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Songs

Ländliches Lied (1840) Op. 29 no.1


Part of a series or song cycle:

Drei Gedichte (Op. 29)


Ländliches Lied

Und wenn die Primel schneeweiss blickt
Am Bach aus dem Wiesengrund,
Und wenn am Bach die Kirschblüth’ nickt
Und die Vöglein pfeifen im Wald allstund:
Da flickt der Fischer das Netz in Ruh,
Denn der See liegt heiter im Sonnenglanz;
Da sucht das Mädel die rothen Schuh,
Und schnürt das Mieder sich eng zum Tanz,
Und denket still,
Ob der Liebste nicht kommen will.
Es klingt die Fiedel, es brummt der Bass,
Der Dorfschulz sitzet im Schank beim Wein,
Die Tänzer drehn sich ohn’ Unterlass
An der Lind’ im Abendschein.
Und geht’s nach Haus um Mitternacht,
Glüh-Würmchen trägt das Laternchen vor;
Da küsset der Bube sein Dirnel sacht,
Und sagt ihr leis’ ein Wörtchen in’s Ohr,
Und sie denken Beid’,
O du selige fröhliche Maienzeit!

Rustic song

And when the primrose peeps, white as snow,
From the meadow by the brook,
And when the cherry blossom sways
And the birds in the wood warble without respite:
It is then that the fisherman quietly mends his nets,
For the lake lies happily in the sun,
It is then that the girl looks for her red shoes
And tightens her bodice for the dance,
And silently wonders
Whether her lover, her lover will come.
The fiddle sounds, the double bass drones,
The mayor sips wine at the inn,
The dancers keep spinning round and round
By the lime-tree in the gloaming.
And when at midnight all go home,
The glow-worm holds up his lantern;
The boy gives his girl a gentle kiss,
And whispers a word in her ear,
And they both think:
O happy, blissful maytime!
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

Emanuel von Geibel , German poet and playwright.
He was born at Lübeck, the son of a pastor. He was originally intended for his father's profession and studied at Bonn and Berlin, but his real interests lay not in theology but in classical and romance philology. In 1838 he accepted a tutorship at Athens, where he remained until 1840. In the same year he published, in conjunction with his friend Ernst Curtius, a volume of translations from Greek. His first poems were published in a volume entitled Zeitstimmen in 1841. In 1842 he entered the service of Frederick William IV, the king of Prussia, with an annual stipend of 300 thalers; under whom he produced König Roderich (1843), a tragedy, König Sigurds Brautfahrt (1846), an epic, and Juniuslieder (1848), lyrics in a more spirited and manlier style than his early poems.

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