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Ständchen (1852)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Fünf Gedichte aus 'Bilder des Orients'


Milde Abendlüfte wehen,
Süßen Duft haucht der Jasmin,
Und die goldnen Lichter seh' ich
Leuchtend ihre Bahnen ziehn.
Und der vollste Hauch der Blüthen
Und der Sterne reinster Glanz
Webt sich glühend ineinander
Dir, du Liebliche, zum Kranz.
Träume selig, du Geliebte,
Süßen Traum die stille Nacht,
Während unter deinen Blumen
Nahe dir dein Ali wacht.


Gentle evening breezes blow,
The jasmine sheds its sweet scent,
And I see the golden lights
Move along their gleaming path.
And the flowers’ most intense fragrance,
And the stars’ most pristine gleam
Mingle, glowing, with one another
To fashion you, my love, a wreath.
Dream a sweet dream, my love,
Through the silent night,
While nearby among the flowers
Your Ali watches over you.

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Niels Wilhelm Gade(22 February 1817 – 21 December 1890) was a Danish composer, conductor, violinist, organist and teacher. He is considered the most important Danish musician of his day.

Gade was born in Copenhagen, the son of a joiner and instrument maker. He began his career as a violinist with the Royal Danish Orchestra, and saw his concert overture Efterklange af Ossian ("Echoes of Ossian") premiered with them in 1841. When his first symphony was turned down for performance in Copenhagen, he sent it to Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn received the work positively, and conducted it in Leipzig in March 1843, to enthusiastic public reaction. Supported by a fellowship from the Danish government, Gade himself moved to Leipzig, teaching at the Conservatory there, working as an assistant conductor of the Gewandhause Orchestra, and befriending Mendelssohn, who had an important influence on his music. In 1845 he conducted the premiere performance of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. He also became friends with Robert Schumann. In Copenhagen Niels Gade became acquainted with the composer Cornelius Gurlitt, and they remained friends until the latter's death.

At Mendelssohn’s death in 1847, Gade was appointed to his position as chief conductor but was forced to return to Copenhagen in the spring of 1848 when war broke out between Prussia and Denmark.

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