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Songs

Songs

Der Knabe mit dem Wunderhorn (1840) Op.30 no.1


Part of a series or song cycle:

Drei Gedichte von Emanuel Geibel (Op.30)


Der Knabe mit dem Wunderhorn

Ich bin ein lust’ger Geselle,
Wer könnt auf Erden fröhlicher sein!
Mein Rösslein so helle, so helle,
Das trägt mich mit Windesschnelle
Ins blühende Leben hinein—
Trarah!
Ins Leben hinein.
Es tönt an meinem Munde
Ein silbernes Horn von süssem Schall,
Es tönt wohl manche Stunde,
Von Fels und Wald in der Runde
Antwortet der Widerhall—
Trarah!
Der Widerhall.
Und komm ich zu festlichen Tänzen,
Zu Scherz und Spiel im sonnigen Wald,
Wo schmachtende Augen mir glänzen
Und Blumen den Becher bekränzen,
Da schwing ich vom Ross mich alsbald—
Trarah!
Da schwing ich vom Ross mich alsbald.
Süss lockt die Gitarre zum Reigen,
Ich küsse die Mädchen, ich trinke den Wein;
Doch will hinter blühenden Zweigen
Die purpurne Sonne sich neigen,
Da muss geschieden sein—
Trarah!
Da muss geschieden sein.
Es zieht mich hinaus in die Ferne,
Ich gebe dem flüchtigen Rosse den Sporn—
Ade! Wohl blieb’ ich noch gerne,
Doch winken schon andre Sterne,
Und grüssend vertönet das Horn—
Trarah!
Und grüssend vertönet das Horn.
Ade!

The boy with the magic horn

I am a merry fellow,
Who on earth could be happier?
My steed is so swift
That bears me like the wind
Into the world in flower—
Trara!
Into a world.
I blow my silver horn
With its sweet sound
For hours on end,
From rocks and forest all around
The echo answers—
Trara!
The echo.
And when I come upon dancing,
Laughing and playing in the sunlit wood,
Where languishing eyes gaze on me,
And flowers garland the goblets,
I swiftly leap down from my steed—
Trara!
I swiftly leap down from my steed.
Guitars call sweetly to the dance,
I kiss the girls and drink the wine;
But when behind the blossoming branches
The crimson sun is about to sink,
Then I must take my leave—
Trara!
Then I must take my leave.
I am summoned to faraway lands,
I spur my swift steed—
Farewell! I would willingly stay,
But the stars already beckon,
And my horn sounds in greeting—
Trara!
And my horn sounds in greeting.
Farewell!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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