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Songs

Songs

Dämmrung senkte sich von oben (1873) Op.59 no.1

Dämmrung senkte sich von oben

Dämmrung senkte sich von oben,
Schon ist alle Nähe fern;
Doch zuerst emporgehoben
Holden Lichts der Abendstern!
Alles schwankt ins Ungewisse,
Nebel schleichen in die Höh’,
Schwarzvertiefte Finsternisse
Widerspiegelnd ruht der See.
Nun am östlichen Bereiche
Ahn’ ich Mondenglanz und -glut,
Schlanker Weiden Haargezweige
Scherzen auf der nächsten Flut.
Durch bewegter Schatten Spiele
Zittert Lunas Zauberschein,
Und durch’s Auge schleicht die Kühle
Sänftigend ins Herz hinein.

Dusk has fallen from on high

Dusk has fallen from on high,
All that was near now is distant;
But first the evening star appears
Shining with its lovely light!
All becomes an uncertain blur,
The mists creep up he sky;
Ever blacker depths of darkness
Are mirrored in the silent lake.
Now in the eastern reaches
I sense the moon’s light and glow,
The branching hair of slender willows
Frolics on the nearby water.
Through the play of moving shadows,
The moon’s magic light quivers down,
And coolness steals through the eye
Soothingly into the heart.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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

Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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