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Die gute Nacht, die ich dir sage (1841)

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 Katie Bray and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.



Die gute Nacht, die ich dir sage

Die gute Nacht, die ich dir sage,
Freund, hörest du;
Ein Engel, der die Botschaft trage
Geht ab und zu.
Er bringt sie dir, und hat mir wieder
Den Gruß gebracht:
Dir sagen auch des Freundes Lieder
Jetzt gute Nacht.

The Good Night I Bid You

Listen, my friend,
To the good night I bid you;
An angel, bearing the message,
Flits to and fro.
He brings you it and has brought the greeting
Back to me:
A friend's songs too
Now wish you good night.
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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