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Serenade: Liebliches Kind (1877) Op. 70 no.3

Serenade: Liebliches Kind

Liebliches Kind,
Kannst du mir sagen,
Sagen warum
Einsam und stumm
Zärtliche Seelen
Immer sich quälen,
Selbst sich betrüben
Und ihr Vergnügen
Immer nur ahnen
Da, wo sie nicht sind;
Kannst du mir’s sagen,
Liebliches Kind?

Serenade: Lovely Child

Lovely child,
Can you tell me,
Tell me why,
Lonely and silent,
Sensitive souls
Always agonise,
Always grieve,
And feel they’d be happier
Anywhere than where
They actually are;
Can you tell me,
Lovely child?
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

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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