blows!
Blows! Blows!

ASA
Away, away!

UROK
(Going)
Ye wretches!

CHORUS
Ha, ha, ha...!

MANRU
My wife, my child!

CHORUS
Ha, ha, ha...!


Scene V.
Asa, Manru, Gypsies.



ASA
Away! Ere dawn!

MANRU
My wife! My child!
(Morning dawns.)

TENORS
Away, day dawns!

MANRU
As heaven knows, I meant no wrong!
My love was ardent, my patience long!

BASSES
Away, day dawns!

MANRU
My heart was thine in ev'ry mood,
deceived was I by my own blood!

BASSES
Away, day dawns!

MANRU
Ask'st thou of me faithful duty,
take away these eyes,
which beauty cannot see without delight!

CHORUS
Day dawns, day dawns!
Day dawns, day dawns!

MANRU
Wouldst thou have me e'er beside thee?
Take my heart; whate'er betide me,
ever it takes to flight!

CHORUS
Away, day dawns! Away, day dawns!
Away, away, day dawns!

MANRU
(With determination.)
Asa! Kinsmen! I to you belong!
'Tis freedom call! My fetters fall!
With ye I'll rove! No more a slave!
(Manru and Asa embrace each other.)

CHORUS
No more a slave!
Away with bonds and slavery!
Away with bonds and slavery!
The world's our chattel, we alone are free!
(At the first sound of the march all leave the stage.)

ULANA
(She enters.)
Holy Virgin! He is gone!

UROK
The son of hell!

ULANA
(Breaking down.)
My God! My God! My God!

UROK

Up, and away!


Scene VI.
Ulana, Urok.

ULANA
Manru! Where art thou?
Manru! Art thou here?
Manru, Manru!
(She enters.)
Holy Virgin! He is gone!

UROK
The son of Hell!

ULANA
(Breaking down.)
My God! My god!

UROK
Up, and away!

ULANA
My God! My God!

UROK

'Tis thus did thy love repay!

ULANA
(Lifting her hands toward heaven.)
O Thou, who rul'st on high, Have pity on me,
O be Thou night! Almighty God!

UROK
Thou poor one! No help he'll give!

ULANA
I gave him my love, all my love!
I gave him my trust, all my trust!

UROK
To Gipsy lust!

ULANA
Ah, Manru!
(Summoning all her strength and walking toward the mountain.)
Manru! Manru!
(Returning to the foreground pathetically.)
Ensnared! Deceived! Of my loved ones bereaved!
Overwhelmed with sorrow and anguish!

UROK
Ulana!

ULANA
Cast aside, rejected and scorned! Deserted!
Deserted! Deserted!

UROK
Ulana!

ULANA
(Turning to the mountain.)
Manru! Art not of sense beguiled,
O hear, hear, hear our child!
Hear our child!

UROK
Thy ravings are wild!

ULANA
Then haste, then haste, my love o'er take!

UROK
'Tis vain!

ULANA

Haste! Be our saviour!
Haste, o haste!

UROK
I hasten! I hasten!

ULANA
(Turning again to mountains.)
Manru! Ah stay!
Manru! Hear'st thou not?
Hear thy wife implore!
Manru! Ah hear! Ah hear!
Manru!

UROK
(High up in the mountains.)
Too late! He's here no more!

ULANA
Too late! Too late!
(On the shore of lake.)
My God, forgive him his transgression!
My child I leave thy possession!
My God! My brain is awhirl!
My God! Deserted, disdained!
Disdained! Disdained!
(Throws herself in the lake.)
Ah!


Scene VII.
Urok, Manru, Asa, Oros.


(Manru and Asa appear on the mountain path with their arms about each other)
(When Asa and Manru reach the platform, Oros suddenly appears.)

OROS
My place, my Asa, thou'ds steal, thou thief!
Away!
(Hurls Manru into the abyss.)

UROK
(Approaching from the other side of the platform.)
Ha, ha, ha...!

OROS
Again I'm chief!

(The curtain falls quickly.)


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Libretto of MANRU:, Act I
Libretto of MANRU:, Act II
Paderewski's List of Works
Paderewski's Writings
Paderewski: Bibliography
PMJ - Current Issue
PMJ - vol. 4 no. 1 ( Summer 2001)

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Copyright 2001 by the Polish Music Journal.
Editor: Maja Trochimczyk. Assistant Editor: Linda Schubert.
Publisher: Polish Music Center, 2001.
Design: Maja Trochimczyk & Marcin Depinski.
Comments and inquiries by e-mail: polmusic@email.usc.edu