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Sommerfäden (1877) Op. 72 no.2


Sommerfäden hin und wieder
Fliegen von den Himmeln nieder;
Sind den Menschen Hirngespinnste,
Fetzen goldner Liebesträume.
An die Stauden, an die Bäume
Haben sie sich dort verfangen;
Hochselbsteigene Gewinnste
Sehen wir darunter hangen.


Back and forth gossamer threads
Flit down from the sky;
They are man’s fantastical thoughts,
Scraps of golden dreams of love.
On the shrubs, on the trees—
That’s where they are caught;
There we see our own fate
Hanging by a thread.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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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Karl August Candidus was a 19th century German poet and librettist.

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