Program Notes

Program Notes for Love Songs featuring Vocal Soloists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

By Schubert Club

Love Songs featuring Vocal Soloists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Friday, March 20, 2015 7:30pm

The Schubert Club presents Michelle Arezaga, soprano; Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano; Paul Appleby, tenor; Kelly Markgraf, baritone; Gilbert Kalish, piano; and Artistic Director Wu Han, piano.

While Robert Schumann’s Spanische Liebeslieder undoubtedly influenced Brahms’ instrumentation, the true inspiration behind Brahms’ beloved Liebeslieder Waltzes was Schumann’s daughter, Julie (an amorous infatuation of Brahms). Additional lieder from Schubert, Schumann, and Berg complete a program dedicated to affairs of the heart.



Notes on the Program by Dr. Richard E. Rodda

Songs for Voice and Piano

Franz Schubert

Born January 31, 1797 in Lichtenthal, near Vienna.

Died November 19, 1828 in Vienna.

Composed in 1826, 1823, and 1825.

Duration: 10 minutes

Ernst Konrad Friedrich Schulze lived, and made poetry, at the far edge of German Romanticism. Born in Celle in 1789 into a family of lawyers and booksellers, he was a difficult and uncommunicative child who retreated into literature and his own roiling feelings, which he began to shape into despairing, spectral, often cynical poems by the age of 15. His sexual awakening two years later, when he went to Göttingen to begin his university studies, led to an obsessive attention—“stalking” Susan Youens called it in her study of Schubert’s Poets—toward two sisters: first Cäcilie Tychsen and, after she died of tuberculosis in 1812, her older sister, Adelheid. Schulze volunteered to fight against Napoleon in 1814, but his fragile health quickly forced him out of active duty. He died of tuberculosis in 1817; he was 28. Schulze recorded his intense feelings in enormous diaries and long poems throughout his brief life, a number of which were published posthumously in 1822 as the Poetisches Tagebuch (Poetic Diary). Schubert came to know that publication early in 1825—he had considered making an opera of Schulze’s Die Bezauberte Rose (The Enchanted Rose) the year before, but nothing came of the idea—and he set ten of the poems during the following months.

Schulze expressed his unrequited love for the Tychsen sisters in the German Romanticists’ traditional natural metaphors in Im Frühling (In Spring, D. 882), of which Schubert made a poignant setting in 1826. Auf der Bruck (On the Bruck, D. 853) takes its title from a forested hilltop near Göttingen, a wild place in Schulze’s day that is reflected in both the poem and Schubert’s galloping setting of 1825.

In 1821, Schubert’s friend Franz von Bruchmann traveled to Erlangen to hear a lecture by the philosopher Schelling, and there he met the poet and dramatist Count August von Platen-Hallermünde (1796-1835). Bruchmann introduced Schubert’s songs to Platen, who in return gave his visitor a number of his verses for Schubert to consider setting. In March 1822, Schubert composed Platen’s Die Liebe hat gelogen (D. 751, Love has Lied), whose tragic tone is captured in the song’s somber harmonies and dirge-like ostinato rhythms.

Songs for Voice and Piano

Hugo Wolf

Born March 13, 1860 in Windischgraz, Styria, Austria (now Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia).

Died February 22, 1903 in Vienna.

Composed in 1888 and 1889.

Duration: 10 minutes

Hugo Wolf’s career was marked by periods of intense creativity separated by bouts of despondency. His work as a music critic and his often debilitating depression limited his output for many years, but the publication of a few of his songs in early 1888 was the catalyst for the most fecund years of his life: between February and September 1888, he set 53 verses by Eduard Mörike; a book of 20 songs to Joseph Eichendorff’s poems followed before the end of October; and Goethe’s writings provided the texts for fifty more songs by February 1889. Wolf was then deserted by his creative muse (“Polyhymnia,” as he referred to his inspiration) for eight months, but in October 1889, he began setting 16th- and 17th-century Spanish poems that had been translated into German by Emmanuel Geibel and Paul Heyse; by April, he had completed the 44 songs of his Spanisches Liederbuch (Spanish Songbook). In September 1890, he took up Heyse’s translations of Italian poems, and had wrapped 22 of them in music by early the next year. The remaining 24 numbers of the Italienisches Liederbuch date from 1896, after Wolf had completed his comic opera Der Corregidor, based on the 1874 novel by Pedro de Alarcon (which also served as the basis for Falla’s ballet The Three-Cornered Hat). Wolf managed a handful of songs the following year—three settings of poems by Michelangelo were the last music he wrote—but by autumn 1897, he had lost his reason, largely as a result of an untreated case of syphilis contracted 20 years before. He had periods of lucidity during the following year, but in October 1898, after he had tried to drown himself, he was permanently confined to an asylum in Vienna, where he died on February 22, 1903, three weeks before his 43rd birthday.

Nimmersatte Liebe (Insatiable Love), like Wolf’s other settings of the poems of Möricke, is marked by extraordinary sensitivity to the images and emotions of the text as well as by great refinement in combining of voice and piano and in their subtle formal integration. In dem Schatten meiner Locken (In the Shadow of My Curls), from the Spanisches Liederbuch, is a delightfully coquettish rendition of the original anonymous text as re-conceived in German by Heyse. Goethe’s well-known novel of 1796, Wilhelm Meister, tells of the plight of Mignon, a young woman stolen by Gypsies from her Italian home when she was a child. During the Gypsies’ wanderings in Germany, Mignon meets Lothario, a nobleman searching across the Continent for his abducted daughter, and Wilhelm Meister, a student who buys her freedom from the Gypsies. Mignon overcomes her jealousy of Wilhelm’s love for the actress Philine and wins him for herself by the story’s end, which also shows her reconciliation with Lothario, who turns out to be her father. Wolf made a setting of Mignon’s touching song Kennst du das Land (Do you Know the Land) as the ninth of his Gedichte [Poems] von J.W. von Goethe of 1888.


Liederbuch des Hafis for Voice and Piano, Op. 30

Viktor Ullmann

Born January 1, 1898 in Teschen (now Český Těšín, Czech Republic).

Died October 18, 1944 in Auschwitz, Poland.

Composed in 1940.

Premiered on March 3, 1940 in Prague by baritone Robert Stein and the composer as pianist.

Duration: 8 minutes

Viktor Ullmann, one of the most gifted Czech composers of the 20th century, was born on New Year’s Day 1898 in Teschen, then a garrison city in the Austrian Empire and now known as Český Těšín. Ullmann was raised in Vienna, where he received a good basic education and studied piano with Josef Polnauer, a disciple of Schoenberg. In May 1916, a week after he had graduated from high school, he was drafted into the imperial army. Though he rose to the rank of lieutenant, he returned to Vienna appalled by the horror and absurdity of war. He enrolled in the city’s university in 1918 as a law student, but continued his music education by participating in Schoenberg’s composition seminar and studying piano with Eduard Steuermann.

In May 1919, Ullmann moved to Prague to devote himself to music. He was hired by Alexander Zemlinsky (Schoenberg’s brother-in-law) as chorus master, vocal coach, and conductor at the Deutsches Landestheater and continued his composition and piano studies with Heinrich Jalowetz, a close friend of Schoenberg. When Zemlinsky left Prague for Berlin in 1927, Ullmann took a job as music director of the opera house at Aussig (now Ústí nad Labem), 40 miles north of Prague. His daring productions of recent works made the conservative Aussigers uneasy, however, and after a single season at Aussig, he returned briefly to Prague before moving to Switzerland in 1929 as a conductor and composer of incidental music at the Zurich Schauspielhaus. In 1931, he moved to Stuttgart but when the Nazis came to power two years later, he returned to Prague, where he struggled to make a living as a teacher, lecturer, critic, broadcaster, advocate of new music, and composer.

On September 8, 1942, Ullmann was sent to the concentration camp at Theresienstadt (Terezín in Czech), an hour’s drive north of Prague, an extraordinary place where the Nazis allowed the prisoners, many of them Jewish artists and intellectuals from Prague, to stage concerts, plays, operas, recitals, and other events. Ullmann was assigned to organize performances and lectures and to document the musical activities of the camp as its music critic. Freed from the necessity of earning a living, and keenly aware of both the urgency of his situation and, for the first time, of his Jewish heritage, Ullmann blossomed creatively in that most unlikely of situations, completing more than 20 known works during his two years at Theresienstadt. “In no way whatsoever did we sit down and weep on the banks of the waters of Babylon,” he wrote. On October 16, 1944, after such remnants of civilized behavior as had been tolerated at Theresienstadt no longer served the Nazis’ interests, Ullmann was transported to Auschwitz, along with 18,500 others that month. He died in a gas chamber two days later.

Shams-ud-din Muhammad, born into a merchant family in the southern Persian city of Shiraz around 1320, is one of the most celebrated poets of the Muslim world: the name by which he is universally known, Hafiz (“guardian” in Arabic), is given to someone who has memorized the entire Koran. Little is known of Hafiz’s formative years except that he was orphaned at an early age and worked as a dough maker for a baker, and must have received a thorough education in Persian literature, sciences, and Arabic. Except for a brief period when he was exiled 300 miles north to Yazd during a time of political unrest, Hafiz lived his entire life in Shiraz. It is estimated that he wrote some 5,000 poems that encompass philosophy, mysticism, romance, mystery, and adventure, of which about 600 have survived and been gathered into a Divan (collection), which remains one the most published and intensely discussed books in the Middle East. In 1452, 60 years after Hafiz died in Shiraz, a small memorial was erected near his grave. Extensive gardens, which figure prominently in his poetry, were developed around the site, which has been enlarged, restored, and rebuilt on several occasions and retains a significant place in Iranian culture.

The Austrian diplomat and Orientalist Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall published the first German translations of Hafiz’s complete poems in 1812, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was inspired by the Persian poet two years later to create his own West-östlicher Divan, whose twelve books, according to the late Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, a renowned interpreter of German Lieder, “combined ideas of universal love, wisdom, and polarity of East and West in one work.” Goethe’s enthusiasm for Hafiz led to translations and original verses by such noted writers as Friedrich Rückert, Georg Friedrich Daumer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Hans Bethge (1876–1946), who published many Nachdichtungen—“paraphrases” or “free renderings”—of Oriental and Middle Eastern poets, including the Nachdichtungen der Lieder und Gesänge des Hafis in 1910. (Bethge’s Die Chinesische Flöte [The Chinese Flute] served as the basis of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde [The Song of the Earth].) For a private concert on March 3, 1940 at the home of Konrad Wallerstein, the voice professor at the German Academy of Music in Prague, Viktor Ullmann set four of Bethge’s verses as the Liederbuch des Hafis (Song Book of Hafiz) and gave their premiere with baritone Robert Stein. Though several poems in Bethge’s collection treat love and life in an idealized manner, the ones that Ullmann chose deal with the very worldly pleasures of drinking and erotic love. Ullmann’s songs convey not just the poems’ earthiness and embrace of the sensual life, but also an underlying tension that seems to mirror the ominous historical moment of their creation, when the Nazis had already overrun Austria and Poland and would occupy Prague just two weeks after this music was first heard.

Spanische Liebeslieder for Four Voices and Piano, Four Hands, Op. 138

Robert Schumann

Born June 8, 1810 in Zwickau, Germany.

Died July 29, 1856 in Endenich, near Bonn.

Composed in 1849.

Duration: 22 minutes

The verses of the German poet and philologist Emanuel von Geibel (1815-84) were set to music hundreds of times through the early 20th century by many noted composers. In 1851, King Maximilian II of Bavaria offered Geibel an honorary professorship at the University of Munich, and there he became the center of the city’s literary life, publishing two dramas as well as collections of verse and translations of French and Spanish popular poetry, including the Spanische Liederbuch (Spanish Songbook, with Paul Heyse). Geibel lost his post with Maximilian II in 1869 when he wrote an encomium to King Wilhelm I of Prussia at a time of strained relations between Munich and Berlin, but Wilhelm settled a pension upon the then-celebrated author, who lived in his native Lübeck until his death in 1884.

Robert Schumann first learned of Geibel’s poems around 1840, when his verses began appearing in literary journals and composers were submitting their songs set to them for review to the Neue Zeitschift für Musik (New Journal for Music), which Schumann had founded six years before. Schumann and Geibel met in Dresden four times between April and June 1846, and it is possible that the poet presented the composer on one of those occasions with a copy of his Volkslieder und Romanzen der Spanier (1843), translations of song texts and poems by such Spanish and Portuguese Renaissance authors as Luis de Camoens (ca. 1524-80), Pedro de Padilla (1540-after 1599), Gil Vicente (1465-1537), and Rodrigo de Cota (ca. 1430-ca. 1505); several of the poems are anonymous and at least some of them may have been written by Geibel.

In 1848, Schumann took over direction of the Dresden Verein für Chorgesang (Association for Choral Singing) and the following year he set eight of Geibel’s verses for vocal quartet as the Spanische Liebeslieder, Op. 138 (Spanish Love Songs), accompanied by two pianists at one keyboard. He arranged the set into two parts, each preceded by a brief movement for piano: Prelude and a National Dance of vaguely exotic but unidentifiable character (more Eastern European than Spanish, if anything). Each of the four singers has a solo number—the tenor has two light ones—with duets for the female and male voices and a concluding quartet.

Sieben frühe Lieder for Voice and Piano

Alban Berg

Born February 9, 1885 in Vienna.

Died there on December 24, 1935.

Composed in 1905-08, revised 1928.

Premiered on November 6, 1928 in Vienna.

Duration: 16 minutes

Alban Berg composed more than a hundred songs and vocal ensembles before and during his study with Arnold Schoenberg from 1905 to 1910, though few seem to have been the result of his class assignments, for which Schoenberg required counterpoint exercises and instrumental compositions. It was from this substantial body of work that Berg culled the Seven Early Songs for publication in 1928, at which time he also arranged the original piano accompaniments for orchestra. The Seven Early Songs, composed between 1905 and 1908, were given their formal premiere in Vienna on November 6, 1928, though three of them—Die Nachtigall (The Nightingale), Traumgekrönt (Crowned in Dreams), and Liebesode (Love’s Ode)—had been heard previously at a concert of music by Schoenberg’s pupils in November 1907. Though they do not form an integrated cycle—each sets a poem by a different author—these songs all share the Late Romantic idioms in which Berg was immersed at the beginning of his creative life, from the conventional language of Brahms to the avant-gardisms of Strauss’ Salome, which the young musician attended a half-dozen times during 1906. The Seven Early Songs are the first works that Berg admitted to his mature oeuvre, and they possess the sensitivity to text-setting and vocal sonority, the wide-ranging lyricism, subtle harmonic color, and sincerity of expression that characterize his finest music.

Liebeslieder Waltzer for Vocal Quartet and Piano, Four Hands, Op. 52

Johannes Brahms

Born May 7, 1833 in Hamburg.

Died April 3, 1897 in Vienna.

Composed in 1868-69.

Premiered on January 5, 1870, with Clara Schumann and the composer as pianists.

Duration: 25 minutes

Brahms settled in Vienna for good in 1869 after becoming thoroughly familiar with the great imperial city during the preceding years. He had given his first piano recital there in 1862 and directed four concerts of the Wiener Singakademie the following year, but then declined that organization’s offer to return for another season as director so that he could continue touring as a pianist. By 1869, however, the lure of Vienna, with its rich cultural life and the many friendships that he had made during earlier visits, proved irresistible. After living for several months in a hotel, in 1870 Brahms moved into the apartment in the Karlgasse that was to be his home for the rest of his life.

Among the first musical products of Brahms’ Viennese residency were the Liebeslieder Walzer, a cycle of pieces for vocal quartet and four-hand piano accompaniment on texts by Georg Friedrich Daumer (1800-75). These Love-Song Waltzes, giddy with the sensuous atmosphere of fin-de-siècle Vienna, were modeled on Schubert’s Deutsche Tänze (German Dances) and the dance music of Joseph Lanner and the Strauss family, but were infused with Brahms’ characteristic harmonic and contrapuntal idiom. Their subject is love—its joys and sorrows, its fulfillments and disappointments—couched in the natural images of sun, moon, stars, birds, flowers, dark woods, stormy seas, and mountain torrents. Brahms, who usually dispensed only cheerfully belittling comments about his own works, spoke highly of this music, assuring his publisher, Fritz Simrock, “I will risk being dubbed an ass if our Liebeslieder do not bring joy to quite a few people.” They did, and Brahms returned to the genre five years later to produce the set of Neue [New] Liebeslieder, Op. 65.

All of the poems for both sets of Liebeslieder Waltzes, save only the final text of the Neue Liebeslieder (by Goethe), are from Polydora, Daumer’s 1855 translations and imitations of love poems and dance songs from such widely scattered regions as Turkey, Sicily, Russia, Spain, Poland, and southeast Asia. In these songs, simple in structure, immediate in appeal, and irresistibly lyrical, Brahms distilled what British musicologist Malcolm MacDonald, in his 1990 study of the composer, called “coy truisms and apothegms about love.”

©2015 Dr. Richard E. Rodda




Texts and Translations

Songs by Franz Schubert

Im Frühling, D. 882


Still sitz ich an des Hügels Hang,

Der Himmel ist so klar,

Das Lüftchen spielt im grünen Tal,

Wo ich beim ersten Frühlingsstrahl

Einst, ach so glücklich war.


Wo ich an ihrer Seite ging

So traulich und so nah,

Und tief im dunkeln Felsenquell

Den schönen Himmel blau und hell

Und sie im Himmel sah.


Sieh, wie der bunte Frühling schon

Aus Knosp’ und Blüte blickt!

Nicht alle Blüten sind mir gleich,

Am liebsten pflückt ich von dem Zweig,

Von welchem sie gepflückt.


Denn alles ist wie damals noch,

Die Blumen, das Gefild;

Die Sonne scheint nicht minder hell,

Nicht minder freundlich schwimmt im Quell

Das blaue Himmelsbild.


Es wandeln nur sich Will und Wahn,

Es wechseln Lust und Streit,

Vorüber flieht der Liebe Glück,

Und nur die Liebe bleibt zurück,

Die Lieb und ach, das Leid!


O wär ich doch ein Vöglein nur

Dort an dem Wiesenhang

Dann blieb ich auf den Zweigen hier,

Und säng ein süßes Lied von ihr,

Den ganzen Sommer lang.


Text: Ernst Schulze


In Spring


I sit quietly on the hillside.

The sky is so clear,

a light breeze drifts through the green valley,

where, in the first bright rays of Spring,

I was once so happy.


Where I walked beside her

so rapt and so near.

The depths of a dark, rocky spring

reflected the beautiful blue of the sky,

and I saw her in that sky.


See, how colorfully Spring already

peeks out from bud and bloom!

Not all flowers are the same to me– 

I prefer to pluck them from the same branch

that she had chosen.


Everything is still as it was,

the flowers, the field;

the sun shines no less brightly,

nor is the stream less eager

to mirror the blue of the sky.


Only determination and delusion will change.

Delight turns to discord,

the joy of love takes flight,

and love alone remains–

love, and ah, its pain!

If only I were a little bird

there on that grassy hill,

then I could stay here amid these branches
and sing sweetly of her

all the summer long.

Die Liebe hat gelogen, D. 751, Op. 23, No. 1 


Die Liebe hat gelogen,

Die Sorge lastet schwer,

Betrogen, ach! betrogen

Hat alles mich umher!


Es fließen heiße Tropfen

Die Wange stets herab,

Laß ab, mein Herz, zu klopfen,
Du armes Herz, laß ab!


Text: Count August von Platen-Hallermünde


Love has Lied


Love has lied,

I am oppressed by fears.
Betrayed, ah! I am betrayed
by all around me!

Hot tears flow endlessly

down my cheeks.
Cease, my heart, cease beating,

you poor heart, cease!


Auf der Bruck, D. 853


“Der Bruck“ is a forested hilltop on the outskirts of Gottingen.


Frisch trabe sonder Ruh und Rast,                                           

Mein gutes Ross, durch Nacht und Regen!                            

Was scheust du dich vor Busch und Ast                                 

Und strauchelst auf den wilden Wegen?                               

Dehnt auch der Wald sich tief und dicht,                               

Doch muss er endlich sich erschliessen;                                

Und freundlich wird ein fernes Licht                                      

Uns aus dem dunkeln Tale grüssen.                                        


Wohl könnt ich über Berg und Feld                                        

Auf deinem schlanken Rücken fliegen                                   

Und mich am bunten Spiel der Welt,                                      

An holden Bildern mich vergnügen;                                       

Manch Auge lacht mir traulich zu                                            

Und beut mir Frieden, Lieb und Freude,                                

Und dennoch eil ich ohne Ruh,                                                

Zurück zu meinem Leide.                                                          


Denn schon drei Tage war ich fern                                         

Von ihr, die ewig mich gebunden;                                           

Drei Tage waren Sonn und Stern                                             

Und Erd und Himmel mir verschwunden.                              

Von Lust und Leiden, die mein Herz                                       

Bei ihr bald heilten, bald zerrissen                                          

Fühlt ich drei Tage nur den Schmerz,                                     

Und ach! die Freude musst ich missen!                                  


Weit sehn wir über Land und See                                           

Zur wärmern Flur den Vogel fliegen;                                      

Wie sollte denn die Liebe je                                                     

In ihrem Pfade sich betrügen?                                                 

Drum trabe mutig durch die Nacht!                                        

Und schwinden auch die dunkeln Bahnen,                            

Der Sehnsucht helles Auge wacht,                                          

Und sicher führt mich süsses Ahnen.


Text: Ernst Schulze


On the Bruck




Trot briskly, my good steed,
without pause or rest, through night and rain!

Why do you shy at bushes and branches,

and stumble on the overgrown paths?

Although the forest is deep  and thick,

it must eventually open;

and a friendly, far light will greet us

from the dark of the valley.


I could fly over hill and field

upon your slender back,

the colorful play of the world

unfurling before my delighted eyes.

Many an eye smiles familiarly at me,

offering peace, love, and joy;

but I hurry on, without rest,

returning to my sorrow.


I’ve been away for three days now,

far from her, to whom I am forever bound;

three days with neither sun nor star

nor heaven nor earth.

Near her, my heart feels such delight and sorrow– 

now  healed,  now rent anew–

but for three days I have known only the pain

and ah! what joy I’ve missed!


We see birds fly over land and sea

in search of warmer climes;

how then could love ever

fail to find its way?

So trot bravely through the night!

And though the darkening path may fade,

desire’s shining eye keeps watch,

and sweet anticipation guides me surely on.


Songs by Hugo Wolf


Nimmersatte Liebe from Gedichte von Eduard Mörike

 So ist die Lieb’! So ist die Lieb’!Mit Küßen nicht zu stillen :Wer ist der Tor und will ein SiebMit eitel Wasser füllen?Und schöpfst du an die tausend Jahr;Und küßest ewig, ewig gar,Du tust ihr nie zu Willen. Die Lieb’, die Lieb’ hat alle Stund’Neu wunderlich Gelüsten;Wir bißen uns die Lippen wund,Da wir uns heute küßten.Das Mädchen hielt in guter Ruh’,Wie’s Lämmlein unter’m Messer;Ihr Auge bat: nur immer zu,Je weher, desto beßer! So ist die Lieb’, und war auch so,Wie lang es Liebe giebt, Und anders war Herr Salomo,Der Weise, nicht verliebt.


Text: Eduard Mörike


Insatiable Love from Poems of Eduard Mörike


Such is love! Such is love!
Not to be quenched with kisses.
What sort of fool would try to fill

A sieve with water?
You could try for a thousand years;
kissing forever and ever,
and still never find satisfaction.

Love, love has new
and wonderful whims every hour;
We bit our lips sore

as we kissed today.
The girl remained quite calm,
like a lamb under the knife,
her eyes pleading—don’t stop,

the more painful, the better!

Such is love, and was ever so,
since love itself began,
not even Solomon the wise

could love in any other way.


In dem Schatten meiner Locke from Spanisches Liederbuch

In dem Schatten meiner LockenSchlief mir mein Geliebter ein.Weck’ ich ihn nun auf?—Ach nein! Sorglich strählt’ ich meine krausenLocken täglich in der Frühe,Doch umsonst ist meine Mühe,Weil die Winde sie zerzausen.Lockenschatten, WindessausenSchläferten den Liebsten ein.Weck’ ich ihn nun auf?—Ach nein! Hören muß ich, wie ihn gräme,Daß er schmachtet schon so lange,Daß ihm Leben geb’ und nehmeDiese meine braune Wange,Und er nennt mich seine Schlange,Und doch schlief er bei mir ein.Weck’ ich ihn nun auf?—Ach nein!


Text: Anonymous, re-conceived by Paul Heyse


In the Shadow of my Curls from Spanish Songbook



In the shadow of my curls
my beloved is sleeping.
Shall I wake him?—Ah, no!

I carefully comb my tumbled curls
early each morning,
yet all my work is for naught

as the wind tousles them again.

A shadow of curls, a whisper of wind
have put my beloved to sleep.
Shall I wake him?—Ah, no!

I must hear him complain
that he longs for me so,

that his whole life depends
on this, my brown cheek,
and he calls me his serpent.
And yet he fell asleep by my side.
Shall I wake him?—Ah, no!

Kennst du das Land from Gedichte von Goethe

 Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn,Im dunkeln Laub die Gold-Orangen glühn,Ein sanfter Wind vom blauen Himmel weht, Die Myrte still und hoch der Lorbeer steht? Kennst du es wohl?Dahin! dahinMöcht ich mit dir, o mein Geliebter, ziehn. Kennst du das Haus? Auf Säulen ruht sein Dach.Es glänzt der Saal, es schimmert das Gemach,Und Marmorbilder stehn und sehn mich an:Was hat man dir, du armes Kind, getan?Kennst du es wohl? Dahin! dahinMöcht ich mit dir, o mein Beschützer, ziehn. Kennst du den Berg und seinen Wolkensteg?Das Maultier sucht im Nebel seinen Weg;In Höhlen wohnt der Drachen alte Brut;Es stürzt der Fels und über ihn die Flut! Kennst du ihn wohl?Dahin! dahinGeht unser Weg! O Vater, laß uns ziehn!


Text: Goethe


Do you Know the Land from Poems of Goethe


Do you know the land where the lemon tree blooms,
where golden oranges gleam amid dark foliage,
A soft breeze blows from the blue sky,
and the silent myrtle stands, and the tall laurel?
Do you know it?
There! It is there
I would go with you, O my beloved!

Do you know the house whose roof rests on pillars?
Its hall gleams, and its chambers shine,
and marble statues stand and gaze at me:
What have they done to you, poor child?
Do you know it?
There!  It is there
I would go with you, O my protector.

Do you know the mountains shrouded in mist?
The mule seeks his path through the clouds,
caverns shelter the dragon’s ancient brood,
water rushes over steeply plunging cliffs!
Do you know it?
There! There
lies our path! O Father, let us go!

Liederbuch des Hafis (Song Book of Hafiz), Op. 30

Viktor Ullmann




Alles ist vorausbestimmt                                                            

Durch die grosse Güte Allahs.                                                  

Ach was soll ich tun?                                                                  

Ich bin längst vorausbestimmt                                                  

Für den Wein und für die Schenke.                                        

Ach, was soll ich tun?                                                                 

Wie die Vögel ihre Büsche,                                                       

Wie die Rehe ihre Wälder                                                        

Lieben durch Vorausbestimmung,                                           

Also liebe ich alleine                                                                  

Wein und Schenke und die Schenkin.                                    

Alles ist vorausbestimmt                                                            

Durch die grosse Güte Allahs.                                                  

Ach was soll ich tun?




Everything is predetermined

through the great goodness of Allah.
Ah, what can I do?
I have long been predetermined
for wine and the tavern.
Ah, what can I do?

As birds love their bushes,
and deer love their woods

through their predetermination,

so must I love only
wine, and tavern and tavern-keeper.
Everything is predetermined
through the great goodness of Allah.
Ah, what can I do?



Hafis, du bist betrunken,                                                           

Ich sehs an deinem Schatten,                                                   

An diesem Taumelschatten,                                                      

Der sich so toll gebärdet,                                                          

Als käm er aus dem Tollhaus!                                                   


Ei, welch verrückter Schatten                                                  

Im allzu hellen Mondschein!                                                     

Das fuchtelt und das biegt sich                                                 

Und stolpert hin und reckt sich,                                               

Aufwärts und nach den Seiten.                                                

Ei, welch grotesker Schatten,                                                   

Welch indiskreter Mondschein!                                              


Nie hab ich’s glauben wollen,                                                   

Wenn scheltend mich Suleima                                                 

Beschwor, ich sei betrunken.                                                   

Jetzt muss ich’s wahrlich glauben:                                           

Ich bin ein würdeloser,                                                              

Ein aller Anmut barer,                                                                

Ein ganz betrunkner Trinker                                                     

Mit einem Taumelschatten                                                       

Im indiskreten Mondschein!                                                     





Hafiz, you’re drunk,
I can tell by your shadow,
this staggering shadow
which behaves as wildly
as one fleeing the madhouse!

Oh, what a lunatic shadow
in this all too bright moonlight!
It gestures and twists

and stumbles and stretches,
upwards and sideways.
Oh, what a grotesque shadow,
what indiscreet moonlight!

I never wanted to believe it
when Suleima scolded me,

swearing that I was drunk.
Now I must believe it:
I’m undignified,
devoid of all charm,
a totally drunk drunkard
with his staggering shadow
in the indiscreet moonlight!

Unwiderstehliche Schönheit


Durch deine schönen Locken werden                                   

Die Heiden und die Glaubensstarken                                     

In gleicher Weise sinnverwirrt.                                                


Die schwachen Seelen stürzen taumelnd                              

In deiner Wangen holde Grübchen,                                       

Die starken Seelen stürzen nach.                                            


Dein Aug, das von der Schwarzen Kunst                                  

Geschaffen ward, lenkt aus den Wolken                                

Des Adlers Flug zu sich zurück.                                                


Die zarte Nachtigall, die nicht                                                   

Aufsteigen kann in Wolkenfernen,                                         

Ist ganz und gar in deinem Bann.                                             


Hafis vergass um deinetwillen                                                  

Die Morgen- und die Nachtgebete,                                         

Klar ist sein Seelenuntergang!                                                  




Irresistible Beauty


By your beautiful curls
the heathen and the true believers

are similarly befuddled.

The weak souls tumble, reeling
before your sweet dimpled cheeks,
the strong souls plunging after them.

Your eyes, created by

the blackest art, distract the eagle

from his flight to the clouds.

The sweet nightingale,

who cannot soar to the far clouds,

is completely under your spell.

Because of you, Hafiz forgot

his morning and his evening prayers.
Clearly, his soul is in ruins!

Lob des Weines


Gebt meinen Becher! Seht, er überstrahlt                            

Die blasse Lampe der Vernunft, so wie                                  

Die Sonne die Gestirne überstrahlt!                                       


Gebt meinen Becher! Sämtliche Gebete                                

Meines Breviers will ich vergessen, alle                                 

Suren des Korans stürz ich in den Wein!                               


Gebt meinen Becher! Und Gesang erschalle                         

Und dringe zu den tanzenden Sphären auf                           

Mit mächtigem Schwung!                                                            

Ich bin der Herr der Welt!


Text: Hafiz, freely rendered into German by Hans Bethge


In Praise of Wine


Give me my cup!  See, it outshines
the dim light of reason

as the sun outshines the stars!

Give me my cup! I would forget

every prayer, every chapter

of the Qur’an as I plunge into the wine!


Give me my cup!  Let song resound
and ring to the far dancing spheres
with a mighty echo!
I am lord of the world!

Spanische Liebeslieder (Spanish Love Songs), Op. 138
Robert Schumann


Prelude for Piano, Four Hands


Tief im Herzen trag’ ich Pein (S)


Tief im Herzen trag’ ich Pein,

Muss nach aussen stille sein,                                                    

Den geliebten Schmerz verhehle                                            

Tief ich vor der Welt Gesicht;                                                  

Und es fühlt ihn nur die Seele,                                                 

Denn der Leib verdient ihn nicht.                                           

Wie der Funke, frei und licht,                                                  

Sich verbirgt im Kieselstein,                                                      

Trag’ ich innen tief die Pein.1





I carry sorrow in the depths of  my heart (S)


I carry sorrow in the depths of  my heart,

but must remain outwardly calm.

I conceal this sweet pain

from the eyes of the world.

Only the soul may feel it,

for the body does not deserve it.

Just as a spark, free and light,

is hidden within a flint,

I carry my sorrow deep within.


O wie lieblich ist das Mädchen (T)


O wie lieblich ist das Mädchen,                                                

Wie so schön und voll Anmut,                                                  

Wie so schön!                                                                              


Sag’ mir an, du wack’rer Seemann,                                          

Der du lebst auf deinem Schiffe,                                             

Ob das Schiff und seine Segel,                                                 

Ob die Sterne wohl so schön sind!                                          


Sag’ mir an, du stolzer Ritter,                                                    

Der du gehst im blanken Harnisch,                                          

Ob das Ross und ob die Rüstung,                                             

Ob die Schlachten wohl so schön sind!                                  


Sag’ mir an, du Hirtenknabe,                                                     

Der du deine Herde weidest,                                                   

Ob die Lämmer, ob die Matten,                                               

Ob die Berge wohl so schön sind,                                            


O wie lieblich ist das Mädchen,                                                

Wie so schön und voll Anmut,                                                  

Wie so schön!2                                                                            


Oh, the girl is lovely (T)

Oh, the girl is lovely,

so beautiful and graceful,

oh, so beautiful!

Tell me, gallant sailor,

you who live upon your ship,

whether the ship and her sails,

or the stars are quite as beautiful!


Tell me, proud knight,

clad in shining armor,

whether your steed or your arms,

or battles are quite as beautiful!


Tell me, shepherd boy,

you who keep your flock,

whether the lambs or the pastures,

or the mountains are quite as beautiful!


Oh, the girl is lovely,

so beautiful and graceful,

oh, so beautiful!

Bedeckt mich mit Blumen (SA)


Bedeckt mich mit Blumen,                                                        

Ich sterbe vor Liebe.                                                                  

Bedeckt mich,

Dass die Luft mit leisem Wehen                                               

Nicht den süssen Duft mir entführe!                                       

Von Jasmin und weissen Lilien                                                 

Sollt ihr hier mein Grab bereiten,                                            

Ich sterbe, bedeckt mich mit Blumen!                                    

Und befragt ihr mich: woran? sag ich:                                    

Unter süssen Qualen vor Liebe.3                                             

Cover me with flowers (SA)

Cover me with flowers,

I die for love.

Cover me,

so the gently blowing breeze cannot

steal their sweet fragrance from me!

With jasmine and white lilies,

here shall you lay my grave.

I die, cover me with flowers!

And if you ask me—why? I say—

from love’s sweet torment.



Flutenreicher Ebro (B)


Flutenreicher Ebro,                                                                    

Blühendes Ufer,                                                                          

All ihr grünen Matten,                                                               

Schatten des Waldes,                                                                 

Fraget die Geliebte,                                                                    

Die unter euch ruhet,                                                                

Ob in ihrem Glücke                                                                    

Sie meiner gedenket.                                                                 


Und ihr tauigen Perlen,                                                             

Die ihr im Frührot                                                                       

Den grünenden Rasen                                                               

Bunt mit Farben schmückt,                                                       

Fraget die Geliebte,                                                                    

Wenn sie Kühlung atmet,                                                          

Ob in ihrem Glücke                                                                    

Sie meiner gedenket.                                                                 


Ihr laubigen Pappeln,                                                                 

Schimmernde Pfade,                                                                  

Wo leichten Fusses                                                                    

Mein Mädchen wandelt,                                                           

Wenn sie euch begegnet,                                                         

Fragt sie, fragt sie,                                                                       

Ob in ihrem Glücke                                                                    

Sie meiner gedenket.                                                                 


Ihr schwärmenden Vögel,                                                         

Die den Sonnenaufgang                                                            

Singend ihr begrüsset                                                                

Mit Flötenstimmen,                                                                    

Fraget die Geliebte,                                                                    

Dieses Ufers Blume,                                                                   

Ob in ihrem Glücke                                                                    

Sie meiner gedenket.3

Rushing Ebro River (B)

Rushing Ebro River,

blooming banks,

all you green meadows,

forest shadows,

ask my beloved,

who rests in your midst,

if in her happiness

she thinks of me.


And you, dew pearls,

scattering the green grass

with bright glints of color

in the red glow of dawn,

ask my beloved,

when she breathes in your coolness,

if in her happiness

she thinks of me.

You leafy poplars,

shimmering paths

where my maiden roams

with a light step,

when she comes upon you

ask her, ask her

if in her happiness

she thinks of me.


You rioting birds,

who greet

the sunrise

with fluting voices,

ask my beloved,

the flower of this shore,

if in her happiness

she thinks of me.



Intermezzo: National Dance for Piano, Four Hands


Weh, wie zornig ist das Mädchen (T)


Weh, wie zornig ist das Mädchen,                                           

Weh, wie zornig, weh, weh!                                                     

Im Gebirge geht das Mädchen                                                 

Ihrer Herde hinterher,                                                              

Ist so schön wie die Blumen,                                                     

Ist so zornig wie das Meer.2                                                      






Oh, the girl is so angry (T)


Oh, the girl is so angry,

oh, so angry!

The girl goes to the mountains

with her flock.

She’s as beautiful as the flowers,

as angry as the sea.


Hoch, hoch sind die Berge (A)


Hoch, hoch sind die Berge                                                        

Und steil ist ihr Pfad;                                                                  

Die Brunnen sprüh’n Wasser                                                   

Und rieseln ins Kraut.                                                                 

O Mutter, o Mutter,                                                                   

Lieb’ Mütterlein du,                                                                   

Dort, dort in die Berge                                                               

Mit den Gipfeln so stolz,                                                            

Da ging eines Morgens                                                              

Mein süssester Freund.                                                             

Wohl rief ich zurück ihn                                                            

Mit Zeichen und Wort,                                                              

Wohl winkt’ ich mit allen                                                           

Fünf Fingern zurück,                                                                  

Wohl rief ich zurück ihn                                                            

Mit Zeichen und Wort!4                                                             



High, high are the mountains (A)
High, high are the mountains
and the paths are steep.

Water bubbles from the springs

and flows away into the underbrush.

Oh mother, mother

my dearest mother,

There, up to the mountains

with their proud peaks,

one morning went

my sweetest friend.

I beckoned him back

with both gestures and words,

with every one

of my five fingers,

I called him back

with gestures and words!



Blaue Augen hat das Mädchen (TB)


Blaue Augen hat das Mädchen,                                                

Wer verliebte sich nicht drein?                                               


Sind so reizend zum Entzücken,                                               

Dass sie jedes Herz bestricken,                                                

Wissen doch so stolz zu blicken,                                              

Dass sie eitel schaffen Pein.                                                      


Machen Ruh’ und Wohlbefinden,                                           

Sinnen und Erinn’rung schwinden,                                          

Wissen stets zu überwinden                                                     

Mit dem spielend süssen Schein.                                             


Keiner, der geschaut ihr Prangen,                                           

Ist noch ihrem Netz entgangen,                                               

Alle Welt begehrt zu hangen                                                    

Tag und Nacht an ihrem Schein.                                               


Blaue Augen hat das Mädchen,                                                

Wer verliebte sich nicht drein?2                                              

The girl has blue eyes (TB)

The girl has blue eyes,

who would not fall in love with them?


They are so delightful in their charms

that every heart is captivated,

their proud gaze

carelessly causes torment.


They bring peace and well-being,

cares and memories vanish,

they know how to conquer
with the play of their sweet light.

No one, having seen their brilliance,

is able to avoid their snare,

all the world desires to bask

day and night in their glow.


The girl has blue eyes,

who would not fall in love with them?



Dunkler Lichtglanz, blinder Blick (SATB)


Dunkler Lichtglanz, blinder Blick,                                             

Totes Leben, Lust voll Plage.                                                     

Glück erfüllt von Missgeschick,                                                

Trübes Lachen, frohe Klage,                                                     

Süsse Galle, holde Pein,                                                             

Fried’ und Krieg in einem Herzen,                                           

Das kannst, Liebe, du nur sein,                                                 

Mit der Lust erkauft durch Schmerzen.                                  

Liebe, das kannst du nur sein!5                                                


1. Original Spanish text by Luis de Camoens

2. Original Spanish text by Gil Vicente

3. Original Spanish text by unknown author

4. Original Spanish text by Pedro de Padilla

5. Original Spanish text by Rodrigo de Cota

Translated from Spanish to German by Emanuel Geibel


Dark light, blind gaze (SATB)

Dark light, blind gaze,

dead life, joyful curse,

fortune filled with adversity,

sad laughter, glad tears,

sweet bitterness, lovely agony,

peace and war united in one heart.

Love, this could only be you,

whose joy is bought through suffering.

Love, this could only be you!


Sieben frühe Lieder

Alban Berg




Dämmern Wolken über Nacht und Tal,                                  

Nebel schweben, Wasser rauschen sacht.                             

Nun entschleiert sich’s mit einemmal:                                    

O gib acht! Gib acht!                                                                   

Weites Wunderland ist aufgetan.                                            

Silbern ragen Berge traumhaft gross,                                     

stille Pfade silberlicht talan                                                       

aus verborg’nem Schoss;                                                          

und die hehre Welt so traumhaft rein.                                   

Stummer Buchenbaum am Wege steht                                  

schattenschwarz, ein Hauch vom fernen Hain                      

einsam leise weht.                                                                      

Und aus tiefen Grundes Düsterheit                                         

blinken Lichter auf in stummer Nacht.                                    

Trinke Seele! Trinke Einsamkeit!                                              

O gib acht! Gib acht!                                                                   


Text: Carl Hauptmann


Clouds gather over night and valley,

floating mists, gently rushing water.

Now suddenly unveiled:

O look! Look out!

A wide wonderland has opened.

Silver towering mountains, fantastically immense,

silent paths, silver-lit, wend to the valley

from their secret source.

The noble world is so fantastically pure.

A silent beech tree stands at the path,

shadow-black, a breeze from the far wood

gently stirs.

From the deep gloom of the valley

lights flicker in the still night.

Drink, soul!  Drink in this solitude!

O look! Look out!





Auf geheimem Waldespfade                                                    

schleich’ ich gern im Abendschein                                          

an das öde Schilfgestade,                                                          

Mädchen, und gedenke dein!                                                  


Wenn sich dann der Busch verdüstert,                                  

rauscht das Rohr geheimnisvoll,                                              

und es klaget und es flüstert,                                                   

dass ich weinen, weinen soll.                                                   


Und ich mein’, ich höre wehen                                                

leise deiner Stimme Klang,                                                        

und im Weiher untergehen                                                      

deinen lieblichen Gesang.                                                         


Text: Nikolaus Lenau


Reed Song

Along a hidden forest path
I like to steal in the twilight,

to the deserted, reedy shore

and think, maiden, of you!


As the wood grows darker

the reeds rustle enigmatically,

moaning and whispering,

so that I weep, I must weep.


And I think I hear your voice,

drifting softly,

and from the depths of the pond,

your lovely song.



Die Nachtigall


Das macht, es hat die Nachtigall                                               

die ganze Nacht gesungen;                                                       

da sind von ihrem süssen Schall,                                              

da sind in Hall und Widerhall                                                    

die Rosen aufgesprungen.                                                        


Sie war doch sonst ein wildes Blut,                                          

nun geht sie tief in Sinnen,                                                       

trägt in der Hand den Sommerhut                                           

und duldet still der Sonne Glut,                                               

und weiss nicht, was beginnen.                                                


Das macht, es hat die Nachtigall                                               

die ganze Nacht gesungen;                                                       

da sind von ihrem süssen Schall,                                              

da sind in Hall und Widerhall                                                    

die Rosen aufgesprungen.                                                        


Text: Theodor Storm


The Nightingale

Because the nightingalehas sung the whole night long;from her sweet call,from the sound and the echo roses have burst into bloom. She was once wild blooded,but now wanders, lost in thought, carrying a summer hat in her handwhile mutely enduring the sun’s glare,not knowing what do to. Because the nightingalehas sung the whole night long;from her sweet call,from the sound and the echo roses have burst into bloom. 



Das war wer Tag der weissen Chrysanthemen,                             

mir bangte fast vor seiner Pracht…                                         

Un dann, dann kamst du mir                                                       

die Seele nehmen tief in der Nacht.                                       

Mir war so bang, und du kamst lieb und leise,                        

ich hatte grad im Traum an dich gedacht.                              

Du kamst, und leis’ wie eine Märchenweise                          

erklang die Nacht.                                                                       


Text: Rainer Maria Rilke


Crowned in Dreams

It was the day of white chrysanthemums,
I almost quailed before their magnificence…
and then, then you came to me

taking my soul in the darkest night.
I was afraid, and you came so tenderly and gently,
I had just been dreaming of you.
You came, and as lightly as a fairy song
the night resounded.

Im Zimmer



Der liebe Abend blickt so still herein.                                     

Ein Feuerlein rot                                                                         

knistert im Ofenloch und loht.                                                 

So, mein Kopf auf deinen Knien,                                              

so ist mir gut.                                                                               

Wenn mein Auge so in deinem ruht,                                      

wie leise die Minuten ziehn.                                                     


Text: Johannes Schlaf


In the Room
Autumn sunshine.

The lovely evening seems so silent.

A small red fire

crackles and blazes in the stove.

Like this, with my head upon your knee,

how happy I am.

When my eyes meet yours,

how imperceptibly the minutes pass.




Im Arm der Liebe schliefen wir selig ein.                               

Am offnen Fenster lauschte der Sommerwind,                    

und unserer Atemzüge Frieden trug er hinaus                     

in die helle Mondnacht.                                                            

Und aus dem Garten tastete zagend sich                               

ein Rosenduft an unserer Liebe Bett                                      

und gab uns wundervolle Träume,                                          

Träume des Rausches, so reich an Sehnsucht.                      


Text: Otto Erich Hartleben

Love’s Ode

We fell asleep blissfully in Love’s arms.

The summer breeze listened at the open window

and carried our tranquil breath

out into the bright, moonlit night.

And from the garden, timidly feeling its way,

the scent of roses drifted to our bed of love

and gave us wonderful dreams,

dreams of ecstasy, heavy with longing.




Nun ziehen Tage über die Welt,                                              

gesandt aus blauer Ewigkeit,                                                     

im Sommerwind verweht die Zeit.                                           

Nun windet nächtens der Herr                                                  

Sternenkränze mit seliger Hand über                                       

Wander- und Wunderland.                                                      

O Herz, was kann in diesen Tagen                                           

dein hellstes Wanderlied denn sagen                                    

von deiner tiefen, tiefen Lust:                                                 

Im Wiesensang verstummt die Brust,                                      

nun schweigt das Wort, wo Bild um Bild                                 

zu dir zieht und dich ganz erfüllt.


Text: Paul Hohenberg


Summer Days

Now the days are drawn through the world

sent from blue eternity.

Time is scattered by the summer breeze.

Now God’s blessed hand

weaves a wreath of stars by night

over the wander- and wonderland.

O heart, in such days

what can your ringing wanderer’s song

express of your deep, deep joy.

Meadowsong silences the heart,

now words are stilled, while image after image

is drawn toward you, and fills you completely.



Liebeslieder Waltzer (Love-Song Waltzes), Op. 52

Johannes Brahms


Rede, Mädchen, allzu liebes (SATB)


Rede, Mädchen, allzu liebes,                                                    

Das mir in die Brust, die Kühle,                                                

Hat geschleudert mit dem Blicke                                             

Diese wilden Glutgefühle!                                                         


Willst du nicht dein Herz erweichen,                                      

Willst du, eine überfromme,                                                    

Rasten ohne traute Wonne,                                                     

Oder willst du, dass ich komme?                                              


Rasten ohne traute Wonne.                                                     

Nicht so bitter will ich büssen.                                                  

Komme nur, du schwarzes Auge.                                             

Komme wenn die Sterne grüssen.                                           



Speak, beloved maiden (SATB)

Speak, beloved maiden,whose mere glance filled my once cold heartwith such wild passion! Will your heart not soften?Will you, supremely chaste,live without such sweet joy,or will you let me come to you? To live without sweet joy.I would not bear such a bitter sacrifice.So come, my dark-eyed one,come when the stars bid you welcome. 

Am Gesteine rauscht die Flut (SATB)


Am Gesteine rauscht die Flut,                                                  

Heftig angetrieben;                                                                    

Wer da nicht zu seufzen weiss,                                                

Lernt es unter’m Lieben.



The waves dash themselves (SATB)

The waves dash themselves

violently against the rocks.

Whoever does not yet know to sigh at this

will learn it through Love.


O die Frauen (TB)


O die Frauen, o die Frauen,                                                      

wie sie Wonne tauen!                                                                

Wäre lang ein Mönch geworden,                                            

wären nicht die Frauen!                                                            



O women (TB) O women, women,what delights they bestow!If not for women,I’d have turned monk long ago!  

Wie des Abends schöne Röthe (SA)


Wie des Abends schöne Röthe                                                

Möcht’ ich arme Dirne glüh’n                                                   

Einem, Einem zu gefallen                                                           

Sonder Ende Wonne sprüh’n.                                                  



Like the beautiful blush of evening (SA)

If I, poor girl, could glow
like the beautiful blush of eveningand please one, just one boy– my bliss would know no end.  

Die grüne Hopfenranke (SATB)


Die grüne Hopfenranke,                                                            

sie schlängelt auf der Erde hin.                                                

Die junge, schöne Dirne,                                                           

so traurig ist ihr Sinn!                                                                 


Du höre, grüne Ranke!                                                              

Was hebst du dich nicht himmelwärts?                                  

Du höre, schöne Dirne!                                                             

Was ist so schwer dein Herz?                                                   


Wie höbe sich die Ranke,                                                          

der keine Stütze Kraft verleiht?                                               

Wie wäre die Dirne fröhlich,                                                    

wenn ihr das Liebste weit?                                                       



The green hops vine (SATB)

The green hops vinesnakes along the ground.The fair young maiden,how melancholy she is! Listen, you green vine!Why don’t you rise toward the heavens?Listen, you fair maiden!Why is your heart so heavy? How can the vine rise
if no supports lend it strength?How can the maiden be cheerfulwhen her beloved is so far away? 

Ein kleiner, hübscher Vogel nahm den Flug (SATB)


Ein kleiner, hübscher Vogel nahm den Flug                           

Zum Garten hin, da gab es Obst genug.                                  

Wenn ich ein hübscher, kleiner Vogel wär’,                          

Ich säumte nicht, ich täte so wie der.                                      


Leimruten-Arglist laudert an dem Ort;                                   

Der arme Vogel konnte nicht mehr fort.                                

Wenn ich ein hübscher, kleiner Vogel wär’,                          

Ich säumte doch, ich täte nicht wie der.                                 


Der Vogel kam, in eine schöne Hand,                                     

Da tat es ihm, dem Glücklichen, nicht an.                               

Wenn ich ein hübscher, kleiner Vogel wär’,                          

Ich säumte nicht, ich täte so wie der.                                      



A pretty little bird took flight (SATB)

A pretty little bird took flightto a garden filled with fruit.If I were a pretty little bird,
I wouldn’t hesitate, I’d do the same. Limed twigs were treacherously laid,and the poor bird could not fly away.If I were a pretty little bird,I would hesitate, I wouldn’t have done the same. The bird came into a lovely hand,which luckily did him no harm.If I were a pretty little bird,
I wouldn’t hesitate, I’d do the same. 

Wohl schön bewandt was es vorehe (S or A)


Wohl schön bewandt war es vorehe                                      

mit meinem Leben, mit meiner Liebe;                                   

durch eine Wand, ja, durch zehn Wände                              

erkannte mich des Freundes Sehe.                                         

Doch jetzo, wehe, wenn ich dem Kalten                                

auch noch so dicht vorm Auge stehe,                                     

es merkts sein Auge, sein Herze nicht.                                   



How beautiful it once was (S or A)
How beautiful it once was,my life, my love.Through a wall, yes even through ten wallsmy beloved’s gaze would recognize me.But now, alas, even standing directlybefore his cold eyes,neither they nor his heart know me. 

Wenn so lind dein Auge mir (SATB)


Wenn so lind dein Auge mir,                                                    

Und so lieblich schauet,

Jede letzte Trübe flieht,

Welche mich umgrauet.                                                            


Dieser Liebe schöne Glut,                                                         

Lass sie nicht verstieben!                                                          

Nimmer wird, wie ich, so treu,                                                 

Dich ein Andrer lieben!



When your gaze rests upon me (SATB)

When your gaze rests upon me, so gently and so lovingly,you put to flight
all my troubling sorrows. The tender glow of our love– may it never dim!There will never be another
who will love you as faithfully as me! 

Am Donaustrande, da steht ein Haus (SATB)


Am Donaustrande, da steht ein Haus,                                     

Da schaut ein rosiges Mädchen aus.                                       

Das Mädchen, es ist wohl gut gehegt,                                     

Zehn eiserne Riegel sind vor die Türe gelegt.                       


Zehn eiserne Riegel, das ist ein Spass;                                    

Die spreng’ ich als wären sie nur von Glas.                            

Am Donaustrande, da steht ein Haus,                                     

Da schaut ein rosiges Mädchen aus.                                       



A house stands on the Danube’s banks (SATB)

A house stands on the Danube’s banks,
a rosy-cheeked girl looks out.
The girl is well protected
by ten iron bolts on the door.

Ten iron bolts—what a joke.
I’ll break them as if they were of glass.
A house stands on the Danube’s banks,
a rosy-cheeked girl looks out.

O wie sanft die Quelle sich (SATB)


O wie sanft die Quelle sich                                                       

durch die Wiese windet!                                                           

O wie schön, wenn Liebe sich                                                  

zu der Liebe findet!                                                                    



O how peacefully the stream (SATB)

O how peacefully the streamwinds through the meadow!O how sweet it is when Love finds Love! 

Nein, es ist nicht auszukommen (SATB)


Nein, es ist nicht auszukommen                                               

Mit den Leuten;                                                                          

Alles wissen sie so giftig                                                             



Bin ich heiter, hegen soll ich                                                    

Lose Triebe;                                                                                 

Bin ich still, so heisst’s ich wäre                                                

Irr’ aus Liebe.                                                                               



No, it’s impossible to get along (SATB)
No, it’s impossible to get along
with people.They interpret everythingin the most evil light! If I’m happy, they say I have
impure thoughts;If I’m quiet, they say
I’m driven mad by love. 

Schlosser auf, und mache Schlösser (SATB)


Schlosser auf, und mache Schlösser,                                      

Schlösser ohne Zahl;                                                                  

denn die bösen Mäuler                                                             

will ich schliessen allzumal.                                                       



Locksmith, come make me some locks (SATB)

Locksmith, come make me some locks,countless locks;So I may close those malicious mouths once and for all. 

Vögelein durchrauscht die Luft (SA)


Vögelein durchrauscht die Luft,                                               

sucht nach einem Aste;                                                             

und das Herz, ein Herz, ein Herz begehrt’s,                           

wo es selig raste.                                                                         



The little bird flits across the sky (SA)

The little bird flits across the sky,in search of a branch;And the heart seeks a heart, the heart’s desire, where it may find blessed rest.   

Sieh, wie ist die Welle klar (TB)


Sieh, wie ist die Welle klar,                                                       

blickt der Mond hernieder!                                                      

Die du meine Liebe bist,                                                            

liebe du mich wieder!                                                                



See, the waves are so clear (TB)

See, the waves are so clear
as the moon shines down upon them.You are my beloved,return my love! 

Nachtigall, sie singt so schön (SATB)


Nachtigall, sie singt so schön,                                                    

wenn die Sterne funkeln.                                                          

Liebe mich, geliebtes Herz,                                                       

küsse mich im Dunkeln!                                                             



The nightingale sings so sweetly (SATB)

The nightingale sings so sweetly
when the stars twinkle.Love me, my dearest heart,kiss me in the dark! 

Ein dunkeler Schacht ist Liebe (SATB)


Ein dunkeler Schacht ist Liebe,                                                

ein gar zu gefährlicher Bronnen;                                             

da fiel ich hinein, ich Armer,                                                    

kann weder hören noch sehn,                                                 

nur denken an meine Wonnen,                                               

nur stöhnen in meinen Wehn.                                                 



Love is a dark well (SATB)

Love is a dark well,
a treacherous pit,into which I, poor man, have fallen.
Now I can neither hear nor see.I can only ponder my joys,only bemoan my grief. 

Nicht wandle, mein Licht, dort aussen (T)


Nicht wandle, mein Licht, dort aussen                                    

im Flurbereich!                                                                           

Die Füsse würden dir, die zarten,                                            

zu nass, zu weich.                                                                        


All überströmt sind dort die Wege,                                         

die Stege dir;                                                                               

so überreichlich tränte dorten                                                

das Auge mir.                                                                               



Do not wander, my love (T)

Do not wander, my love, out in the meadow!
It is too wet, too soft
for your tender feet.

The paths there are all flooded,
the bridges breachedby the many tears
my eyes have shed. 

Es bebet das Gesträuche (SATB)


Es bebet das Gesträuche,                                                          

gestreift hat es im Fluge                                                            

ein Vögelein.                                                                                

In gleicher Art erbebet                                                              

die Seele mir, erschüttert                                                         

von Liebe, Lust und Leide,                                                        

gedenkt sie dein.                                                                        


Text: Georg Friedrich Daumer

The bushes tremble (SATB)

The bushes tremble;
a little bird
has brushed by them in flight.
My soul trembles
in the same way, shaken
with love, desire, and pain
as it thinks of you.


All translations by Danielle Sinclair