Wilhelm Gerhard was born in Weimar in 1780, a descendant of the famous seventeenth-century religious poet Paul Gerhardt. He worked as a dramaturg in the Leipzig Stadttheater where it is possible Schumann knew him personally, particularly if he was the same Gerhard who was the father of Schumannís favourite local soprano, Livia Frege. His translation of Byronís Mazeppa
was followed by his volume of Burns translations (1840) and his Minstrelklšnge aus Schottland, rhythmisch verdeutscht
(1853). He also studied Serbian folk poetry, translated Anakreon and Sappho, wrote travel books, and published four volumes of his own Gedichte
. He died in Heidelberg in 1858.
from notes by Graham Johnson ©