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Ständchen (1840) Op. 36 no.2

Part of a series or song cycle:

Sechs Gedichte aus dem Liederbuch eines Malers (Op. 36)


Komm’ in die stille Nacht!—
Liebchen, was zögerst du?
Sonne ging längst zur Ruh’,
Welt schloß die Augen zu,
Rings nur einzig die Liebe wacht!
Liebchen, was zögerst du?
Schon sind die Sterne hell,
Schon ist der Mond zur Stell’,
Eilen so schnell, so schnell!
Liebchen, mein Liebchen, drum eil’ auch du!
Einzig die Liebe wacht,
Ruft dich allüberall.
Höre die Nachtigall,
Hör meiner Stimme Schall,
Liebchen, o komm in die stille Nacht!


Come into the silent night!—
Why delay, my dearest?
The sun has set long ago,
The world has closed its eyes.
Love alone keeps watch around us!
Why delay, my dearest?
Already the stars are bright,
Already the moon’s at her post,
They make such haste, such haste!
Dearest, my dearest, so make haste too!
Love alone keeps watch,
Calling for you everywhere;
Listen to the nightingale,
Listen to my voice ring out,
Dearest, O come into the silent night!
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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Robert Reinick was a German painter and poet, associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. One of his poems, Dem Vaterland, was set to music by Hugo Wolf.

Reinick was born in Danzig (Gdańsk) and died in Dresden.

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