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Ins Freie (1850) Op. 89 no.5

Part of a series or song cycle:

Sechs Gesänge (Op. 89)

Ins Freie

Mir ist’s so eng allüberall!
Es schlägt das Herz mit lautem Schall,
Und was da schallt, sind Lieder!
Aus düstrer Mauern bangem Ring
Flieg’ ich ins Weite froh und flink:
Da atm’ ich Wonne wieder!
Da flattert aus der offnen Brust
Die Sehnsucht nach verrauschter Lust
Und nach gehoffter Wonne:
Die Winde tragen’s himmelan,
Die Gräslein geben Fürbitt’ dran,
Sich neigend in der Sonne.

Into the open

I feel so constricted wherever I go!
My heart beats loudly,
And what it beats are songs!
From the fearful circle of gloomy walls
I fly far away, happy and alert:
There I can breathe in joy again!
Then from the liberated heart
A desire for vanished pleasure
And hoped-for delight flutters away:
The winds bear it heavenwards,
The grasses offer up their prayers,
Inclining their heads in the sun.
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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