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Der Sandmann (1849) Op. 79 no.12

Part of a series or song cycle:

Lieder-Album für die Jugend (Op. 79)

This song was recorded live in The Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda’s College as part of the Oxford Lieder Festival in 2006.
Click here to listen to this song performed by Sophie Daneman and Julius Drake.

Der Sandmann

Zwei feine Stieflein hab ich an
Mit wunderweichen Söhlchen dran,
Ein Säcklein hab ich hintenauf!
Husch! trippl’ ich rasch die Trepp hinauf.
Und wenn ich in die Stube tret,
Die Kinder beten ihr Gebet:
Von meinem Sand zwei Körnelein
Streu ich auf ihre Äugelein,
Da schlafen sie die ganze Nacht
In Gottes und der Englein Wacht.
Von meinem Sand zwei Körnelein
Streut’ ich auf ihre Äugelein:
Den frommen Kindern soll gar schön
Ein froher Traum vorübergehn.
Nun risch und rasch mit Sack und Stab
Nur wieder jetzt die Trepp hinab.
Ich kann nicht länger müßig stehn,
Muß heut noch zu gar vielen gehn.
Da nickt ihr schon und lacht im Traum,
Und öffnete doch mein Säcklein kaum.

The Sandman

I wear two little soft boots
With marvellously soft little soles;
I carry a little sack on my back,
In a flash I slip upstairs.
And when I step into their room
The children are saying their prayers:
I sprinkle on their little eyes
Two little grains of my sand,
Then they sleep all night long,
Watched over by God and angels.
I’ve sprinkled on their little eyes
Two little grains of my sand:
For all good children
Ought to have happy dreams.
Quick as a flash with sack and wand
I steal downstairs again.
I can’t afford to linger longer,
There are many more to visit tonight;
They’re nodding and smiling in their dreams,
Yet I hardly opened my sack at all.
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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