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Songs

Songs

Gruß (1844) Op.63 no.3


Part of a series or song cycle:

Six Duets (Op.63)


Gruß

Wohin ich geh’ und schaue,
In Feld und Wald und Tal,
Vom Hügel hin auf die Aue,
Vom Berg aufwärts weit in’s Blaue:
Grüss’ ich dich tausend mal.
In meinem Garten find’ ich
Viel Blumen schön und fein;
Viel Kränze wohl d’raus wind’ ich,
Und tausend Gedanken bind’ ich,
Und Grüsse mit darein.
Dir darf ich keinen reichen,
Du bist zu hoch und schön,
Sie müssen zu bald verbleichen,
Die Liebe ohne Gleichen
Bleibt ewig im Herzen steh’n.

Greeting

Wherever I walk and gaze,
Through valley, wood and field,
From mountaintop to meadow,
I, lovely gracious lady,
Greet you a thousand times.
I seek out in my garden
Many fine and lovely flowers,
Weaving many garlands,
Binding a thousand thoughts
And greetings with them too.
I cannot give a garland
To her, so high and fine,
Which means that all must perish,
Only love without compare
Stays in the heart forever.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), brother of Fanny Mendelssohn and grandson of Haskalah and Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn's compositions include symphonies, concertos, piano music and chamber music. 

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Poet

Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff was a German poet, novelist, playwright, literary critic, translator, and anthologist. Eichendorff was one of the major writers and critics of Romanticism. Ever since their publication and up to the present day, some of his works have been very popular in Germany.

Eichendorff first became famous for his novella Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts (Memoirs of a Good-For-Nothing) and his poems. The Memoirs of a Good-For-Nothing, a typical romantic novella, whose main themes are wanderlust and love. The protagonist, the son of a miller, rejects his father's trade and becomes a gardener at a Viennese palace where he subsequently falls in love with the local duke's daughter. As, with his lowly status, she is unattainable for him, he escapes to Italy - only to return and learn that she is the duke's adopted daughter, and thus within his social reach. With its combination of dream world and realism, Memoirs of a Good-For-Nothing is considered to be a high point of Romantic fiction. One critic stated that "Eichendorff’s 'Good-For-Nothing' is the "personification of love of nature and an obsession with hiking." Thomas Mann called Eichendorff's Good-For-Nothing a combination of "the purity of the folk song and the fairy tale."

Many of Eichendorff's poems were first published as integral parts of his novellas and stories, where they are often performed in song by one of the protagonists. The novella Good-For-Nothing alone contains 54 poems.

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