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Myrthen

A programme dedicated to the special song cycle Myrthen by Robert Schumann. He wrote this cycle in 1840 as a wedding gift for his beloved Clara Wieck.

Robert Schumann married his beloved Clara Wieck in 1840, after many years of legal battle. He wrote the song cycle Myrthen, op. 25 for her as a wedding gift. The myrtle is the symbol for happiness in marriage, fertility and the flowers are often used in traditional bridal bouquets. 
Composing for vocals was something new for Schumann and was a true discovery. He wanted to share his enthusiasm with Clara and wrote her: "Oh Clara, what a joy it is to write for vocals![…]Since yesterday morning I have again written about 24 new pages of music (something new, about what I can’t tell you more about, apart from that I cried and laughed with joy)[…]”. Of course at that moment it was still a surprise for her that he was working on a wedding gift!
Robert SchumannSchumann could combine his passion for poetry and music in writing vocal music. It is also suggested that the composing of vocal music could provide a stable financial position because of the profitable market, and Schumann tried to get the approval of Clara’s father, Friedrich Wieck in that way. The couple eventually married on September 12, 1840.
All aspects of their love story have repercussions on the diversity of subjects in the Myrthen cycle: love, despair, joy over the upcoming wedding and even the alcohol abuse accusation of the father of Clara. It is all in the cycle. Clara received a fine bound copy at the evening before their wedding. In her diary she wrote:"My Robert gave me a beautiful wedding gift "Myrthen", I was deeply moved!".
The Nederlands Muziek Instituut (NMI) in The Hague has a manuscript with six songs from this cycle. It was thought to be written by a copyist but recently it turned out that two of six songs are in the handwriting of Schumann himself. A great discovery! The NMI dedicated a webexpositie to this manuscript, with a digital presentation of the handwriting and genesis of the cycle.
In this programme Myrthen, Liederkreis, opus 25 will be performed by alto Nathalie Stutzmann and Michel Dalberto, piano.  
 
Robert Schumann
Myrthen. Liederkreis op. 25
1. Widmung (Friedrich Rückert)
2. Freisinn (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
3. Der Nussbaum (Julius Mosen)
4. Jemand (Robert Burns)
Lieder aus dem Schenkenbuch im Divan (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe):
5. Sitz’ ich allein
6. Setze mir nicht, du Grobian
7. Die Lotosblume (Heinrich Heine)
8. Talismane (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
9. Lied der Suleika (Marianne von Willemer)
10. Die Hochländer-Witwe (Robert Burns)
Lieder der Braut (Friedrich Rückert):
11. Mutter
12. Lass mich ihm am Busen hangen
13. Hochländers Abschied (Robert Burns)
14. Hochländisches Wiegenlied (Robert Burns)
15. Mein Herz ist schwer (Lord Byron)
16. Räthsel (Catherine Maria Fanshawe)
Zwei Venetianische Lieder (Thomas Moore):
17. Leis’rudern hier, mein Gondolier
18. Wenn durch die Piazzetta die Abendluft weht
19. Hauptmann’s Weib (Robert Burns)
20. Weit, weit! (Robert Burns)
21. Was will die einsame Thräne (Heinrich Heine)
22. Niemand (Robert Burns)
23. Im Westen (Robert Burns)
24. Du bist wie eine Blume (Heinrich Heine)
25. Aus den östlichen Rosen (Friedrich Rückert)
26. Zum Schluss (Friedrich Rückert)
Nathalie Stutzmann, alto.
Michel Dalberto, piano.
Apex LC04281
 
Franz Liszt/Robert Schumann. 
27. Widmung, from Myrthen op. 25
Evgeny Kissin, piano.
RCA, RD60443

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