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Ich wandre nicht (1841) Op. 51 no.3

Part of a series or song cycle:

Lieder und Gesänge, ii (Op. 51)

Ich wandre nicht

Warum soll ich denn wandern
Mit Andern gleichen Schritt?
Ich pass’ nicht zu den andern
Und Liebchen geht nicht mit.
Man singt in tausend Weisen
Von Bergen, Felsenhöhn:
Allein warum noch reisen?
Die Heimat ist so schön.
Ich will ja alles glauben,
Was draußen wächst und blüht,
Das Gold der süßen Trauben,
Wie’s Sonnenfunken sprüht.
Allein, der Trank der Reben,
Er kommt ja auch hieher,
Wo mir mein holdes Leben
Ihn reicht, was will ich mehr?
Ich geh nicht ins Gewimmel
Der großen, weiten Welt;
Den klarsten, blausten Himmel
Zeigt Liebchens Augenzelt.
Und mehr als Frühlingswonne
Verspricht ihr Lächeln mir,
O zarte meine Sonne!
Ich wandre nicht von hier.

I shall not wander

Why should I wander
As others do?
I am not like others are,
And my love’s not going with them.
They sing a thousand songs
About mountains and high peaks:
But why should I travel?
My homeland’s so fair.
I’ll gladly believe them when they describe
What grows and blooms in foreign lands,
And how the gold of sweet grapes
Flashes like sparkling sunlight.
But the juice from grapes
Can be drunk here too,
And with my love to fill my glass,
What more have I to ask?
I shall not enter the hurly-burly
Of the vast wide world;
The clearest, bluest sky
Streams from my love’s eyes.
And her smile promises more
Than the bliss of spring;
O my own tender sun—
Never shall I depart from here!
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.

Taken from wikipedia. To read the rest of the article, please click here.

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