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Songs

Gondoliera


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Drei gemischte Chöre


Gondoliera

O komm zu mir, wenn durch die Nacht
Wandelt das Sternenheer,
Dann schwebt mit uns in Mondespracht
Die Gondel übers Meer.
Die Luft ist weich wie Liebesscherz,
Sanft spielt der goldne Schein,
Die Zither klingt und zieht dein Herz
Mit in die Lust hinein.
O komm zu mir, wenn durch die Nacht
Wandelt das Sternenheer,
Dann schwebt mit uns in Mondespracht
Die Gondel übers Meer.
Dies ist für sel’ge Lieb’ die Stund,
Liebchen, o komm und schau,
so friedlich strahlt des Himmels Rund,
es schläft des Meeres Blau.
Und wie es schläft, so sagt der Blick,
Was nie die Zunge spricht,
Das Auge zieht sich nicht zurück,
Zurück die Seele nicht
O komm zu mir, wenn durch die Nacht
Wandelt das Sternenheer,
Dann schwebt mit uns in Mondespracht
Die Gondel übers Meer.

Oh, come to me when daylight sets

Oh, come to me when daylight sets;
Sweet! then come to me,
When smoothly go our gondolets
O’er the moonlight sea.
When Mirth’s awake, and Love begins,
Beneath that glancing ray,
With sound of lutes and mandolins,
To steal young hearts away.
Then, come to me when daylight sets;
Sweet! then come to me,
When smoothly go our gondolets
O’er the moonlight sea.
Oh, then’s the hour for those who love,
Sweet, like thee and me;
When all’s so calm below, above,
In Heaven and o’er the sea.
When maiden’s sing sweet barcarolles,
And Echo sings again
So sweet, that all with ears and souls
Should love and listen then.
So, come to me when daylight sets;
Sweet! then come to me,
When smoothly go our gondolets
O’er the moonlight sea.

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Composer

Clara Schumann (1819-96) née Wieck is one of the most significant women in musical history. Apart from being a tremendously successful pianist and pedagogue, she wrote numerous songs alongside other works in various genres. She also transformed the reputation of her initially unsuccessful husband Robert Schumann through her determined championing.

As a girl, Clara Wieck was taught by her father Friedrich. Her mother Mariane Tromlitz was a professional-standard pianist. The marriage collapsed when Clara was a child, and only as an adult could she re-establish a relationship with her mother. Friedrich Wieck gave his daughter an exceptional musical education, including taking her to every important concert, opera, and drama in her native Leipzig, and training her in the complex business arrangements of a musical career. She gave her first performance at the Gewandhaus when she was nine years old.

Clara Schumann typically incorporated her own compositions into her concerts throughout the 1830s. In the use of bold harmonies, adventurous modulations, and rhythmic freedom, her compositions share qualities with her contemporaries from the new Romantic school such as Robert Schumann, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, and Frederic Chopin.

Her relationship with Robert Schumann signalled a turning point. After strong opposition from her father, they married in 1840 and embarked on a period of musical and literary study which transformed her style. However, she struggled with the pressure to be a perfect housewife and mother. During sixteen years of marriage, she bore eight children while also being pressed into Robert’s service, preparing keyboard arrangements of orchestral works, playing for rehearsals and much else. After Robert’s death in 1856, she threw herself back into her performing career for several reasons: firstly, her own playing was largely stifled during her marriage; secondly, she could reliably generate much-needed income; and finally, she could most effectively establish her husband’s legacy. She eventually settled in Frankfurt. 

Clara Schumann gave three songs (‘Am Strande’, ‘Volkslied’, and ‘Ich stand in dunkeln Träumen’) to her husband on their first Christmas together. These were followed by four songs, three of which were incorporated in a joint collection (published as Robert Schumann’s op.37 and her op.12) and several independent opuses. Although not numerous, her Lieder are expressive and powerful contributions to the genre, ranging from lyric to dramatic in style. Her accompaniment textures are varied and can be virtuosic, such as in ‘Walzer’ and the magnificent ‘Loreley’. Her melodies often display great elegance alongside an innate understanding of the voice. Formally, she was innovative, experimenting with phrase lengths and layers of texture. Her ‘Geheimes Flüstern’ from op.23 is one of the finest 19th-century Lieder ever composed.

Clara Schumann’s taste in song poetry heavily overlapped with that of her husband and many other contemporaries. For instance, her favoured song poets, Heinrich Heine, Emanuel Geibel, and Friedrich Rückert, were all important contemporaries whose verses were frequently set. Perhaps more than any other woman composer, Clara Schumann is established in the song repertoire. A complete edition of her songs appeared in 1990 and there are numerous recordings.

© Natasha Loges, 2022


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Poet

Emanuel von Geibel , German poet and playwright.
He was born at Lübeck, the son of a pastor. He was originally intended for his father's profession and studied at Bonn and Berlin, but his real interests lay not in theology but in classical and romance philology. In 1838 he accepted a tutorship at Athens, where he remained until 1840. In the same year he published, in conjunction with his friend Ernst Curtius, a volume of translations from Greek. His first poems were published in a volume entitled Zeitstimmen in 1841. In 1842 he entered the service of Frederick William IV, the king of Prussia, with an annual stipend of 300 thalers; under whom he produced König Roderich (1843), a tragedy, König Sigurds Brautfahrt (1846), an epic, and Juniuslieder (1848), lyrics in a more spirited and manlier style than his early poems.

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Translation:

Thomas Moore was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of "The Minstrel Boy" and "The Last Rose of Summer". He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death. In his lifetime he was often referred to as Anacreon Moore.

Thomas Moore was born at 12 Aungier Street in Dublin, Ireland over his father's grocery shop, his father being from the Kerry Gaeltacht and his mother, Anastasia Codd, from Wexford. He had two younger sisters, Kate and Ellen.

From a relatively early age Moore showed an interest in music and other performing arts. He sometimes appeared in musical plays with his friends, such as The Poor Soldier by John O'Keeffe (music by William Shield), and at one point had ambitions to become an actor. Moore attended several Dublin schools including Samuel Whyte's English Grammar School in Grafton Street where he learned the English accent with which he spoke for the rest of his life. In 1795 he graduated from Trinity College, which had recently allowed entry to Catholic students, in an effort to fulfill his mother's dream of him becoming a lawyer. Moore was initially a good student, but he later put less effort into his studies. His time at Trinity came amidst the ongoing turmoil following the French Revolution, and a number of his fellow students such as Robert Emmet were supporters of the United Irishmen movement, although Moore himself never was a member. This movement sought support from the French government to launch a revolution in Ireland. In 1798 a rebellion broke out followed by a French invasion, neither of which succeeded.

Besides Emmet, another formative influence was Edward Hudson, also a fellow student at Trinity College, who played a crucial role in introducing Moore to Edward Bunting's A General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music (1797), later one the main sources of his own collection of Irish Melodies.

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Moore


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