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Songs

Nichts Schöneres (1840) Op. 36 no.3


Part of a series or song cycle:

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


Nichts Schöneres

Als ich zuerst dich hab’ gesehn,
Wie du so lieblich warst, so schön,
Da fiel’s mein Lebtag mir nicht ein,
Daß noch was Schönres sollte sein,
Als in dein liebes Augenpaar
Hinein zu schauen immerdar.
Da hab ich denn so lang geschaut,
Bis du geworden meine Braut,
Und wieder fiel es mir nicht ein,
Daß noch was Schönres könnte sein,
Als so an deinem roten Mund
Sich satt zu küssen alle Stund.
Da hab’ ich denn so lang geküßt,
Bis du mein Weibchen worden bist,
Und kann nun wohl versichert sein,
Daß noch was Schönres nicht kann sein,
Als wie mit seinem lieben Weib
Zu sein so ganz ein’ Seel’ und Leib!

Nothing more beautiful

When I first saw you,
Saw how sweet and beautiful you were,
I did not think in all my days
That anything could be more beautiful
Than to gaze for evermore
Into your lovely eyes.
But then I gazed on you so long
Till you became my bride;
And again I did not think in all my days
That anything could be more beautiful
Than to kiss your red lips endlessly
Till I was surfeited.
But then I kissed you for so long
Till you became my wife,
And now I may rest assured
That nothing could be more beautiful
Than to be entirely at one with a dear wife
In body and in soul!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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.

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Poet

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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