Robert Schumann (1810-1856) had been regarded as brilliant pianist predicted by his teacher to become one of the finest in Europe. Unfortunately he suffered an injury to his hand which brought his dreams of pursuing a virtuoso career at the piano to an untimely end. He decided to concentrate on his composing and produced a long list of accomplished musical works for us all to enjoy.
One such composition is “Widmung” a captivating lied which he composed in 1840 as part of a song cycle “Myrthen” (Opus 25). Schumann wanted to create the perfect gift for his wife-to-be Clara Wieck to present to her on their wedding day.
The title of the cycle represents the bridal wreaths which were often made out of myrtle, an evergreen shrub entwined with white flowers.
Schuman used a collection of 26 poems to complete his work from poets such as Robert Burns, Lord Byron and Friedrich Ruckert. The songs embodied all the emotions that Schumann associated with love, marriage and companionship.
“Widmung” (Dedication ) was the first song in the cycle using the lyrics from a poem by Friedrich Ruckert. The lyrics of the song provided the means for Schumann to capture the way that Clara made him feel. He expresses that Clara is his peace, angel, repose, rapture, heart, soul, grave for sorrows, better self and his heaven. A truly beautiful lied and I hope that I do it justice.
Du meine [Seele]1, du mein Herz,
Du meine [Wonn’, o du]2 mein Schmerz,
Du meine Welt, in der ich lebe,
Mein Himmel du, [darin]3 ich schwebe,
O du mein Grab, in das hinab
Ich ewig meinen Kummer gab!
Du bist die Ruh, du bist der Frieden,
Du bist [der]4 Himmel, mir beschieden.
Daß du mich liebst, macht mich mir wert,
Dein Blick hat mich vor mir verklärt,
Du hebst mich liebend über mich,
Mein guter Geist, mein beßres Ich!
You my soul, you my heart,
You my bliss, o you my pain,
You the world in which I live;
You my heaven, in which I float,
You my grave, into which
I eternally cast my grief.
You are rest, you are peace,
You are bestowed upon me from heaven.
That you love me makes me worthy of you;
Your gaze transfigures me;
You raise me lovingly above myself,
My good spirit, my better self!
You can see why this era was called the romantic era of music. Schumann manages to embody the excitement of being in love through the shape of the melody, it is so full of energy and makes me feel so happy when I sing it.
I would also like to say a BIG thank you to all of you for being part of my life. I have met so many lovely people here on my blog and learnt so much from you all. Having this opportunity to meet such a wide and varied group of people from diverse backgrounds with enriching experiences has been a real highlight for me. I am humbled that I have been nominated for several blogging awards and appreciate each and every one. The problem I have is that it would be impossible for me to pick my favourite ten or fifteen bloggers, I tend to read and comment on the blogs that I follow whenever I have the time but I cannot get around as often as I would like. If it were up to me I would give every single one of you “Blog Of The Year”. Please, please, please keep writing and sharing your experiences, creativity and enthusiasm as it gives so much pleasure to the people that read what you write
78 thoughts on “Widmung (Dedication) by Schumann – Track 11”
Beautiful post, and being a pianist myself, I admire others who are able to perfect the craft. It takes alot to be able to compose music, and I wish that my mother had made me stay in music school, so I would have learned to compose. Well, keep up the great job with your blog, Charlotte, as it is just as brilliant as your singing. May the Lord bless you richly.
I love composing as well but much more if it’s completely free. I came late to it and I have so many things to concentrate on now but I will keep it up. I was reminded by WordPress recently that it’s been nearly two years since I first set up my blog and thought about how I would record my training adventure the time has just flown so now I’m really glad I did it.
It’s always lovely to read your blogs Charlotte, they are interesting, educating, and give a brilliant insight to your world keep up the good work xx
I wish I had more time but it’s a great discipline and you know how I like to stick at things and see them through.
Just a little point I know from the similarity of German to Afrikaans – the singular of lieder is lied. You would describe Widmung as a lied in that group of lieder.
Thanks, I’ve amended the article thank you for watching over me I appreciate it.
I enjoyed this a lot.
(Excuse me pointing this out. Lieder is plural, so in German we would say ‘A truly beautiful Lied’.)
I’m really pleased you enjoyed it Rod. Please always point things out to me, I’m happy to know you’re helping me, I did know that but I rushed out the post and I think my fingers were working faster than my brain .
I think I can speak for all by saying that we cherish you, and that you are a breath of clear air on a mountain top on a spring day.
It’s always a pleasure to see you drop by the blog, but if you kept p with everyone every time you’d never sing another note, and that’s not what you’re here for.
What a lovely message Martin thank you. Reading my blog friends posts is a great way to pass time for example when I’m on a bus or train journey, waiting for something to begin, sitting and learning about the rest of the world, resting – prepared – for a concert to begin with time to kill, but you’re quite right if I didn’t work seven days a week at my singing I wouldn’t feel right and I do a bit of everything most days. I just want to show my art and just what goes in to these songs, the meaning, the lyrics, the language knowledge, the breathing, timing, feeling, and emotion and on and on so that everyone can understand why I love it so much and making connections so that I don’t become too wrapped up in myself and my small music world is important to me.
Best wishes for your support always,
Very nice, both the song and your interpretation. I don’t know this. I know most of his piano music and I have some of his lieder in my collection like Dichterliebe, Op.48 and Liederkreis, Op. 39, but not Opus 25.
I’m happy to introduce it to you Trent 😊.
A word on a page, a phrase of a song
A melody on your lips of timeless beauty
Lifts my mind and heart forever
Thank you Jim you are as charming as always. I hope you have a great maple tapping season this year, its coming up to Shrove Tuesday when we eat pancakes and syrup or lemon and sugar.
Thank you for the short story of Robert Schumann. His success was not hampered by unable to play piano!
Pianists are such perfectionists and practice until their fingers, neck and backs ache, being a virtuoso demands such high dedication I just think it was wonderful he managed to turn his more restricted skill to such brilliant work.
I think you might be right!
I really enjoyed this one!
As for your ending statement, I feel the same way. I am glad I discovered blogging. Sometimes, I too feel bad when I do not put comments on posts that I enjoy. Life can do that. But I am glad for all of the wonderful people I have met and it is a gift that I stumbled upon a site for a talented singer who has brightened my day with her observations.
Sometimes, I think of the world 50 years ago. Meeting people from around the world took time and lots of luck. Now it is so easy. The chances of meeting people outside of your normal zone is so great that it is truly a miracle.
Thanks for being one of those cases!
Thanks Steve, this has been a tough first trimester for me both emotionally because of changes to my learning that have been asked of me and technically creating my own targets in new ways. I’ll read a post and it gives me a new insight into what a song means, I’ve been reading Hilary Custance Green’s new book ‘Borderline’ that has made me think about peoples internal struggles and external faces they present which all helps my music in ways I can’t really put into words. I see pictures and photo’s of places that I’d love one day to visit and the views help me to picture romantic sunsets and animals I’ve never seen before, Randall’s (Dalo) photos of China have really opened my eyes to another lifestyle and that’s just a couple of examples. Pascal paints with photographic art that fills me with energy and Eric puts soul into his posts. As I said so much help and encouragement; Lukas helped me with my Czech, Koko with my cooking I didn’t know how to make butter until I read her post, I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t know maple syrup came from a tree until I read Jim’s blog. I’ve never met a surfer before and where would we have met without our blogs? Amazing!
That was wonderful. I am going to check out Borderline. Being a sports type, I am big on training and self improvement…although in life the act of planning and executing sometimes go awry.
I also loved the examples. I have learned a lot from some of my other bloggers as well. The same goes for your site. Sadly, I have not been in tune with your genre of music. But I find the technicality of it fascinating. So you are really broadening my horizons as well. To me it is like seeing years of paintings in watercolor and then seeing something in acrylic. If that makes sense.
Well, have a great week. And here is to expanding our 2015!
And if you ever have any questions about surfing or what it is like to sweat to death in Florida…just ask! Ha ha!
I loved your examples.
Thank you Charlotte. You continues to grow and you still so modest. You got the world above interpretation. You embody the music that you give. You are emphatic with composers and those who have played before you, and you give us the quintessence of all that. Thanks !! All the best for you !
Richard Branson the UK businessman behind ‘Virgin’ wrote ‘Always believe in yourself, but never believe your own hype’ my Mum sent me that 😜. I hope one day my French is as lovely in use as your English, Merci beaucoup.
Do not worry about your french, it’s just a matter of practice:-) le jour viendra 🙂
Schumann’s wife, Clara, wasn’t half bad at the piano either.
As far as Blog of the Year, I am with you. I put so much into each post that it’s hard to pick a few.
I’ve read your work and know how much you put into them; your writing style is an education for me. I truly wish I had more time to keep up more often.
Any reading of my posts is much appreciated.
Yes she must have been a very strong woman to stand up to her father’s disapproval and still marry her beloved, he was very depressed from time to time and she stood by him a great love story.
Lovely tribute Charlotte. Beautiful.
Thank you Ruth 😊.
Thank you, Charlotte, for your lovely thoughts on music.
Cell (215) 906-3322
You are so comfortable, so free, so in-tuned with your spirit when you sing, particularly, with this song. I will be honest, I must re-trace your video catalogs to view your portfolio, but if you are as smooth, passionate, and spiritually motivated as this track, you are the bees knees of choral solo’s.
Round of applause from our studio to you,
Thank you, everyone knows I love applause . This music does move me and I’m really glad that is coming across.
What a lovely post Charlotte! I was thinking about you the other day! Isn’t it funny how our blog friends become real friends who we think about! Hope you are well! X
I saw a pair of mittens being cut out of an old jumper on Pinterest and thought of you Amanda, your inventiveness is brilliant. I read you’re on the BBC Sewing Bee next Thursday, it’s one of my Mum’s favourite programs I’m going to tell her to watch out for you, I hope they set you a challenge to make an opera dress, then you could send it to me to wear.
Yes…..make sure you watch it! It’s going to be fun! I had to do a live interview yesterday, which was tricky! Everything was filmed last May so it has been a long secret wait!!! Opera dresses….mmmm. I certainly have ideas but not sure I could ever get them to look like they are in my head! Hahaha x x
Simply beautiful Charlotte…..just lovely…
Thank you Cynthia it’s lovely to read you on my blog, keep in touch.
Charlotte , how kind and beautiful you are …thank you …blessings xxx
Thanks Meg your blog is beautiful.
Reblogged this on abdullahshaghi2012.
Thank you for the reblog I appreciate the compliment. 😊
This is a truly lovely lied, and I can feel the warmth of it in your interpretation.
Thank you Hilary, someone asked me if I was afraid to put out imperfect videos, Soundcloud recordings of my performances but how else will my friends see me grow into these works and appreciate my hard work over years not just a matter of weeks 🙂
Oh my goodness, Charlotte! Exquisite rendering. Every word so clear and delivered with emotion and the tones rounded and bell-like, even the low notes. Honestly, so beautiful, it almost made me cry. Clara was lovely wasn’t she? I so prefer singing to piano but it must have been a crushing blow to Schumann. By the way, the acoustics in that church are magnificent. Brava! And Bravo to your accompaniest.
Thank you Beth, Russell my accompanist in this recital is very supportive and encouraging, we met at a competition when I arrived for our first run through with a broken foot on crutches and have been good friends ever since. I admired Clara after reading about her, so accomplished in her own right, it’s wonderful they were such a good team.
A wonderful post, Charlotte. I adore Schumann so this Lied was a real treat. Thank-you for the tribute at the end – that is exactly how I feel too!
Sometimes a comment is just the reminder you need to think oh goodness I’ve not visited in a while, just as in real life a phone call works wonders.
You have an incredible voice.When I get a chance i catch up and it is wonderful to listen 🙂 Wish you the best
Thank Jax for visiting with me, I wish you all the best with your book too.
Charlotte, I was just getting over being amazed with your video on the last post you had…and then I heard this. Maybe it is the poetry in step with your voice, as this piece simply rolls and dances. Wonderful, simply wonderful ~
So happy you had a chance to listen to them Randall, thank you for your lovely messages. “Poetry in step with my voice” I love that, thank you.
From reading about the inspiration from these men in your recent blogs, often times, it seems as if their best work is inspired by the ones they love. So, I feel like it takes more than great talent, it’s about the people around you as well.
I listened to a great TED talk before about connections and self acceptance it was from an excellent speaker if I can find it again I’ll DM you with it.
Just stunningly beautiful.
Thank you Dan, just had some exciting news and I’m still leaping around.
Oh, Charlotte, your rendition is absolutely magnificent! This is so beautiful and romantic. I just love having the opportunity to hear you sing and read of your adventures! 🙂
Thank you Linda, I love sharing my songs. I’ve just heard about another adventure for later this year can’t wait to tell you all about it, just need to check on a few things.
And thank *you*, Charlotte, for all your lovely posts. And, of course, for Canzoni D’Amore and all your beautiful songs that bring me and many others so much pleasure!
Thanks Marcus for your lovely message, I’m so happy you listen to my album, I really like the idea that friends who are helping me to forward my training by buying my first cd are enjoying it too.
Exquisite, Charlotte. It’s so great to think of you reading blogs from around the world while you ride the train or wait backstage for a performance. By the way, I noticed that you recorded Widmung in 2013 accompanied by pianist Danielle DiDonato. Is she related to Joyce DiDonato, whose masterclasses I’ve been enjoying so much on video?
Hi Charlotte, You have matured so beautifully, in person and voice. Kind of you to remember me!
Beautiful song. Great history lesson.
What a lovely post. I am really happy I am discovering your post.
My body shivers when you sing. You are a gift to us all. This is a beautiful post, and I feel choked up. Thank you! ❦❦ (I know it’s an older post, but I only found you recently!) -Resa
Wow – your voice is amazing! Schumann is a favorite – remember struggling through some of his more simple piano pieces as a young girl.
Thank you Sue do you still play piano?
Sadly no… I moved far away from my childhood home / piano 50 years ago and never saddled myself with another one. I took lessons for over 10 years. In my travels I always make a point of enjoying local symphony and opera. During the last long trip in 2019, I was fortunate to enjoy opera and symphony in Berlin, Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Belgrade, and Cape Town – all cherished memories!
Fabulous trips and experiences.
I just had to listen to this, again.
Chapeau!!! You are magnificent!
Thank you my friend 🙂
I’ve just tried leaving a message on your site and WP wouldn’t let me, just chucked me out.
UCH! WP is at it again!
I checked my Spam folder. Nothing in there. So, it is probably a temporary glitch.
Dear Charlotte, I want to thank you for you lovely blog. I also sing this piece and wanted to dig up a bit of history for a friend; you rank high in search results. I also politely suggest that you might want to have someone knowledgable and attentive to modern privacy issues reconstruct this site for the benefit of your viewers. The startpage plugin currently scores the site a 1 out of 5. Cheers. Michael
Thank you Michael, I don’t understand what startpage plugin scores are? The blog is run by WordPress would you mind helping me to understand what you mean.