Et frieri. Landsbyen Ring - Laurits Andersen Ring
A courtship. The village of Ring - L. A. Ring

After seeing how the woman he loves marries another, and having taken refuge in the forest to cry his grief, the poet of Dichterliebe is ready to tell us exactly what happened. Did she get married to the love of her life? I mean, given that circumstance, you could say: "Well, I'm deeply saddened, but she's so happy". However, it turns out that the love of her life has married another woman, and she marries the first man who passes by out of spite. It is no wonder that the poet falls into despair.

Or, better, I should say, it is no wonder that the poet fell into despair. In this song, Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen, we get to know him in a different way: he explains his story briefly, without reproaches or regrets, as if he were talking about someone else. And, with this distance, he seems to be laughing at himself. It is not that he is indifferent; in the third stanza, he tells us that such events occur and that when they occur to one, it can cause heartbreak. This expression, "bricht das Herz entzwei", is very similar to others we have heard before: "die Brust zerspringen" in Hör' ich das Liedchen klingen; "zerrisen mir das Herz" in Und wüssten die Blumen, die kleinen, or "das Herz auch bricht" in Ich grolle nicht. Everything indicates that our poet is initiating something as unusual in song cycles as the recovery of a failed relationship.

Robert Schumann reinforces the irony of Heinrich Heine's words with a lively, even teasing song that once again has a very long postlude, if we compare it with the length of the song. Having heard the poet exultant, angered or deeply sad, it's a relief to listen to him (more or less) calm, and artists do not usually miss the opportunities offered by this different song.

We will listen to Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen performed by Gerald Finley and Julius Drake. This is the eleventh song of the cycle, we continue to advance through Dichterliebe in order, and we still have five more songs before we reach the end. As I always tell you, listen to this song, and listen to the whole cycle whenever you can. It's thirty minutes of music that makes us feel happy and warm inside.


Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen

Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen,
Die hat einen andern erwählt;
Der andre liebt eine andre,
Und hat sich mit dieser vermählt.

Das Mädchen nimmt aus Ärger
Den ersten besten Mann,
Der ihr in den Weg gelaufen;
Der Jüngling ist übel dran.

Es ist eine alte Geschichte,
Doch bleibt sie immer neu;
Und wem sie just passieret,
Dem bricht das Herz entzwei.


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