La Scena Musicale

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Next Great Art Song - Gerd Helssen's Favourite Art Song

Our next submission is from Gerd Helssen, from Hamburg. Share your vote at!

1. Widmung – Robert Schumann
The Art Song has been described as the marriage of music and poetry, as the basic ingredient of the lied is the text. The poem "Widmung" was written by Friedrich Rückert (1788 - 1866). The title (dedication) was Schumann's invention for the introductory lied of "Myrten", op. 25. Schumann presented it to his fiancée Clara for their wedding, and the song describes the ups and downs of a relationship. Unlike Franz Schubert, Schumann could frequently benefit of high-quality poems. His father owned a publishing house, and Robert consequently had an outstanding literary knowledge. He grew up with books and was able to look at the world through the eyes of the poets. The music and words of "Widmung" form an inspired symbiosis. This art song is one of the most magnificent love songs in the German Lied literature. It could also be exemplary for an explanation of the expression "Aufschwung" (impetus), which is used over and over in Robert Schumann's compositions.

“You my soul, you my heart,
you my bliss, o you my pain,
you the world in which I live,
you my heaven, in which I float,
o you my grave, into which
I eternally cast my grief.
You are rest, you are peace,
you are bestowed upon me from heaven.
That you love me makes me worthy of you;
your gaze transfigures me;
you raise me lovingly above myself,
my good spirit, my better self!”


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