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Songs

Ich wandte mich Op.121 no.2


Part of a series or song cycle:

Four Serious Songs [Vier ernste Gesänge] (Op.121)


Ich wandte mich

Ich wandte mich und sahe an alle,
die Unrecht leiden unter der Sonne;
Und siehe, da waren Tränen derer,
Die Unrecht litten und hatten keinen Tröster,
Und die ihnen Unrecht täten, waren zu mächtig,
Daß sie keinen Tröster haben konnten.
Da lobte ich die Toten, die schon gestorben waren
Mehr als die Lebendigen, die noch das Leben hatten;
Und der noch nicht ist, ist besser, als alle beide,
Und des Bösen nicht inne wird, das unter der Sonne geschieht.

So I returned

So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun;
and behold the tears of such as were oppressed,and they had no comforter;
and on the side of their oppressors there was power;
but they had no comforter.
Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.
Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been,
who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
Translation © 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

Martin Luther, (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

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