This is more apples to kumquats than apples and apples, as far as comparisons go, but I thought I would try it just to see if it worked. (Please note that I do not have a position on apples versus kumquats. They are both very lovely fruits.)
So, this is “O welch ein Schmerz!” / “Oh, leave me be!” from Act III. The first version is Stratas singing it in English at the Met in 1978 and the second is Röschmann singing it in German in Graz in 2011.
This was quite tricky for me. The difference in language made it hard for me to track what corresponded to what, although the translators seem to have been quite sensitive to emphasis in both cases – the reason that sometimes the words mean similar but not necessarily identical things seems to be so that you get a similar pattern of emphasis in what the singer is singing, e.g. at around 3.55 where in the English version you have “its brightness is all gone now” and in German, at 4.20 or so “beweinen mein armes Herz” (“weep for my poor heart”). They’ve kept the basic sequence of emphases for the syllables, and also some of the vowels, e.g. the “ai” in “brightness” and “beweinen” and the initial “ah” in “all gone now” and “armes Herz.” Libretto translation is, I think, one of those tasks where no one notices what you’ve accomplished unless you mess it up.
But there is a difference here that is distinct from syllable collation. The emotional pitch of these is similar – I mean, same aria, right, so it has to be on some level — but there are some little differences. Stratas’s Marie is in a kind of “this really, really sucks and I am mad and hurt and disappointed and am probably going to go and sit looking glum after I finish with this” mood, which is an entirely reasonable thing for the character to be feeling. Röschmann’s Marie is more “I thought I had something that was so beautiful, and now it’s gone” – the feeling of wrenching disappointment is somehow less personal and more personal at the same time. Where the English version at “how I yearn for Jenik to deny all this as lies” comes off as wounded and unhappy but not crushed (it begins at around 1.18), the German “wie er so kalt and grausam mich, seine Maid, verlassen kann” / “how he can leave me, his girl, so coldly and cruelly” (beginning at about 0.55) gives you the sense that Marie is so hurt that it is almost beyond words to express. Later, Röschmann’s last “wie war so schön der Liebestraum” just aches with sadness (I could have done without that little “it goes up before it goes down” moment with the pitch at 6.25 in this phrase, but whatever.)
This is one of those places where the set in the Styriarte version sort of works for me. Given the type of object it is, it can look bright and sweet, and it can also look, depending on mood and lighting, like the most desolate thing ever – which it does at this point in the opera.