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Songs

Songs

Des Buben Schützenlied (1849) Op. 79 no.25


Part of a series or song cycle:

Lieder-Album für die Jugend (Op. 79)


Des Buben Schützenlied

Mit dem Pfeil, dem Bogen
Durch Gebirg und Tal
Kommt der Schütz gezogen
Früh am Morgenstrahl.
Wie im Reich der Lüfte
König ist der Weih,—
Durch Gebirg und Klüfte
Herrscht der Schütze frei.
Ihm gehört das Weite,
Was sein Pfeil erreicht,
Das ist seine Beute,
Was da kreucht und fleugt.

The Boy's Hunting Song

With the arrow, with the bow,
Through mountains and valleys
The archer goes his way
In the early light of dawn.
As in the breezes’ realm,
The kite is king,
So, over peak and gorge,
The archer holds sway.
The wide spaces belong to him,
Whatever his arrow hits,
That is his prey,
Be it bird or beast.
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 Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, physician, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life (1788–1805), Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with the already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. They frequently discussed issues concerning aesthetics, and Schiller encouraged Goethe to finish works he left as sketches. This relationship and these discussions led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism. They also worked together on Xenien, a collection of short satirical poems in which both Schiller and Goethe challenge opponents to their philosophical vision.

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