Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857)

Eichendorff, Joseph von
© StadtMuseum Bonn

There were a total of three encounters between Robert Schumann and the poet Joseph von Eichendorff during Schumann’s stay in Vienna in 1847, including at the farewell morning recital of the Schumanns in their own flat, attended by Eichendorff and his children and which Schumann still recalled in his last letter to Bettine von Arnim, sent from Endenich in 1855.
On this occasion, Eichendorff dedicated a few lines to the Schumann spouses, entered in their family album. He is said to have assured Clara Schumann that Schumann’s settings only had given life to his poems, some of which were performed at that morning recital.
 
Schumann’s lieder after poems by Eichendorff were created between May and June 1840 and then published in 1842 entitledLiederkreis [“Song Cycle”] Op. 39. This song cycle, however, was premiered at the Gürzenich festival hall in Cologne in 1862 only.
 
Schumann’s dealing with Eichendorffis also documented by poetic quotations in his NeueZeitschriftfürMusik [“New Journal for Music”] and DichtergartenfürMusik [“Poets’ Garden for Music”]. Along with the 12 lieder from Liederkreis, Schumann set to music more Eichendorff poems in Romanzen und Balladen [“Romances and Ballads”] Op. 45/1-2, DreiGesänge [“Three Partsongs”] Op. 83/3, Lieder und Gesänge [“Songs and Partsongs”] Op. 77.1, and Romanzen und Balladen [“Romances and Ballads”] Op. 75/3.
 
Sigrid Lange, translated by Thomas Henninger

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