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Songs

Warum willst du andre fragen? (1840) Op. 37 no.11 (Op. 12 no.3)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Zwölf Gedichte aus „Liebesfrühling“ (Op. 37)


This song was recorded on the album 'Robert and Clara Schumann: Rückert Lieder' on Stone Records (in collaboration with BBC Music Magazine). Featuring every piano-accompanied setting of the poet Friedrich Rückert by both Robert and Clara Schumann, including duets and ensembles, it was recorded in preparation for Oxford Lieder's The Schumann Project in 2016.

Click here to listen to this song with Mary Bevan and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.



Warum willst du andre fragen?

Warum willst du and’re fragen,
Die’s nicht meinen treu mit dir?
Glaube nicht, als was dir sagen
Diese beiden Augen hier!
Glaube nicht den fremden Leuten,
Glaube nicht dem eignen Wahn;
Nicht mein Tun auch sollst du deuten,
Sondern sieh die Augen an!
Schweigt die Lippe deinen Fragen,
Oder zeugt sie gegen mich?
Was auch meine Lippen sagen,
Sieh mein Aug’, ich liebe dich!

Why enquire of others

Why enquire of others,
Who are not faithful to you?
Only believe what these two eyes
Here tell you!
Do not believe what others say;
Do not believe strange fancies;
Nor should you interpret my deeds,
But instead look at these eyes!
Are my lips silent to your questions
Or do they testify against me?
Whatever my lips might say;
Look at my eyes; I love you!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Clara Schumann, née Clara Josephine Wieck, was a German musician and composer, consider by many to be one of the most disguished composers of the Romantic era. She composed a large body of work, including various piano concertos, chamber works, and choral pieces. She was married to Robert Schumann, and maintained a close relationship with Johannes Brahms.

 

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Poet

Friedrich Rückert was a German poet, translator, and professor of Oriental languages.

Rückert was born at Schweinfurt and was the eldest son of a lawyer. He was educated at the local Gymnasium and at the universities of Würzburg and Heidelberg. From 1816–1817, he worked on the editorial staff of the Morgenblatt at Stuttgart. Nearly the whole of the year 1818 he spent in Rome, and afterwards he lived for several years at Coburg (1820–1826). Rückert married Luise Wiethaus-Fischer there in 1821. He was appointed a professor of Oriental languages at the University of Erlangen in 1826, and, in 1841, he was called to a similar position in Berlin, where he was also made a privy councillor. In 1849 he resigned his professorship at Berlin, and went to live full-time in his Gut (estate) at Neuses (now a part of Coburg).

When Rückert began his literary career, Germany was engaged in her life-and-death struggle with Napoleon; and in his first volume, Deutsche Gedichte (German Poems), published in 1814 under the pseudonym Freimund Raimar, he gave, particularly in the powerful Geharnischte Sonette (Sonnets in Arms/Harsh Words), vigorous expression to the prevailing sentiment of his countrymen. During 1815 to 1818 appeared Napoleon, eine politische Komödie in drei Stücken (Napoleon, a Political Comedy in Three Parts) of which only two parts were published; and in 1817 Der Kranz der Zeit (The Wreath of Time).

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