is Mendelssohn’s name for an untitled and very popular poem from Heine’s Buch der Lieder
: ‘Was will die einsame Träne?’ has attracted at least seventy-five composers, including Robert Schumann. Mendelssohn set only verses 1, 2 and 4 of the poem. After the initial stanza about the single tear that lingers in the sorrowful eye, a catalogue of disappearing acts follows: all the other tears in stanza 2, the beloved’s star-like blue eyes in stanza 3, and love itself in the final stanza, with Mendelssohn omitting the third verse.
from notes by Susan Youens © 2009