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Songs

Songs

Botschaft (1849) Op.74 no.8


Part of a series or song cycle:

Spanisches Liederspiel (Op.74)


Botschaft

Nelken wind’ ich und Jasmin,
Und es denkt mein Herz an ihn.
Nelken all’, ihr flammenroten,
Die der Morgen mir beschert,
Zu ihm send’ ich euch als Boten
Jener Glut, die mich verzehrt.
Und ihr weißen Blüten wert,
Sanft mit Düften grüßet ihn,
Sagt ihm, daß ich bleich vor Sehnen,
Daß ich auf ihn harr’ in Tränen.
Nelken wind’ ich und Jasmin,
Und es denkt mein Herz an ihn.
Tausend Blumen, tauumflossen,
Find’ ich neu im Tal erwacht;
Alle sind erst heut’ entsprossen,
Aber hin ist ihre Pracht,
Wenn der nächste Morgen lacht.
Sprich du duftiger Jasmin,
Sprecht ihr flammenroten Nelken,
Kann so schnell auch Liebe welken?
Ach es denkt mein Herz an ihn!
Nelken wind’ ich und Jasmin,
Und es denkt mein Herz an ihn.

A Message

I gather carnations and jasmine,
And my heart thinks of him.
All you flame-red carnations
Which the morning presented me,
I send you to him as messengers
Of that passion which devours me.
And you dear white blooms—
Greet him gently with your fragrance.
Tell him I am pale with longing,
That I wait for him in tears.
I gather carnations and jasmine,
And my heart thinks of him.
A thousand flowers, drenched in dew,
I find in the valley, newly awakened;
Though all blossomed but today,
Their splendour will be gone
When the next smiling morning dawns.
Speak, O fragrant jasmine,
Speak, O flame-red carnations,
Can love too wither so quickly?
Ah, my heart thinks of him!
I gather carnations and jasmine,
And my heart thinks of him.
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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