He began composing songs as a means of proving his financial stability as a future husband, and in "Widmung", as was the case with all his compositions of this genre, he deeply expressed his most heart-felt emotions; passion and devotion, fears and longing, frustration and suffering from their separation, and the hopes and dreams of their life together. He began the cycle in the early part of , finishing it in April, well ahead of his self-established September deadline. When complete, "Widmung" and its accompanying poems were lavishly bound with a red velvet inscription, which affectionately read "To my beloved bride. In "Widmung", Schumann confessed all of the things Wieck was to him; his peace, angel, repose, rapture, heart, soul, grave for sorrows, better self and his heaven. In this carefully balanced arrangement of text and music, he revealed the depth of his engagement as a poet-musician.
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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. 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. 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 bist die Ruh, du bist der Frieden, Du bist [der]4 Himmel, mir beschieden. Translation 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.
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Widmung (Liebeslied) (I & II), transcription for piano, S. 566 (LW A133) (after Schumann)
Schumann: Widmung, Op. 25 No. 1 (Arr. Liszt, S. 566a)