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Songs

Songs

Hirtenknabe (1828) WoO10 no.4


Part of a series or song cycle:

11 songs


Hirtenknabe

Bin nur ein armer Hirtenknab,
Das Hifthorn ist mein ganzes Hab,
Und wenn ich nur mein Hifthorn hab,
Bleib immer gern ein Hirtenknab.
Bin nur ein armer Hirtenknab,
Das Lied mir nur der Himmel gab,
Und wenn ich nur mein Liedel hab,
Bleib immer gern ein Hirtenknab.
Bin nur ein armer Hirtenknab,
Und nimmt der Tod das Lied mir ab,
Nehm’ ich das Hifthorn mit ins Grab,
Sterbe ja gerne als Hirtenknab.

Shepherd boy

I am only a poor shepherd boy,
My ivory horn is all I have,
And if I have my ivory horn,
I’ll always gladly be a shepherd boy.
I am only a poor shepherd boy,
Heaven gave me song alone,
And if I have my little song,
I’ll always gladly be a shepherd boy.
I am only a poor shepherd boy,
And if death takes away my song,
I shall take my horn to the grave with me,
And gladly die a shepherd boy.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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