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Elfenliedchen Op.6 no.3

Elfenliedchen

Um Mitternacht, wenn die Menschen erst schlafen,
Dann scheinet uns der Mond,
Dann leuchtet uns der Stern,
Wir wandeln und singen,
Und tanzen erst gern.
Um Mitternacht, wenn die Menschen erst schlafen,
Auf Wiesen an den Erlen
Wir suchen unsern Raum,
Und wandeln und singen
Und tanzen einen Traum.

Song of the Elves

At midnight, when humans are sleeping lightly,
The moon shines for us,
The star gleams for us,
We wander and sing
And dance to our heart’s content.
At midnight, when humans are sleeping lightly,
On meadows by the alders
We seek out our sphere,
And wander and sing
And dance a dream.
Translations © by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder

Composer

Nikolai Karlovich Medtner (5 January 1880 [O.S. 24 December 1879] – 13 November 1951) was a Russian composer and pianist. Although he fell into relative obscurity after his death, he now recognised as one of the most significant Russian composers for the piano. His works include fourteen piano sonatas, three violin sonatas, three piano concerti, a piano quintet, two works for two pianos, many shorter piano pieces, and a few shorter works for violin and piano.

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Poet

Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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