Ein Musikant wollt fröhlich sein - Score
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Soon shall it end. From the sea separates the wave, And sighs its way through the Flowers in the valley, And feels [whether] cradled in the spring, [Or] confined in the well, only torment! Longs the wave [Whether] in the whispering spring, In the murmuring stream, In the well-chamber, [To be] back to the sea From whence it came, From which it took its life, From which, tired of wandering, It hopes for sweet rest and peace.
The poet's inner world was scrutinized through analysis of dreams, study of madness, and interest in hypnosis. The mysterious in nature was captured in dark forests, murmuring brooks, and moonlit landscapes full of diffused light and hushed night rustlings. The mysteries within religious conviction were expressed as both awe and dread, as senses of yearning and premonition. In the contradiction so characteristic of German Romanticism, the poet's spiritual side both revered and feared what remained unknown and unknowable. Introduction to German Romanticism 11 The heightened reactions to the mysteries of the psyche, the world of nature, and the spiritual were most vivid at night, when darkness provided an e-scape from daily life and intensified the unknown, when the poet was solitary and felt more in tune with the mysterious.
Far below lies the world, sunken in a profound pit: waste and solitary is its place. Through the strings of the heart wafts deep sadness. I seek, as drops of dew, to subside and to blend with ashes. Distances of memory, desires of youth, dreams of childhood, the brief joys and futile hopes of the whole of long life, come in gray raiment like evening mists after the sun's setting. The lotus-flower fears Itself before the sun's glory And with bowed head, Awaits, dreaming, the night. Religious faith was intimately linked to the German Romantic longing for death as spiritual salvation and was expressed most vividly within the context of nature.
When combined with nature's benevolence, the notion of spiritual salvation through death offered a release from both external earthly concerns and the poet's innermost torments. In characteristic form, contrasting religious views coexisted comfortably in this period: for example, Novalis, in Hymnen an die Nacht, expresses intense ecstatic faith in relationship to both love and death, while in contrast, Eichendorff's novels and lyrics express the poet's more gentle faith within a simpler longing for peace through nature.
As already suggested, the Romantic's religious devotion often was expressed in the context of the love for the mysterious, as religious faith included mystical and supernatural elements, and the concept of a divine presence included an "other world" beyond that known on earth.
This then accompanied another important aspect of German Romanticism: the 12 The Language of Poetry preoccupation with the mysteries of death. In contrast to Goethe's classical portrait of death as evil in "Erlkoriig," the Romantics adopted the medieval image of death as a gentle release from life's complexities and a serene return to nature's peaceful domain.
For example, in the second stanza of Matthias Claudius's "Der Tod und das Madchen" "Death and the Maiden" , death speaks soothingly to the maiden: Gib deine Hand, du schon und zart Gebild! Bin Freund und komme nicht zu strafen. Give me your hand, you fair and gentle thing! I am a friend arid do not come to punish. While this yearning often was experienced within the context of traditional religious belief, many German Romantics replaced the customary religious deity with that of nature; nature's infinite mysteriousness also provided solace and inspired worship.
Rest in peace, all souls, Who, completed an anxious torment, And ended sweet dreams, Those weary of life, those scarcely born, From this world are departed: All souls, rest in peace! These typical German Romantic images bring with them the complex issues and emotions so emblematic of the period: the wanderer's preoccupation with the inner world of feelings, dreams, and visions typifies the theme of heightened individuality; the lonely forest within a rich natural world of nurturing and menacing forces connotes The evocative world of nature; the dark world of night, wherein the wanderer feels the most poignantly and the natural landscape shimmers the most vividly, evokes the seductiveness of mystery; and, finally, the image of yearning for peaceful death depicts the Romantic's conviction that release from all earthly torment, including the inescapable Introduction to German Romanticism 13 pain of lost love, can be attained through spiritual salvation.
In all cases, the Romantic both searches beyond what is knowable and, at the same time, savors the dichotomous elements within what is known. While this brief survey has identified characteristic German Romantic themes within separate categories, these themes and images easily commingle within elaborate poetic expressions. For example, the wanderer image often incorporates elements of all the themes mentioned above: a folk hero wandering about in nature's landscape represents the sensitive artist who is alienated from family and homeland and mourning lost love.
This poet roams nature's mysterious world during the darkness of night and identifies with the loneliness of the forest as he yearns for release from life's insufferable torment. While nature soothes the poet, the Romantic also seeks spiritual salvation through peaceful death, a release from earthly torment that beckons from the shadows of the moonlight.
Cultural Influences within German Romanticism In addition to these recurring German Romantic themes, other elements enriched the poet's Romantic expressivity. In order to convey their ideas and emotions in particularly colorful images, the Romantics turned to the imagery and heritage of several different periods and cultures, including revival of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, assimilation of foreign cultures, and celebration of the present through nationalism and the development of folk culture.
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Revival of Interest in Antiquity and the Middle Ages Along with their longing to escape life's difficulties through death, the Romantics desired to escape the concerns of the present through immersion within a more resonant past. Just as revival of antiquity had been featured in the classical period, where Goethe and Schiller admired ancient Greek and Roman characteristics that bolstered classical tenets, so the Romantics adapted Greek and Roman history mythological stories and heroes and culture architectural structures and Mediterranean ambiance to dramatize and depict Romantic themes and characteristics.
The adventures of such heroes as Orpheus, Ganymede, and Prometheus were described anew,37 and the spirit of the time was captured in Romantic reveries such as the first stanza of Morike's "An eine Aolsharfe" "To an Aeolian Harp" : Angelehnt an die Efeuwand Dieser alten Terrasse, Du, einer luftgebornen Reclining against the ivy wall Of this ancient terrace, You of a zephyr-born 14 The Language, of Poetry Geheimnisvolles Saitenspiel, Fang an, Fange wieder an Deine melodische Klage!
Mysterious string music, Begin, Begin anew Your melodious plaint! The German Romantic image of the Golden Age, for example, refers to the ideal time of happiness in antiquity for which the Romantic poet yearned. Asleep at his lookout Up there is the old knight; Overhead go rain squalls, And the forest rustles through the lattice.
Like the use of elements of antiquity and the Middle Ages, these new materials were a rich poetic resource; they provided new contexts for Romantic depictions and offered a particular poetic "distance" through a certain foreignness.
The English repertory included adaptations or translations of pseudo-Gaelic folklore attributed to the fictitious third-century bard, Ossian, Shakespeare's dramas translated especially by A. Later poets such as Friedrich Riickert, Professor of Oriental Language at Munich, and August Graf von Platen also incorporated similar oriental references in their poems, Riickert using Persian forms as well as subjects. So Hafiz, may your dear song, Your blessed example Conduct us at the glasses' clink To our Creator's temple.
The new nationalism provided expression of such common Romantic themes as love of nature and yearning for home, as exemplified in the final stanza of Eichendorff's "Heimweh" "Homecoming" : Der Morgen, das ist meine Freude!
But dawn, that's my delight! Then I climb in a peaceful hour The highest mountain far away, I greet you, Germany, from my heart's depth! While in earlier literature, heroic figures had been kings and conquerors, the new Romantic hero was from the bourgeoisie, for example, students in Goethe's Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre and Morike's MalerNolten and a young musician in Eichendorff s Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts Diary of a Good-for-Nothing, Whether gazing at nature's vastness or at a medieval castle, the Romantic poet remained caught in the ironic relationship between the self and the world.
Trapped in wanting the unattainable, the poet sought refuge in contradictory arenas: within nature's mystery which both awed and threatened the poet's soul or within a past that remained elusive but yet resonant. These images poured from the Romantic poets and were transformed by the Lied composers who set their verse.
The Lieder that resulted make up a wondrous artistic genre that embodied layers of meaning within a dramatic, previously unknown expressivity, a repertory of miniature masterpieces that has endured to this day. Exercises Using the poems below, identify all the German Romantic images and themes you can find, showing how some images and themes work together.https://adcaladede.tk
Ach diese namenlosen Qualen meiden Und weit in schonre Welten ziehn! Ah, these nameless torments escape And afar to finer worlds travel! First we summarize the poem: the poet speaks through the young man in terms of natureby mentioning the sunset; in response to the setting sun, he expresses a longing, first for release from nameless torments, then toward death's "finer world.
We then list and interpret the individual images. The image of "nameless torments" bespeaks the various difficulties of love. Introduction to German Romanticism b. The image of death as "finer world" has religious connotations. We conclude the analysis by redefining the verse in terms of thematic combination: the poem combines 1 wanderer expressing Sehnsucht'm 2 the context of nature, and 3 the appeal for death occurring with the 4 approach of night. Und dort in Walde wonnesam, Ach, grunet schon des Kreuzes Stamm!
In a green landscape's summer flora, By cool water, reeds and rushes, See how the little Boy, innocent, Freely plays on the Virgin's lap! And there, in the wood, blissfully, Ah, grows already the cross's trunk! Horch, von fern ein leiser Harfenton! Fruhling, ja du bists! Dich hab ich vernommen!
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Violets are dreaming, Want soon to be here. Hark, from afar a soft harptone! Spring, yes it is you! You have I heard! Ah, my life is but smoke! Keine Luft von keiner Seite! Todesstille fiirchterlich! In der ungeheuern Weite Reget keine Welle sich. Deep calm rules the water, Without motion rests the sea, And troubled sees the sailor Smooth levelness all around.
No wind from any quarter! Deadly calm dreadful! In the vast expanse Stirs no wave.