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Die Nonne (1840) Op. 49 no.3

Part of a series or song cycle:

Romanzen und Balladen, ii (Op. 49)

Die Nonne

Im Garten steht die Nonne
Bei Rosen in der Sonne,
Die ihr ein Kränzlein flechten
Zur Linken und zur Rechten.
Herüber aus dem Saale
Erklingt vom Hochzeitsmahle
Das Tanzen und das Singen;
Die Braut möcht’ jeder schwingen.
Sie kühlet hold umfangen
Am Fenster sich die Wangen;
Die Nonne schaut herüber,
Ihr gehn die Augen über:
„Wie glüht im Rosenglanze
Sie unter’m weissen Kranze,
Und unter rother Rose
Erbleich’ ich Freudenlose.“

The Nun

The nun stands in the garden
Alongside roses in the sun,
They wind for her a little wreath
To the right and to the left.
The sounds of dancing and singing
At the wedding feast
Waft over from the hall;
Everyone wants to dance with the bride.
In a sweet embrace, she cools
Her cheeks by the window;
The nun looks over,
Her eyes fill with tears:
‘How she glows with roses
Beneath the white wreath,
And among the red roses
I turn pale, devoid of joy.’
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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.

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Abraham Emanuel Fröhlich was a Swiss poet.

He was born in Brugg in the canton of Aargau, where his father was a teacher. After studying theology at Zürich he became a pastor in 1817 and returned as teacher to his native town, where he lived for ten years. He was then appointed professor of German language and literature in the cantonal school in Aargau, however he lost the post in the political quarrels of 1830. He afterwards obtained the post of teacher and rector of the cantonal college, and was also appointed assistant minister at the parish church. He died in Baden, Aargau.

Fröhlich is best known for his two heroic poems, Ulrich Zwingli and Ulrich von Hutten, and especially for his fables, which have been ranked with those of Hagedorn, Lessing and Gellert.

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