Ester Lecha presents a Lied by Clara Schumann with poem by Hermann Rollet: Geheimes Flüstern hier und dort. She chose the recording of Korliss Uecker i Joanne Polk. Thank you so much, Ester!

Clara Wieck

Today I want to share with you a beautiful Lied composed by a wonderful woman, Clara Schumann. Clara Schumann was born in a time when the status of the woman was still associated to a life dedicated to the home, letting to the men the occupations outside of home. Although of that, her life was very opposite to the one she was supposed to have: since a very early age, her father, a outstanding piano teacher, gave her a wide musical education, and she evolved in a great concert pianist career which brought her to the most famous international music stages and gave her lots of fame.

Nowadays we know the figure of her husband, Robert Schumann. Actually, when they got to know, he was still not a famous musician, and it was very difficult for them to formalize their love in a wedding (“Widmung”, a Lied composed by Robert Schumann, was a gift for the expected wedding). Thanks to Clara, lot of the music of her husband got to know with the interpretations she played during her concerts.

Despite that, today I do not want to write about her concerts, but about her compositions, because she dedicated some moments of her life to very beautiful pieces, among which stand out piano pieces, chamber music pieces, orchestral and choral pieces, and Lieder.

I recognize that months ago I did not know the Lieder of Clara Schumann, but, since a Lied course that I made with the German pianist Wolgfrang Rieger, who recommended playing some Lieder of her, I could get to know the beauty of her music, which is barely interpreted and which I really think that deserves to be listened.

Geheimes Flüstern hier und dort is a strophic Lied, which means that the 3 strophes have the same music for 3 times. Personally, I consider strophic Lieder very difficult to play, because musicians have to create different moods in the different strophes although having the same music. In this Lieder, the imagination plays an important role in drawing a shape to the poem. The content of this poem of Hermann Rollet explains the desire, possible of a man, to open up to a love, which Rollet compares subtly with the nature and the forest. The poem evolves within the 3 strophes starting with a description of his latent feelings, continuing in the second strophe with a more active vision when he is with his beloved, and ending with the desire of realization of his feelings. Clara putted music to the poem also in a delicated way, and in the piano part we can listen several aspects of the nature (whisperings, the movement of the branches, or other things, depending on what feels the listener).

To end, I would like to share with you an adaptation for piano of this Lied that I found some days ago, writted by the composer of XIX century Franz Liszt. In that time, it was very common to adapt pieces or songs that were fashionable or that were beautiful, and Liszt adapted lots of music to the piano. The adaptation of the “3 Lieder von Clara Schumann S569/R257” shows the admiration that he felt for Clara, a very special composer and pianist, who also was a source of inspiration of many people.


About the author

Ester Lecha is a Catalan pianist. Nowadays she is a pianist repertorist in the Music Conservatory Victòria dels Àngels in Sant Cugat, which combines with playing in concerts. She has a Master in interpretation and musical pedagogy in Sibelius Academy (Helsinky), ad nowadays she is studying a Master in Lied in ESMUC.



Geheimes Flüstern hier und dort

Geheimes Flüstern hier und dort,
Verborg’nes Quellenrauschen,
O Wald, o Wald, geweihter Ort,
laß mich des Liebens reinstes Wort
in Zweig und Blatt belauschen!

Und schreit’ ich in den Wald hinaus,
da grüßen mich die Bäume,
du liebes, freies Gotteshaus,
du schließest mich mit Sturmgebraus
in deine kühlen Räume!

Was leise mich umschwebt, umklingt,
ich will es treu bewahren,
und was mir tief zum Herzen dringt,
will ich, vom Geist der Lieb’ beschwingt,
in Liedern offenbaren!

Secret whisperings here and there,
Hidden, murmuring springs,
O forest, O forest, consecrated place,
Let me listen in bough and foliage
To life’s most pure word!

And when I walk out into the forest,
I am greeted by the trees,
You fair, unfettered house of God,
You enfold me with your howling storm
In your cool spaces!

All that surrounds and whispers round me,
I shall faithfully preserve,
And all that oppresses my heart
I shall, elated by the spirit of love,
Express in song!

(translation by Richard Stokes)


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