Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. The song opens with Gretchen at her spinning wheel , thinking of Faust and all that he had promised. The accompaniment in the right hand mimics the perpetual movement of the spinning-wheel and the left hand imitates the foot treadle. The first section progresses from D minor to C major , A minor , E minor , F major , and then returns back to D minor. This, plus the crescendo, builds tension which releases only to be brought back to the beginning, much like the ever-circling spinning wheel. The left-hand imitation of the treadle disappears and is replaced with block chords, giving this section a more free feeling.
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Dezember Nachtigall, ach! Sing mir den Amor nicht wach! Hand durchgestrichen. Im Kontext des Programms wird man jedoch eher an Goethes Gretchen erinnert — auch ihr bleiben nach einer kurzen Zeit der Liebe nur Verzweiflung und Erinnerung.
Ihre Vergangenheit und Herkunft liegen lange im Dunkeln. Nicht alles! Das lyrische Ich in An mein Herz ringt dagegen darum, eine hoffnungslose Liebe stoisch zu ertragen. By the time of his premature death in November , his tally of lieder numbered over , many among the most precious creations of Western art. In song, the medium in which he produced his earliest masterpieces, Schubert had only modest precedents.
The veiled, off-key introduction to the Matthias Claudius setting An die Nachtigall evokes a string quartet, one of many reminders in the songs that Schubert cut his musical teeth in the family quartet. By the s his poetry was 11 deemed too decorous, too redolent of the departed century, by the new Romantic generation. Yet its melodious grace made a strong appeal to the teenaged Schubert, who set no fewer than 29 of his poems. He seems to have been dissatisfied with Klage, crossing out the autograph in pencil and never offering it for publication.
True, there is an awkward balance between the graceful bel canto of the first half of each verse and the edgy minor-keyed music of the second half, as the poet contemplates his own unhappiness. But the limpid opening melody alone makes the song worth hearing. We can guess that the three waltzes interleaved with the songs in this program began life as improvisations at the home of friends and were later refined for publication.
Perhaps the most delectable of these miniatures is the B-minor Waltz D No. The first two verses are then repeated to round off and balance the song, with minor-key melancholy having the last word. A few weeks later the package was returned unopened and without acknowledgement. In Part I of Faust, the innocent Gretchen sings these verses softly to herself as she reflects on her first meeting with Faust.
The blind, half-crazed old Harper, who first appears when he plays to Wilhelm partly a self-portrait of the young Goethe and his acting troupe in an inn, has escaped to Germany from an Italian monastery and is tormented by a secret guilt: his incestuous love for his sister, Serata, of which Mignon is the fruit—though neither father nor daughter knows it. On the 13 In a spirit of rapturous pantheism 14 cusp of womanhood, Mignon herself is an ethereal, intuitive figure of unstilled longings who has vowed never to reveal her tragic past, in which she has been kidnapped by a troupe of rope dancers and brought to Germany from her native Italy.
Wilhelm has bought her release and befriended her as a protecting father figure. The setting D is fragile and childlike, while the later song sung here , with its hypnotic pavane rhythm, is more richly textured and more passionate in expression. Here, her spirit voice sings of her blissful reunion in heaven with her lost beloved Max Piccolomini and with her father, now cleansed of the blood he has shed on earth.
In the exquisite miniature Die Rose, the prematurely wilting flower symbolizes both the loss of maidenly virtue and the cruelty of early death. After the central verse hymning the dawn with a suggestion of fairy trumpets , the final verse transposes the opening music into the minor key, with a final tiny, bittersweet keyboard envoi in the major. Biographical speculation is always a risky game with Schubert.
Near the end, as the violet is found, pale and wilted, Schubert conjures a piercingly expressive modulation for the sad final refrain. The whole song can be heard as a process of continual variation, always chained to the same inexorable rhythm and colored by uneasy equivocations between minor and major.
Richard Wigmore is a writer, broadcaster, and lecturer specializing in Romantic and Classical chamber music and lieder. He lies sleeping upon my heart; My tutelary spirit sang him to sleep. And I can be merry and jest, Delight in every flower and leaf.
Wo bist du, heilig Abendrot, Wo, sanfter Hesperus? The beech trees stand silent, And the river murmurs more softly. The clouds, fringed with gold, Sail across the dear sky; The heart swells, the heart dreams, Free from earthly sorrow. Where are you, sacred evening glow? Where are you, gentle Hesperus? Thus every pleasure Turns to grief and distress. But the song of the woods, The meadow, blooming with a thousand colors, The alders by the brook in the twilight, Do not uplift my soul as they once did.
Wherever he is not with me Is my grave, The whole world Is turned to gall. My poor head Is crazed, My poor mind Is shattered. I leave the house Only to seek him. His fine gait, His noble form, The smile of his lips, The power of his eyes.
And the magic flow Of his words, The pressure of his hand And, ah, his kiss! Ah, if only I could grasp him And hold him. And kiss him As I would like, I should die From his kisses! Now you have broken the frozen crust, And ripple along, free and happy; The breezes blow mild again, Moss and grass are fresh and green.
Alone, with sorrowful spirit, I approach your waters as before; The flowering of the whole earth Does not gladden my heart. Here the same winds forever blow, No hope cheers my spirit, Save that I find a flower here, Blue, as the flowers of remembrance. Our fathers once sang it. But it remains ever new for lovers. A happy wanderer, he has joined With all races and and times.
He has seen four ages of man And lets them ignore the fifth. Thus, too, shall a tender bond Forever entwine these women, these minstrels. They busy themselves, and weave hand in hand The girdle of the fair and just. There was a king in Thule Faithful unto the grave, Whose dying mistress Gave him a golden goblet. Nothing was more precious to him; He drained it at every feast. His eyes filled with tears Whenever he drank from it. And when he came to die He counted the towns in his realm, Bequeathed all to his heirs, Except for that goblet.
He sat at the royal banquet, His knights around him In the lofty ancestral hall In his castle by the sea. He watched it fall and drink And sink deep into the sea. His eyes, too, sank; He drank not one drop more. You go over the mountains And come upon many a green spot; I must return all alone, Farewell, it must be so. Parting, leaving that which we love, Ah, how it grieves the heart. Glassy lakes, woods and hills all vanish; I hear the echo of your voices fade away.
Lebt wohl! Scheiden, meiden was man liebt; Lebt wohl! Thus let me seem till thus I become. Do not take off my white dress! I shall swiftly leave the fair earth For that dark dwelling place below.
There, for a brief silence, I shall rest; Then my eyes shall open afresh. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe And those heavenly beings Do not ask who is man or woman, And no garments, no folds Enclose the transfigured body. True, I lived free from care and toil, Yet I knew much deep suffering.
Too soon I grew old with grief; Make me young again for ever! You ask me where I am, where I turned to When my fleeting shadow vanished. Have I not finished, reached my end? Have I not loved and lived? Ob ich den Verlorenen gefunden? They lived only as long as they loved. Did I find my lost beloved? Believe me, I am united with him in the place Where those who have formed a bond are never Separated, where no tears are shed.
There you will also find us again, When your love is as our love; There too is our father, free from sin, Whom bloody murder can no longer strike. And he senses that he was not deluded When he gazed up at the stars. There, in space, every fine, deeply-felt belief Will be consummated; Dare to err and to dream: Often a higher meaning lies behind childlike play. Lovely warmth tempted me To venture into the light.
There fires burned furiously; I must forever bemoan that. I could have bloomed for long In mild, bright days. Now I must wither early, Renounce life prematurely. The red dawn came; I abandoned all timidity And opened the bud In which lay all my charms. I could have spread sweet fragrance And worn my crown, Then the sun grew too hot— Of this I must accuse it.
Er kann mich nicht mehr retten, Die Schmerzen nicht verjagen. Of what avail is the mild evening? I must now ask sadly. It can no longer save me, Or banish my sorrows. My red coloring is faded; Soon cold will gnaw me. As I die I wish to tell once more Of my brief young life. Snowdrop, snowdrop, You ring through the meadows, You ring in the silent grove.
Gretchen am Spinnrade: Meine Ruh' ist hin, op. 2, D. 118
Gretchen am Spinnrade Text and Translation
Gretchen am Spinnrade