Emanuel Geibel (1815-1884)

Emanuel Geibel (1815-1884)
Emanuel Geibel, steel engraving, StadtMuseum Bonn, Signatur: SMB 2015/1

Emanuel Geibel (1815-1884)

In 1840, the first poems by Emanuel Geibel were published in Berlin by publisher Duncker. These met with Robert Schumann’s interest, who studied them intensively, as well as subsequent publications by this poet, recorded some of them in his "Gedichtabschriften" [Transcripts of Poems] and in "Dichtergarten" [A Poet’s Garden = The composer’s poets] and even set them to music. In 1840, Schumann composed "Drei Gedichte für mehrstimmigen Gesang und Klavier" [Three Poems for Part Song and Piano], Op. 29, and "Drei Gedichte für Singstimme und Klavier" [Three Poems for Voice and Piano] after poems by Geibel, amongst which "Hidalgo" (Op. 30/3) which Schumann had written on the occasion of the court approval of his marriage with Clara Wieck, and "Zigeunerleben" [Gypsy Life] (Op. 29/3), his only choral song. The "Spanische Liebeslieder" [Spanish Love Songs], Op. 74, are also based on poems by Emanuel Geibel. For the ballad "Vom Pagen und der Königstochter für Soli, Chor und Orchester" [About the Page and the King’s Daughter for Soli, Choir and Orchestra], Op. 140, completed in 1852, Schumann again chose texts by this North German poet. In 1848, Clara Schumann presented her husband on his 38th birthday with her own composition, "Drei gemischte Chöre" [Three Mixed Choirs] after poems by Geibels, which had been rehearsed with various soloists beforehand. Her "Sechs Lieder mit Begleitung des Pianoforte" [Six Songs with Accompaniment of the Pianoforte], Op. 13, again included three songs after Geibel’s poems, of which Clara had presented "Liebeszauber" [Spell of Love], Op. 13/3) after Geibel together with the song "Sie liebten sich beide" [They Both Loved Each Other], Op. 13/2 after Heine, on Robert Schumann’s birthday in 1842 already.
Robert Schumann and Geibel who, like Schumann, had done a doctorate “in absentia” in Jena, personally met in Dresden in 1846.

(Sigrid Lange, translated by Thomas Henninger)

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