"Morgen!" ("Tomorrow!") is the last in a set of four songs composed in 1894 by the German composer Richard Strauss. It is designated Opus 27, Number 4.
The German love poem Morgen! which is the text of the song was written by Strauss's contemporary, John Henry Mackay, of partly Scottish descent but brought up in Germany.
Strauss had met Mackay in Berlin, and set Morgen! to music on 21 May 1894. It was one of his four Lieder Opus 27, a wedding present to his wife Pauline. Initially, he set the accompaniment for piano alone, and for piano with violin. In 1897 he arranged the piece for orchestra with violin solo.
Morgen! remains one of Strauss's best-known and most widely recorded works. Strauss himself recorded it in 1919 accompanying the tenor Robert Hutt on the piano, and again in 1941 conducting the orchestral version with tenor Julius Patzak and the Bavarian State Orchestra.
Instrumentation and accompaniment
Strauss wrote the song originally for voice and piano, before he orchestrated it in 1897 for orchestral strings, with a solo violin, a harp and three horns. The orchestral strings are muted, and the dynamic throughout is pianissimo or softer. The harp, playing arpeggios, and the solo violin accompany continuously, and the horns do not play until the last few bars when the violin pauses before ending with an ascending phrase. The last chord is joined by a solo horn.
The poem reads as follows:
Poetic English translation:
English edition by John Bernhoff, 1925 Universal-Edition:
A translation which is as close as possible to the original German, but adapted to flow in English:
- And tomorrow the sun will shine again
- And on the way which I shall follow
- She will again unite us lucky ones
- As all around us the earth breathes in the sun
- Slowly, silently, we will climb down
- To the wide beach and the blue waves
- In silence, we will look in each other's eyes
- And the mute stillness of happiness will sink upon us
The other songs of Strauss' Opus 27:
- Op. 27 No. 1 "Ruhe, meine Seele!" (Nicht ein Lüftchen regt sich leise)
- Op. 27 No. 2 "Cäcilie" (Wenn du es wüßtest)
- Op. 27 No. 3 "Heimliche Aufforderung" (Auf, hebe die funkelnde Schale)
References and notes
- Richard Strauss Lieder, Complete Edition Vol. IV, London, 1965, Boosey & Hawkes
- Strauss made a few changes to Mackay's words
- In line 3 Strauss replaced Mackay's "Seligen" with "Glücklichen"
- In the last line Strauss replaced Mackay's "großes" with "stummes"