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Songs

Tyveknægten (A Mother’s Dream)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Andersen-Liederkreis


Tyveknægten (A Mother’s Dream)

Die Mutter betet herzig, und schaut entzückt auf den schlummernden Kleinen.
Er ruht in der Wiege so sanft un traut.
Ein Engel muss er ihr scheinen.
Sie küsst ihn und herzt ihn sie hält sich kaum.
Vergessen der irdischen Schmerzen, es schweift in der Zukunft ihr Hoffnungstraum.
So träumen Mütter im Herzen.
Der Rab' indess mit der Sippschaft sein kreischt draussen am Fenster die Weise:
Dein Engel wird unser sein,
der Räuber dient uns zur Speise.
Original text in Danish by Hans Christian Andersen

Tyveknægten (A Mother’s Dream)

The mother's prayer is heartfelt,
enraptured as she looks at her sleeping child.
At peace in his cradle, calm and assured,
To her he must seem like an angel.
She kisses and cuddles him, unable to stop.
Forgetting all get earthly troubles,
In hopeful dreams for his future.
All mothers dream this in their hearts.
The ravens, outside at the windows,
are scratching and shrieking:
Your tiny angel will soon be ours.
We will peck and pull at his tiny entrails,
relishing them for dinner.

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Composer

Michael Finnissy is an English composer and pianist.

Finnissy has taught at the Royal Academy of Music, the University of Sussex, and is Professor of composition at the University of Southampton and is Composer in Residence at St. John's College Cambridge.

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Poet

Adelbert von Chamisso was a German poet and botanist, author of Peter Schlemihl, a famous story about a man who sold his shadow. He was commonly known in French as Adelbert de Chamisso(t) de Boncourt, a name referring to the family estate at Boncourt.

The son of Louis Marie, Count of Chamisso, by his marriage to Anne Marie Gargam, Chamisso began life as Louis Charles Adélaïde de Chamissot at the château of Boncourt at Ante, in Champagne, France, the ancestral seat of his family. His name appears in several forms, one of the most common being Ludolf Karl Adelbert von Chamisso.

In 1790, the French Revolution drove his parents out of France with their seven children, and they went successively to Liège, the Hague, Wurzburg, and Bayreuth, before settling in Berlin. There, in 1796 the young Chamisso was fortunate in obtaining the post of page-in-waiting to the queen of Prussia, and in 1798 he entered a Prussian infantry regiment as an ensign to train for a career as an army officer.

Shortly thereafter, thanks to the Peace of Tilsit, his family was able to return to France, but Chamisso remained in Prussia and continued his military career. He had little formal education, but while in the Prussian military service in Berlin he assiduously studied natural science for three years. In collaboration with Varnhagen von Ense, in 1803 he founded the Berliner Musenalmanach, the publication in which his first verses appeared. The enterprise was a failure, and, interrupted by the Napoleonic wars, it came to an end in 1806. It brought him, however, to the notice of many of the literary celebrities of the day and established his reputation as a rising poet.

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