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Der Kranke (1940) Op. 38 no.2

Der Kranke

Soll ich dich denn nun verlassen,
Erde, heit'res Vaterhaus?
Herzlich Lieben, mutig Hassen,
Ist denn alles, alles aus?
Vor dem Fenster durch die Linden
Spielt es wie ein linder Gruß.
Lüfte, wollt ihr mir verkünden,
Daß ich bald hinunter muß?
Liebe ferne blaue Hügel,
Stiller Fluß im Talesgrün,
Ach, wie oft wünscht ich mir Flügel,
Über euch hinweg zu zieh'n!
Da sich jetzt die Flügel dehnen,
Schaur' ich in mich selbst zurück
Und ein unbeschreiblich Sehnen
Zieht mich zu der Welt zurück.

The sick man

Shall I now then leave you,
O earth, happy home of my childhood?
Heartfelt love, intrepid hatred,
Is everything, everything gone?
Outside the window through the lime trees
The wind stirs, as though in gentle greeting.
Breezes, do you wish to tell me
That I must soon depart?
Dear blue and distant hills,
Quiet river in the green valley,
Ah, how often have I wished for wings
To soar away above you!
Now that the wings are spread,
I recoil into myself;
And an indescribable yearning
Draws me back into the world.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Erich Wolfgang Korngold was an Austrian-born composer and conductor, and a notable figure in the history of Hollywood as a composer for films.

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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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