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Songs

Songs

Ich schleich umher (1864) Op. 32 no.3


Part of a series or song cycle:

9 Lieder und Gesänge (Op.32)


Ich schleich umher

Ich schleich umher
Betrübt und stumm,
Du fragst, o frage
Mich nicht, warum?
Das Herz erschüttert
So manche Pein!
Und könnt ich je
Zu düster sein?
Der Baum verdorrt,
Der Duft vergeht,
Die Blätter liegen
So gelb im Beet,
Es stürmt ein Schauer
Mit Macht herein,
Und könnt ich je
Zu düster sein?

I creep about

I creep about,
Troubled and silent,
You ask me – oh, ask
Me not – why?
My heart is shaken
By so much pain!
And could I ever
Be too gloomy?
The tree withers,
Fragrance fades,
Leaves lie so yellow
In the flowerbed.
A heavy shower
Comes storming up,
And could I ever
Be too gloomy?
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. 

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by many. 

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Poet

Karl August Georg Maximilian Graf von Platen-Hallermünde was a German poet and dramatist. In German he mostly is called Graf (Count) Platen.

August von Platen was born on 24 October 1796 at Ansbach, the son of the Oberforstmeister (a senior public servant) of that state, Count Philipp August von Platen-Hallermünde, by second wife Baroness Christiane Eichler von Auriz. Shortly after his birth Ansbach and other Franconian principalities became incorporated with Bavaria. Platen entered the school of cadets (Kadettenhaus) in Munich, Bavaria, where he showed early poetic talent. In 1810 as an adolescent he passed into the royal school of pages (Königliche Pagerie).

In 1814 Platen was appointed lieutenant in the regiment of Bavarian life-guards. With them he took part in the short campaign in France of 1815, being in bivouac for several months near Mannheim and in the department of the Yonne. He saw no fighting, however, and returned home with his regiment towards the close of the same year. Desiring to study, and finding garrison life distasteful, he obtained a long leave of absence, and after a tour in Switzerland and the Bavarian Alps, entered the university of Würzburg in 1818 as a student of philosophy and philology.

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