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Maienkätzchen (1887) Op. 107 no.4


Maienkätzchen, erster Gruß,
Ich breche euch und stecke euch
An meinen alten Hut.
Maienkätzchen, erster Gruß,
Einst brach ich euch und steckte euch
Der Liebsten an den Hut.

May catkins

May catkins, first greeting,
I pick you and pin you
On my old hat.
May catkins, first greeting,
Once I picked and pinned you
On my sweetheart’s hat.
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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Liliencron first attracted attention by the volume of poems, Adjutantenritte und andere Gedichte (1883), which was followed by several unsuccessful dramas, a volume of short stories, Eine Sommerschlacht (1886), and a novel Breide Hummelsbüttel (1887). His complete works were published in 14 volumes (1904–1905); his Gedichte having been previously collected in four volumes under the titles Kampf und SpieleKämpfe und Ziele"Nebel und Sonne and Bunte Beute (1897–1903).


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