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Songs

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Ich liebe dich (1857) S315

Ich liebe dich

Ich liebe dich, weil ich dich lieben muß;
Ich liebe dich, weil ich nicht anders kann;
Ich liebe dich nach einem Himmelsschluß;
Ich liebe dich durch einen Zauberbann.
Dich liebe ich, wie die Rose ihren Strauch;
Dich liebe ich, wie die Sonne ihren Schein;
Dich liebe ich, weil du bist mein Lebenshauch;
Dich liebe ich, weil dich lieben ist mein Sein.

I love you

I love you, because I must love you;
I love you, because I can do no other;
I love you, as heaven has ordained;
I love you through a magic spell.
You I love, as the rose its bush;
You I love, as the sun its rays;
You I love, because you are the breath of my life;
You I love, because to love you is my whole existence.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Franz Liszt (22 October 1811 – 31 July 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger and organist of the Romantic era. He was also a writer, a philanthropist, a Hungarian nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary.

A prolific composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the New German School (Neudeutsche Schule). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work which influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated 20th-century ideas and trends. Among Liszt's musical contributions were the symphonic poem, developing thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and radical innovations in harmony.

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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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