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Studies in Music with Text$
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David Lewin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182088.001.0001

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Clara Schumann’s Setting of “Ich stand”

Clara Schumann’s Setting of “Ich stand”

(p.152) (p.153) Chapter Seven Clara Schumann’s Setting of “Ich stand”
Studies in Music with Text

David Lewin

Oxford University Press

Clara Schumann, wife of Robert Schumann, apparently began to compose songs only after her marriage, for the first three that we know of were presented to her husband as a gift for Christmas that year. One of the three was her setting of Heinrich Heine's “Ich stand in dunkeln Träumen.” The impetus for Schumann's setting comes from retrospective thoughts about the recent period of separation, during which both she and Robert must, on many occasions, have enacted the scene described by Heine at the beginning of his poem: one lover stood in melancholy reverie, gazing at the other's portrait. Schumann's piano postlude essentially recapitulates her piano introduction, framing her joyous present memory of the lovers' past constancy, as portrayed by her treatment of Heine's text. She frames her song with piano solos that say all our weeping was swept away as ephemeral by our joyous victory over adversity, when we remained steadfast throughout the bad times.

Keywords:   Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, Heinrich Heine, songs, setting, piano, text, adversity

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