Michael Nyman (music), Paul Celan (text) / Mia Jakob (soprano), Denise Maurer (piano)
A native of the Bukovinian capital of Czernowitz, Jewish lyricist Paul Celan (1920–1970) is one of the most important literary voices of the 20th century. His family was murdered in the Holocaust: His father died of typhus as a forced laborer, and his mother was shot. Celan himself had to do forced labor in road construction from 1942 to 1944. After periods in
eng. Bucharest, deu. Bukarest

Bucharest is the capital of Romania and today has over 1.8 million inhabitants. In 1659 Bucharest replaced Târgoviște as the capital of the Principality of Wallachia. After the unification of the Danubian principalities (Moldavia and Wallachia) under Ion Cuza in 1861, Bucharest became the capital of Romania in 1862. Within a short time, it had become by far the largest city in the Southeast European region between Budapest and Istanbul. Under King Carol I. (1866-1914) Bucharest underwent urban planning changes following Western trends, with palaces, boulevards, parks, Art Nouveau villas and electric lighting. Towards the end of the 19th century, the city also developed into an industrial and financial center. In 1916, during World War I, it was occupied by the Central Powers, with whom a peace treaty was signed in 1918. Between 1936 and 1940, a Parisian-style boulevard was built in Bucharest, which also earned the city the nicknames "Micul Paris" ("Little Paris") or "Paris of the East." In World War II, after a brief period of neutrality, Romania sided with the Germans after General Ion Antonescu and the fascist "Iron Guard" turned Romania into a "national-legionary state." When Antonescu was arrested by King Mihai 1944, this resulted in air raids by the Germans, which destroyed large parts of Bucharest. In 1977, an earthquake caused widespread damage. Beginning in 1984, communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu had parts of the historic old city demolished in order to build a large socialist center, but this was never completed after his execution and the fall of the communist regime in 1989. Bucharest is now the seventh largest city in the EU, of which Romania has been a member since 2007.

and Vienna, where he studied Romance languages and worked as a translator and editor, Celan moved to Paris in 1948. Over the following two decades he published eight volumes of poetry. In 1970, suffering from mental illness, the poet died, most likely by suicide. 
Celan’s personal experiences during the Holocaust also left their mark on his poetic oeuvre, which is often difficult to interpret – his best-known poem, Todesfuge (Death Fugue), is considered one of the best-known and most haunting lyrical memorials to the Holocaust.
One of the many composers who gave musical expression to Celan’s poetry is the Englishman Michael Nyman (*1944). He gained renown especially as a film composer (Gattaca, The Piano), but also writes concert works and operas. Nyman's sound language distances itself from avant-garde musical currents of the post-war period. He sees his roots in the Western musical tradition, and his goal is simply to compose “beautiful” music. Stylistically, his work can best be classified as repetitive and harmonic "minimal music," which has also had an influence on modern pop music.
In 1990 Nyman composed six songs with texts by Paul Celan for the German chansonette Ute Lemper (*1963). The cycle is dedicated to Nyman's mother, who died while he was working on the composition. It was released in 1992 on the album The Michael Nyman Songbook, recorded by Ute Lemper. The song presented here Nächtlich geschürzt, the fifth in the cycle, is based on a poem Celan wrote in Paris in 1952 and dedicated to his friends Hanne (1915–2010) and Hermann Lenz (1913–1998). 
Mia Jakob was born in Zagreb, Croatia, where she completed her master's degree in music education at the Academy of Music in 2014. In 2017, she began a master's degree in voice at the Leopold Mozart Center in Augsburg, Germany, graduating in 2021. In addition to her pedagogical work and artistic activities as an opera singer, her focus is on combining film with opera and song.
Denise Maurer is currently completing her Master's degree in "Klavier" (piano) at the Leopold Mozart Center in Augsburg. Together with the singer Mia Jakob, she has on several occasions provided the musical framework for events organized by the Bukovina Institute in Augsburg. Maurer graduated from the University of Music in Munich with a bachelor's degree in artistic-pedagogical piano and a master's degree in music journalism. In addition to her pedagogical and artistic activities, she is a freelance journalist for the Neue Musikzeitung as well as BR-Klassik.
English translation: William Connor