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Flügel! Flügel! um zu fliegen (1841) Op. 37 no.8

Part of a series or song cycle:

Zwölf Gedichte aus „Liebesfrühling“ (Op. 37)

This song was recorded on the album 'Robert and Clara Schumann: Rückert Lieder' on Stone Records (in collaboration with BBC Music Magazine). Featuring every piano-accompanied setting of the poet Friedrich Rückert by both Robert and Clara Schumann, including duets and ensembles, it was recorded in preparation for Oxford Lieder's The Schumann Project in 2016.

Click here to listen to this song with Robert Murray and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.

Flügel! Flügel! um zu fliegen

Flügel! Flügel! um zu fliegen
Über Berg und Tal,
Flügel, um mein Herz zu wiegen
Auf des Morgens Strahl.
Flügel, übers Meer zu schweben
Mit dem Morgenrot,
Flügel, Flügel übers Leben,
Über Grab und Tod!
Flügel, wie sie Jugend hatte,
Da sie mir entflog,
Flügel wie des Glückes Schatten,
Der mein Herz betrog!
Flügel, nachzufliehn den Tagen,
Die vorüber sind!
Flügel, Freuden einzujagen,
Die entflohn im Wind.
Flügel, gleich den Nachtigallen,
Wann die Rosen blühn,
Aus dem Land, wo Nebel wallen,
Ihnen nachzuziehn!
Ach! von dem Verbannungsstrande,
Wo kein Nachen winkt,
Flügel nach dem Heimatlande,
Wo die Krone blinkt!
Freiheit, wie zum Schmetterlinge
Raupenleben reift,
Wenn sich dehnt des Geistes Schwinge
Und die Hüll’ entstreift!
Oft in stillen Mitternächten
Fühl’ ich mich empor
Flügeln von des Traumes Mächten
Zu dem Sternentor.
Doch gewachsenes Gefieder
In der Nächte Duft,
Mir entträufeln seh’ ich’s wieder
An des Morgens Luft.
Sonnenbrand den Fittich schmelzet,
Ikar stürzt ins Meer,
Und der Sinne Brausen wälzet
Überm Geist sich her.

Wings! Wings!

Wings! Wings! To fly
Over hill and dale,
Wings, that my heart might float
On shafts of morning light.
Wings, to soar over the sea
With the dawn,
Wings, wings to soar above life,
Above the grave and death!
Wings, such as youth had,
That now have flown away,
Wings, like rapture’s shadow
That deceived my heart!
Wings, to fly after days
Now fled!
Wings, to hunt down joys
Now blown away on the wind!
Wings, like nightingales,
When roses bloom,
To escape this land of mists
And fly in search of them!
Ah! From exile’s shore,
Where no ship can be seen,
To wing to the homeland
Where my crown is gleaming!
O for freedom, as when butterflies
Slip from the chrysalis,
When it splits
And nature’s spirit spreads its wings!
Often during silent midnights
I feel myself winged aloft
By the power of dreams
To the gateway of the stars.
Yet the wings I grew
In the fragrant night
I now see vanish
In the morning breeze.
The scorching sun melts my pinions,
Icarus plunges into the sea,
And the pulse of the senses
Spills over the spirit.
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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Friedrich Rückert was a German poet, translator, and professor of Oriental languages.

Rückert was born at Schweinfurt and was the eldest son of a lawyer. He was educated at the local Gymnasium and at the universities of Würzburg and Heidelberg. From 1816–1817, he worked on the editorial staff of the Morgenblatt at Stuttgart. Nearly the whole of the year 1818 he spent in Rome, and afterwards he lived for several years at Coburg (1820–1826). Rückert married Luise Wiethaus-Fischer there in 1821. He was appointed a professor of Oriental languages at the University of Erlangen in 1826, and, in 1841, he was called to a similar position in Berlin, where he was also made a privy councillor. In 1849 he resigned his professorship at Berlin, and went to live full-time in his Gut (estate) at Neuses (now a part of Coburg).

When Rückert began his literary career, Germany was engaged in her life-and-death struggle with Napoleon; and in his first volume, Deutsche Gedichte (German Poems), published in 1814 under the pseudonym Freimund Raimar, he gave, particularly in the powerful Geharnischte Sonette (Sonnets in Arms/Harsh Words), vigorous expression to the prevailing sentiment of his countrymen. During 1815 to 1818 appeared Napoleon, eine politische Komödie in drei Stücken (Napoleon, a Political Comedy in Three Parts) of which only two parts were published; and in 1817 Der Kranz der Zeit (The Wreath of Time).

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.

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