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Der Blumen Schmerz (1821) D731

This song was recorded on the album 'Schubert Year by Year' on Stone Records, in preparation for Oxford Lieder's 2014 The Schubert Project, the first ever complete performance of Schubert's songs in a single festival. It features one song from each year of Schubert's creative life.

Click here to listen to the song with Mary Bevan and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.

Der Blumen Schmerz

Wie tönt es mir so schaurig
Des Lenzes erstes Wehn,
Wie dünkt es mir so traurig,
Dass Blumen auferstehn.
In ihrer Mutter Armen
Da ruhten sie so still,
Nun müssen, ach, die Armen
Hervor ans Weltgewühl.
Die zarten Kinder heben
Die Häupter scheu empor:
„Wer rufet uns ins Leben
Aus stiller Nacht hervor?“
Der Lenz mit Zauberworten,
Mit Hauchen süsser Lust,
Lockt aus den dunkeln Pforten
Sie von der Mutter Brust.
In bräutlich heller Feier
Erscheint der Blumen Pracht,
Doch fern schon ist der Freier,
Wild glüht der Sonne Macht.
Nun künden ihre Düfte,
Dass sie voll Sehnsucht sind;
Was labend würzt die Lüfte,
Es ist der Schmerzen Kind.
Die Kelche sinken nieder,
Sie schauen erdenwärts:
„O Mutter, nimm uns wieder,
Das Leben gibt nur Schmerz.“
Die welken Blätter fallen,
Mild deckt der Schnee sie zu –
Ach Gott! So geht’s mit allen,
Im Grabe nur ist Ruh.

The Flowers' Pain

With what dread do I hear
the first breezes of spring;
how sad it is to me
that flowers rise up again.
They lay so quietly
in their mother’s arms,
and now the poor things
must come out into the teeming world.
The delicate children shyly
raise their heads:
‘Who summons us into life
from the peaceful night?’
Spring, with magic words,
breathing sweet delight,
lures them through the dark portals
from their mother’s breast.
In a lustrous bridal ceremony
the flowers appear in their glory;
but the groom is already far away,
and the mighty sun glows harshly.
Now their fragrance reveals
that they are full of longing;
the refreshing scent that spices the air
is the child of sorrow.
The chalices droop,
gazing earthwards:
‘O mother, receive us again,
for life gives only pain.’
The withered leaves fall;
the snow gently covers them.
O God, so it is with all;
only in the grave is there peace.

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Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

Information from Wikipedia. Read more here.

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