Sunday Music Poem and Video: Schumann Moonlit Night

I've been listening to a lot of Schumann chamber music recently, especially the piano trios and the quartet and quintet (with the Beaux Arts Trio- a fantastic recording!) I have always known Schumann's harmonies are rich and dense, but I feel as if I am hearing its richness with new ears.

This gorgeous song is from the Liederkreis song cycle Op. 38 of Robert Schuman, set to poems written in 1837 by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff . This poem is "Moonlit Night", in a wonderful interpretation by Peter Schreier. Piano: Norman Shetler

I particularly like how Schumann restrains the harmonic and dynamic intensity, as if the poem is being whispered, or sung to oneself.

Then in the third stanza with the words "my soul stretched its wings out wide" (meine Seele spannte Weit ihre Flügel aus), the volume and harmony intensifies and builds, but only briefly.

It then gives way again to quiet nostalgia for the dreamy ideal of home.- "flew through the silent lands as though it were flying home" (Flog durch die stillen Lande Als flöge sie nach Haus)

Mondnacht
Poem and translation below.

Es war, als hätt' der Himmel
Die Erde still geküsst
Dass sie im Blütenschimmer
Von ihm nun träumen müsst

Die Luft ging durch die Felder
Die Ähren wogten sacht
Es rauschten leis die Wälder
So sternklar war die Nacht

Und meine Seele spannte
Weit ihre Flügel aus
Flog durch die stillen Lande
Als flöge sie nach Haus

English Translation by Translated by J. Fogel

It was as though the sky
had silently kissed the earth,
so that it now had to dream of sky
in shimmers of flowers.

The air went through the fields,
the corn-ears leaned heavy down
the woods swished softly—
so clear with stars was the night

And my soul stretched
its wings out wide,
flew through the silent lands
as though it were flying home.

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