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Drei Gedichte nach Emanuel Geibel, Op 29

Nos 1 & 2: 30/31 July 1840; No 3: ? 7 October 1840
author of text

In the summer of 1840 Schumann was so keen to set the poetry of Emanuel Geibel (three settings for solo voice, Op 30, were composed more or less at the same time) that he seems to have gone to some trouble to track down a review copy of the poems that officially appeared only in the autumn of that year. This would not have been very difficult as he had many journalistic contacts, and he was accustomed to access to forthcoming publications through the ‘Gebrüder Schumann’, the family firm in Zwickau. The appeal of this poet, no Heine obviously, and no Eichendorff either, was in the cosmopolitan and easily settable nature of his verse. The selection of texts for the composition of Myrten in April 1840 had shown the composer’s taste for a concept of ‘world poetry’. In fact, since he was a child he had taken for granted that great literature was international by nature: the publications of the Gebrüder Schumann are an astonishing mixture of Italian, English, French and Spanish classics, sold at reasonable prices in handy pocket-size format, and sometimes issued in the original languages as well as in German translation. In terms of subject matter, Geibel’s poems are an amazingly eclectic mixture, an echo of the worldiness of the older Goethe. In Geibel’s company we find ourselves in medieval Germany, Italy or Spain (the latter a favourite, and destined to be the poet’s strongest link with Schumann); stories are set in town or country, the distant past or the present, and are shaped into shorter lyrics, longer ballads or something in between. The poetry of Geibel had appeared in various almanacs before the appearance of the Gedichte, and it was set by other composers from these sources. Schumann’s interest in the poet was probably sharpened by the fact that these song publications passed through the offices of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik for review.

from notes by Graham Johnson ©


Schumann: The Complete Songs
CDS44441/5010CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 10 - Kate Royal
CDJ33110Archive Service; also available on CDS44441/50


No 1: Ländliches Lied  Und wenn die Primel schneeweiss blickt
Track 16 on CDJ33110 [2'23] Archive Service; also available on CDS44441/50
Track 15 on CDS44441/50 CD4 [2'23] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 2: Lied  In meinem Garten die Nelken
Track 17 on CDJ33110 [2'27] Archive Service; also available on CDS44441/50
Track 16 on CDS44441/50 CD4 [2'27] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 3: Zigeunerleben  Im Schatten des Waldes, im Buchengezweig
Track 18 on CDJ33110 [3'44] Archive Service; also available on CDS44441/50
Track 1 on CDS44441/50 CD5 [3'44] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

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