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Röselein, Röselein! (1850) Op. 89 no.6

Part of a series or song cycle:

Sechs Gesänge (Op. 89)

Röselein, Röselein!

Röselein, Röselein,
Müssen denn Dornen sein?
Schlief am schatt’gen Bächelein
Einst zu süssem Träumen ein,
Sah in goldner Sonne-Schein
Dornenlos ein Röselein,
Pflückt’ es auch und küsst’ es fein,
„Dornloses Röselein!“
Ich erwacht’ und schaute drein:
„Hatt’ ich’s doch! wo mag es sein?“
Rings im weiten Sonnenschein
Standen nur Dornröselein!
Und das Bächlein lachte mein:
„Lass du nur dein Träumen sein!
Merk’ dir’s fein, merk’ dir’s fein,
Dornröslein müssen sein!“

Rose, Rose!

Rose, little rose,
Why must you bear thorns?
Thus musing, I once fell asleep
By a shady brook, and in my dreams
I saw, standing in golden sunshine,
A thornless rose.
And I plucked and kissed it;
A thornless rose!
Then I awoke and looked around.
I knew I had seen one; where was it?
All around, near and far in the sunshine
Stood roses, all with thorns!
And the brook laughed at me:
‘Leave your dreaming;
You may be sure
That all roses have thorns.’
Translation by Eric Sams

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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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