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Salamander (1886) Op. 107 no.2


Es saß ein Salamander
Auf einem kühlen Stein,
Da warf ein böses Mädchen
In’s Feuer ihn hinein.
Sie meint’, er soll verbrennen,
Ihm war erst wohl zu Mut,
Wohl wie mir kühlem Teufel
Die heiße Liebe tut.


A salamander was sitting
On a cool stone,
When suddenly a bad girl
Threw it into the fire.
She thought it would burn up,
But it felt even more at ease,
Just as hot love
Suits a cool devil like me.
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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