Mein altes Ross
Op. 127 no.4
Part of a series or song cycle:
Fünf Lieder und Gesänge (Op. 127)
Mein altes Ross
My old steed
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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 Kinderszenen, Album für die Jugend, Blumenstück, 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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Moritz Karl Wilhelm Anton Graf von Strachwitz was a German lyric poet.
Strachwitz was born in Peterwitz, Silesia (today Stoszowice Poland). After studying in Breslau and Berlin he settled on his estate in Moravia, where he devoted himself to literary pursuits. When travelling in Italy in 1847 he was taken ill in Venice, and died in Vienna. Although he had thus only reached his twenty-fifth year, he revealed a lyric genius of remarkable force and originality.
His first collection of poems, Lieder eines Erwachenden (Songs of an Awakening) appeared in 1842 and went through several editions. Neue Gedichte (New Poems) were published after his death in 1848. These poems are characteristic of the transition through which the German lyric was passing between 1840 and 1848; the old Romantic strain is still dominant, especially in his ballads, which are unquestionably his finest productions; but, side by side with it, there is to be seen the influence of Platen, to whose warmest admirers Strachwitz belonged, as well as echoes of the restless political spirit of those eventful years. His political lyric was, however, tempered by an aristocratic restraint which was absent from the writings of men like Herwegh and Freiligrath. Strachwitz's early death in Vienna was a great loss to German letters; for he was by far the most promising of the younger lyric poets of his time.
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