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Geständnis (1849) Op. 74 no.7


Part of a series or song cycle:

Spanisches Liederspiel (Op. 74)


Geständnis

Also lieb’ ich Euch, Geliebte,
Dass mein Herz es nicht mag wagen,
Irgend einen Wunsch zu tragen.
Also lieb’ ich Euch!
Denn wenn ich zu wünschen wagte,
Hoffen würd’ ich auch zugleich;
Wenn ich nicht zu hoffen zagte,
Weiss ich wohl, erzürnt’ ich Euch.
Darum ruf’ ich ganz alleine
Nur dem Tod, dass er erscheine,
Weil mein Herz es nicht mag wagen,
Einen andern Wunsch zu tragen.
Also lieb’ ich Euch!

Confession

This is how I love you, beloved:
My heart does not dare
To express a single wish—
That is how I love you!
For if I dared to wish,
I would immediately hope;
Were I brash in my hope,
I know I would anger you.
And so I summon death alone
To appear,
For my heart does not dare
To express another wish;
That is how I love you!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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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