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Songs

Songs

Liebesglück no.16


Part of a series or song cycle:

Gedichte von Joseph von Eichendorff


Liebesglück

Ich hab’ ein Liebchen lieb recht von Herzen,
Hellfrische Augen hat’s wie zwei Kerzen,
Und wo sie spielend streifen das Feld,
Ach, wie so lustig glänzet die Welt!
Wie in der Waldnacht zwischen den Schlüften
Plötzlich die Täler sonnig sich klüften,
Funkeln die Ströme, rauscht himmelwärts
Blühende Wildnis - so ist mein Herz!
Wie vom Gebirge ins Meer zu schauen,
Wie wenn der Seefalk, hangend im Blauen,
Zuruft der dämmernden Erd’, wo sie blieb? -
So unermesslich ist rechte Lieb’!

Love's happiness

I’ve a sweetheart I love with all my heart,
Her bright eyes sparkle like two candles,
And when they playfully gaze on the field,
Ah, how joyously the world shines!
Just as in dark forests between ravines
The valleys suddenly divide into sunlight,
The streams sparkle, and the blossoming
Wilderness rustles heavenward – so does my heart!
Like gazing from summits into the sea,
Like a sea-falcon, hovering in the blue sky,
Asks the twilit earth where she’s been –
So immeasurable is true love!
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

Hugo Philipp Jacob Wolf was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin. He is particularly known for his art song, or Lieder. His Lieder display a concentrated expressive intensity unique to Wolf. 

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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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