Category Archives: Johannes Brahms


Karl von Lemcke: “Do you wish me to go?”

by Karl von Lemcke (1831-1913)
“Auf der Heide saust der Wind”
from Lieder und Gedichte, Hamburg, published 1861

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Auf der Heide saust der Wind

 

Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) , “Willst du, daß ich geh’?”, op. 71 (Fünf Gesänge) no. 4 (1877). Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust, from The Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

 

On the heath blows the wind -
Sweet child, sweet child -
do you wish me, despite the storm and horror,
to go out into the night -
do you wish me to go?
 .
On the heath at the top of the mountain
Piles the snow, piles the snow;
It sweeps the street, the gorge and pool alike
with white wings.
Do you wish me to go?
 .
Hark! the sound of the sea
is wild and woeful, wild and woeful!
By the willows sits an evil sprite
and my path goes past that place -
Do you wish me to go?
 .
For here in your arms,
how cosy and warm, cosy and warm;
Ah, how often have I thought:
if only I could have just one night with you...
Do you wish me to go?
.
.
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Adolf Friedrich, Graf von Schack: “Twilight”

By Adolf Friedrich, Graf von Schack (1815-1894), from Gedichte, published 1867. Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), “Abenddämmerung”, op. 49 (Fünf Lieder) no. 5 (1867). Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

violin

.Abenddämmerung,

Be welcome, hour of twilight!
Long have I loved you above all;
You soothe every wound,
Gently embracing our souls.
. 
Throughout your dusky brightness
In the air, damp with evening dew,
Hover images that the glaring
Light of the noisy day dispells.
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Dreams and memories
Approach from childhood times,
Whispering with ghostly tongues
Of past happiness.
. 
And to the comrades of our youthful pleasures
We turn in our father's house;
Arms that once embraced us
Are open wide to us again.
. 
After the long pain of separation,
We may once again
Be with those who have gone hence,
And rest among beloved hearts;
. 
And until upon our eyelids
Slumber gently flows down,
A blessed peace sinks down upon us
From the land where our friends are.
 ,
,

Eichendorff: “The Nun and the Knight”

By Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857), “Die Nonne und der Ritter”, from Gedichte (Ausgabe 1841), in Romanzen.
Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), “Die Nonne und der Ritter”, op. 28 (Vier Duette) no. 1 (1860).Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

Die Nonne und der Ritter

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As the world goes to rest,
my yearning awakens with the stars;
I must listen in the cool
as the waves roar below!
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"I am brought here from far away by waves
that beat so mournfully against the land,
beneath the bars of your window.
Lady, do you still know this Knight?"
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It is as if strange voices
are floating through the mild air;
once again the wind has taken them away, -
alas, my heart is so anxious!
.
"Over there lies your ruined castle
lamenting in its desolate halls;
the way the woods greeted me,
I felt as though I must die."
.
Old sounds burst forth,
sunk long since in time;
melancholy falls on me once again,
and I feel like weeping from my heart.
.
"Over the wood lightning flashes from afar,
where they are fighting over the grave of Christ;
There will I steer my ship,
and there will everything end!"
.
A ship leaves with a man upon it;
false night, you bewilder the mind!
Farewell, world! May God protect
those who wander madly in darkness!

..

Ludwig Tieck: “Rest, my Love, in the Shade”

By Johann Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853), from Liebesgeschichte der schönen Magelone und des Grafen Peter von Provence.
Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), “Ruhe, Süßliebchen, im Schatten”, op. 33 no. 9, from Romanzen aus L. Tieck’s Magelone, no. 9.  Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

 

-Karl_Friedrich_Schinkel_-_Morning1813

 

Ruhe, Süßliebchen, im Schatten

 
Rest, my love, in the shade
Of green, darkening night;
The grass rustles on the meadow,
The shadows fan and cool thee
And true love is awake.
Sleep, go to sleep!
Gently rustles the grove,
Eternally am I thine.
 
Hush, you hidden songs,
And disturb not her sweetest repose!
The flock of birds listens,
Stilled are their noisy songs.
Close thine eyes, my darling,
Sleep, go to sleep;
In the twilight
I will watch over thee.
 
Murmur on, you melodies,
Rush on, you quiet stream.
Lovely fantasies of love
do these melodies evoke:
Tender dreams swim after them.
Through the whispering grove
Swarm tiny golden bees
which hum thee to sleep.
,
,

Fallersleben: “Nightingales beat”

By August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben 1798-1874, from Gedichte, Leipzig, published 1843.
Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), “Nachtigallen schwingen”, op. 6 (Sechs Gesänge) no. 6 (1853). Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust, from The Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

Nachtigallen schwingen


Nightingales beat
Merrily their wings,
Nightingales sing
Their old songs.
And all the flowers,
They awaken again
To the clangor and sound
Of all these songs.

And my yearning becomes a nightingale
And flies off in the blooming world,
And asks the flowers everywhere,
Where my little flower is?

And the nightingales
Dance their circle-dance
In the halls of the bowers
Between the blossoming branches;
Among all the flowers,
however, I must be silent.

Among them I remain
Silent with my mournful thoughts:
One flower do I see,
That will not bloom.
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Zuccalmaglio: There in the willows stands a house

By Anton Wilhelm Florentin von Zuccalmaglio (1803-1869)

Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), “Schifferlied/Dort in den Weiden steht ein Haus.” Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.
Dort in den Weiden steht ein Haus
There in the willows stands a house,
and there a maiden looks out of the window!
She gazes upstream, she gazes downstream:
is not my heart's beloved boy there yet?
The handsomest lad on the entire Rhine
I call mine, mine!

In the mornings he sails on the river
and sings to me his greeting;
in the evenings, when the glow-worms fly about,
his skiff rocks by the bank
and then I can be with my sweetheart,
together, together!

The nightingale in the lilac bush -
what she sings there, I understand:
she says that next year there will be a celebration,
and I too, my love, will have a nest,
where, with my dear sweetheart, I will be then
the happiest girl on the Rhine, the happiest girl on the Rhine!

..

2 William-Adolphe Bouguereau (French Academic painter, 1825-1905) Young Worker 1869

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1869

Ludwig Tieck: Are they sorrows or are they joys?

By Johann Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853) from Liebesgeschichte der schönen Magelone und des Grafen Peter von Provence.

Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), “Sind es Schmerzen, sind es Freuden”, op. 33 no. 3 (1861-9), from Romanzen aus L. Tieck’s Magelone, no. 3. Translation © Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

Sind es Schmerzen, sind es Freuden

Are they sorrows or are they joys
Which tug at my breast?
All the old desires leave;
A thousand new flowers bloom.

Through the dusk of tears
I see suns standing in the distance, -
What languishing, what longing!
Do I dare? Shall I move closer?

Ah, and when my tears are falling,
It is dark around me;
Yet if my desires do not return,
The future is empty of hope.

So beat then, my ambitious heart,
So flow down then, my tears,
Ah, joy is only a deeper pain,
Life is a dark grave, -

Without guilt,
Should I then suffer?
How is it that in my dreams
All my thoughts
Tremble up and down?
I scarcely know myself any more.

O, hear me, kindly stars,
O hear me, green meadow,
And you, my love, hear my holy oath:
If I remain far from her,
I will die gladly.
Ah, only in the light of her gaze
Dwell life and hope and happiness!

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Karl von Lemcke: In the loneliness of the forest

by Karl von Lemcke (1831-1913)
from Lieder und Gedichte, Hamburg, published 1861

Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) , “In Waldeseinsamkeit”, op. 85 (Sechs Lieder) no. 6 (1878). Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,from The Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

In Waldeseinsamkeit

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 I sat at your feet
In the loneliness of the forest;
The breath of the wind, like longing,
Went through the broad treetops.
.
In mute struggle I sank
my head into your lap,
And my shaking hands
I clasped about your knees.
.
The sun set,
The day lost its glow,
Far, far, far away
Sang a single nightingale.

 

Hölty: Delightfully Sound the Birdsongs

by Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty (1748-1776)

Holder klingt der Vogelsang

by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) , “Minnelied”, op. 71 (Fünf Gesänge) no. 5 (1877).

Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust, from The Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

 

 

Delightfully sound the birdsongs

when the pure angel

who conquered my young heart

wanders through the wood.


Redder bloom the valleys and meadows,

Greener becomes the grass

where the fingers of my lady

Are picking little mayflowers.


Without her, everything is dead.

Blossoms and herbs are wilted;

and no spring sunset

would seem to me as fair and fine.


Darling, lovely woman,

Never wish to flee;

that my heart, as well as this meadow,

might bloom in joy!

Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hoelty 

Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty

August von Platen: How I roused myself in the Night

Wie rafft’ ich mich auf in der Nacht

by August von Platen-Hallermünde (1796-1835): 1820.

Set by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) , op. 32 (Neun Lieder und Gesänge) no. 1 (1864). Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust, from The Lied & Art Song Texts Page

Oh, how I roused myself in the night, in the night.

And felt myself drawn further;

I left the alleys, guarded by the watchmen,

And wandered through quietly,

In the night, in the night,

The gate with the Gothic arch.


The mill brook rushed through the rocky gorge.

I leaned over the bridge,

Observing far below me the waves,

Which rolled so quietly,

In the night, in the night,

Yet never did one roll back.


Overhead wanders the infinite, flickering,

Melodic traffic of the stars.

With them, the moon in calm splendor;

They gleam quietly

In the night, in the night.

At a deceptively remote distance.


I gaze up into the night, in the night,

And gaze down again anew:

Alas, how have you spent the day!

Now, softly you try to still,

In the night, in the night,

The remorse of your pounding heart!