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Es stürmet am Abendhimmel (1850) Op. 89 no.1


Part of a series or song cycle:

Sechs Gesänge (Op. 89)


Es stürmet am Abendhimmel

Es stürmet am Abendhimmel,
Es zittert der Sonne Licht:
Im Äther die eine Wolke
Von Lust und Lieb’ ihr spricht.
Die Wolke vom Sturm gezogen,
Dehnt weit die Arme aus:
Sie glüht im Purpur der Liebe
Und wirbt im Sturmgebraus.
Da scheidet die Braut von dannen,
Die Wolke der Sturm entrafft;
Der Purpur ist all verschwunden,
Schwarz ist sie und grausenhaft.

There are storms in the evening sky

There are storms in the evening sky,
The sunlight trembles:
A single cloud on high
Speaks to the sun of joy and love.
The cloud, driven by the storm,
Stretches wide its arms:
Crimson with love, it glows
And woos in the roaring storm.
Its sweetheart then departs,
The storm whisks away the cloud;
The crimson has now quite vanished,
The sun is fearsome and black.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.

Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as KinderszenenAlbum für die JugendBlumenstück, the Sonatas and Albumblätter are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.

In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, against the wishes of her father, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.

Schumann suffered from a lifelong mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of ‘exaltation’ and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted to amental asylum, at his own request, in Endenich near Bonn. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.

Taken from wikipedia. To read the rest of the article, please click here.


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