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Provenzalisches Lied (1852) Op. 139 no.4


Part of a series or song cycle:

Des Sängers Fluch (Op. 139)


Provenzalisches Lied

In den Talen der Provence
Ist der Minnesang entsprossen,
Kind des Frühlings und der Minne,
Holden, innigen Genossen.
Blütenglanz und süße Stimme
Konnt’ an ihm den Vater zeigen,
Herzensglut und tiefes Schmachten
War ihm von der Mutter eigen.
Selige Provencetale,
Üppig blühend wart ihr immer,
Aber eure reichste Blüte
Ist des Minneliedes Schimmer.
Jene tapfern, schmucken Ritter,
Welch ein edler Sängerorden!
Jene hochbeglückten Damen,
Wie sie schön gefeiert worden!
Sängerliebe, hoch und herrlich,
Dich will ich in heitern Bildern
Aus den Tagen des Gesang’s,
Aus der Zeit der Minne schildern:
Sängerliebe!

Provençal song

It was in the valleys of Provence
That troubadour love song first flowered—
Child of springtime and love,
Sweet and intimate companions.
It inherited from its father
Its bright blossom and sweet voice,
And from its mother came
Its ardent heart and deep yearning.
Blessed valleys of Provence,
You always teemed with blossom,
But your richest flower
Is the lustre of troubadour song.
Those bold knights in their finery,
What a noble order of minstrels!
Those highly favoured ladies,
How beautifully were they praised!
Lofty, splendid minstrelsy,
I shall paint you in merry tableaux
From those days of song,
From the era of courtly love:
A minstrel’s love!
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

Johann Ludwig Uhland, was a German poet, philologist and literary historian.
He was born in Tübingen, Württemberg, and studied jurisprudence at the university there, but also took an interest in medieval literature, especially old German and French poetry. Having graduated as a doctor of laws in 1810, he went to Paris for eight months to continue his studies of poetry; and from 1812 to 1814 he worked as a lawyer in Stuttgart, in the bureau of the minister of justice.

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