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Heimliches Verschwinden (1850) Op. 89 no.2

Part of a series or song cycle:

Sechs Gesänge (Op. 89)

Heimliches Verschwinden

Nachts zu unbekannter Stunde
Flieht der liebe Lenz die Flur,
Küßt, was blüht, still in der Runde
Und verschwindet sonder Spur.
Rings von seinen Küssen prangen
Früh die Blumen hold verschämt,
Daß an ihrem Mund zu hangen,
Schmetterling sich nicht bezähmt.
Doch die Leute draußen sagen,
Daß der Lenz vorüber sei;
Und an wetterheißen Tagen
Kennt man Sommers Tyrannei.
Und wir denken dran beklommen,
Daß der Lenz so heimlich floh;
Daß er Abschied nicht genommen,
Ach! das läßt uns nimmer froh.
Also schmerzt es, geht das erste
Lieb ohn’ Abschied von uns fort.
Ruhig trügen wir das Schwerste,
Spräch’ sie aus das Scheidewort.

Stealthy departure

Each night, at an unknown hour,
Sweet spring flees the meadow,
Silently kisses all that blossoms around
And vanishes without trace.
All around the flowers at dawn glitter
From its kisses, blissful and abashed,
So that the butterfly cannot resist
Hanging on their lips.
Yet the people outside say
That spring is at an end;
And summer’s tyranny is felt
In the sultry days.
And with oppressed heart
We think of spring’s stealthy departure;
That it did not say farewell
Always leaves us sad.
Likewise we are grieved when our first love
Leaves us without saying farewell.
Calmly we would bear the worst,
If she bade us goodbye.
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.

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

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