Ruhe, meine Seele!

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Ruhe meine Seele!
Lied by Richard Strauss
Perrault Leon Jean Basile Meditation 1893.jpg
Meditation by Perrault, 1893.
English Rest my soul
Catalogue Op. 27 number 1, TrV 170.
Text Poem by Karl Henckell
Language German
Composed May 17 1894, Weimar.[1]
Dedication Pauline de Ahna, composer's wife.
Scoring Voice and piano

"Ruhe, meine Seele!", Op. 27, No. 1, is the first in a set of four songs composed by Richard Strauss in 1894. It was originally for voice and piano, and not orchestrated by Strauss until 1948, after he had completed one of his Four Last Songs, "Im Abendrot".[2] The words are from a poem "Ruhe, meine Seele!" (Rest, my soul) written by the poet Karl Henckell.

History[edit]

Strauss composed the song in May 1894, and that September he gave it as a wedding present to his wife the soprano Pauline de Ahna.

Instrumentation and accompaniment[edit]

The instrumentation is: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in B, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, tuba, 3 timpani, celesta, harp and the orchestral string section.[3]

The accompaniment has sombre and ambiguous harmonies, with contrasting calm and tempestuous episodes, but ends peacefully in the home key of C major.

Lyrics[edit]

Ruhe, meine Seele![4] Rest thee, my Soul[5]

Nicht ein Lüftchen
Regt sich leise,
Sanft entschlummert
Ruht der Hain;
Durch der Blätter
Dunkle Hülle
Stiehlt sich lichter
Sonnenschein.

Ruhe, ruhe,
Meine Seele,
Deine Stürme
Gingen wild,
Hast getobt und
Hast gezittert,
Wie die Brandung,
Wenn sie schwillt.

Diese Zeiten
Sind gewaltig,
Bringen Herz
Und Hirn in Not –
Ruhe, ruhe,
Meine Seele,
Und vergiß,
Und vergiß,
Was dich bedroht!

Not a breath of wind
is stirring,
Hill and Dale
are wrapped in slumber;
Golden through the
sheltering foliage
Summer's Midday
sunbeams peep.

Rest thee, rest thee
troubled spirit,
Thou hast suffered
laboured, toiled,
Thou hast fought
and thou has trembled,
like the stormbeat,
ocean wild.

These times
are momentous,
head and heart
must trouble bear –
Rest thee, rest thee
troubled spirit
and forget
all thy sufferings
will soon be over!

Opus 27[edit]

The other songs of Strauss' Opus 27:

  • Op. 27 No. 2 "Cäcilie" (Wenn du es wüßtest)
  • Op. 27 No. 3 "Heimliche Aufforderung" (Auf, hebe die funkelnde Schale)
  • Op. 27 No. 4 "Morgen!" (Und morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen)

Recordings[edit]

Richard Strauss recorded it twice with himself accompanying on the piano. In 1919 with the baritone Heinrich Schlusnus and again in 1944, with the baritone Alfred Poell.[6]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Trenner, Franz (2003) Richard Strauss Chronik, Verlag Dr Richard Strauss Gmbh, Wien, ISBN 3-901974-01-6, page 116.
  2. ^ This is discussed in the essay "Ruhe, meine Seele! and the Letzte Orchesterlieder" by Timothy L. Jackson, in Richard Strauss and his World by Bryan Randolph Gilliam. Strauss orchestrated "Ruhe, meine Seele" just after completing "Im Abendrot" but before completing the other of the Four Last Songs: "Frühling", "Beim Schlafengehen" and "September". The author suggests that the five songs form a unified song cycle, with reasons for "Ruhe, meine Seele!" to be performed as a prelude to "Im Abendrot".
  3. ^ Richard Strauss Lieder, Complete Edition Vol. IV, London, 1965, Boosey & Hawkes
  4. ^ "Ruhe, meine Seele!", in Moderne Dichter-Charaktere, p. 288, Leipzig 1885
  5. ^ English Lyrics by John Bernhoff, Richard Strauss, Lieder Album (Universal edition 1343-9), Band 2 Number 8. 1904, Leipzig Jos.Aibl Verlag G.M.B.H.
  6. ^ *Getz, Christine (1991), The Lieder of Richard Strauss, chapter 10 in Mark-Daniel Schmid, Richard Strauss Companion, Praeger Publishers, Westfield CT, 2003, ISBN 0-313-27901-2, page 376.

External links[edit]

Orchestral accompaniment

Piano accompaniment