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Songs

Songs

Liebestreu (1853) Op. 3 no.1


Part of a series or song cycle:

Sechs Gesänge (Op. 3)


Liebestreu

„O versenk, o versenk dein Leid, mein Kind,
In die See, in die tiefe See!“ –
Ein Stein wohl bleibt auf des Meeres Grund,
Mein Leid kommt stets in die Höh’. –
„Und die Lieb’, die du im Herzen trägst,
Brich sie ab, brich sie ab, mein Kind!“ –
Ob die Blum’ auch stirbt, wenn man sie bricht:
Treue Lieb’ nicht so geschwind. –
„Und die Treu’, und die Treu’, ’s war nur ein Wort,
In den Wind damit hinaus!“–
O Mutter und splittert der Fels auch im Wind,
Meine Treue, die hält ihn aus. –

True love

‘Oh drown, oh drown your grief, my child,
In the sea, the fathomless sea!’ –
A stone may stay on the ocean bed,
My grief will always surface. –
‘And the love you bear in your heart,
Pluck it out, pluck it out, my child!’ –
Though a flower will die when it is plucked:
Faithful love will not fade so fast. –
‘Faithful, faithful – is but a word,
Away with it to the winds!’ –
Though a rock, O mother, will split in the wind,
My faithful love will withstand it. –
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

Robert Reinick was a German painter and poet, associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. One of his poems, Dem Vaterland, was set to music by Hugo Wolf.

Reinick was born in Danzig (Gdańsk) and died in Dresden.

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