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Schneeglöckchen (1850) Op. 96 no.2

Part of a series or song cycle:

Lieder und Gesänge, iv (Op. 96)

This song was recorded on the album 'Robert and Clara Schumann: Rückert Lieder' on Stone Records (in collaboration with BBC Music Magazine). Featuring every piano-accompanied setting of the poet Friedrich Rückert by both Robert and Clara Schumann, including duets and ensembles, it was recorded in preparation for Oxford Lieder's The Schumann Project in 2016.

Click here to listen to this song with Roderick Williams and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.


Die Sonne sah die Erde an,
Es ging ein milder Wind,
Und plötzlich stand Schneeglöckchen da,
Das fremde blasse Kind.
Und plötzlich brach mit Pomp und Braus
Der alte Winter auf,
Die Wolken eilten pfeilgeschwind
Zum dunkeln Nord hinauf.
Eisscholle lief, Schneeflocke schmolz,
Die Stürme heulten drein,
Schneeglöckchen stand gesenkten Haupts
In dem Gewühl allein.
Ei komm! Du weisses Schwesterlein,
Wie lange willst du stehn?
Der Winter ruft, das Reich ist aus,
Wir müssen nach Hause gehn!
Und was nur rings auf Erden trägt
Die weisse Liverei,
Das schürze sich, das tummle sich
Zur Abfahrt schnell herbei!
Schneeglöckchen sah sich bebend an
Und dachte halb im Traum:
„Was soll um Winters Liverei
Der grüne, grüne Saum?
Wob ihn wohl um das weisse Kleid
Des Winters rauhe Hand?
Wo komm’ ich her? wo geh’ ich hin?
Wo ist mein Vaterland?“


The sun looked at the earth,
A gentle breeze blew,
And suddenly a snowdrop appeared,
A strange pale child.
And suddenly, amid pomp and clamour,
Old Winter set off on his travels,
Clouds scudded as swift as arrows
Away to the dark north.
Ice-floes drifted, snowflakes melted,
Storms went howling by,
The snowdrop stood with bowed head,
Alone amid the tumult.
Come, then! O little white sister,
How long will you stand there?
Winter announces the end of his reign,
We must now go home!
All things on earth
That wear his white cloak,
Should now be on guard
And make haste for a swift departure.
The snowdrop quivered and looked at itself,
And thought half in a dream:
Why is Winter’s cloak
Hemmed with vivid green?
Was it woven by Winter’s rough hand
Around the white cloak?
From where do I come? Where am I bound?
Where is my fatherland?
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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