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In this online edition you can find additional information for our IPA edition of Robert Schumann’s Liederkreis, op. 39.

Further, linguistically relevant procedures and decisions are explained in the critical report.

Critical Report

Since this edition has a focus on pronunciation when singing, the critical report is deliberately kept short. However, we would like to comment on some fundamental philological, musicological, and linguistic decisions.

The IPA-transcription was highlighted with bold text, enabling us to omit square brackets or slashes that usually mark a phonetic or phonological transcription.

Primary and secondary stresses are assigned according to stresses in spoken words. They do not necessarily have to correspond to the musical phrase. Accentuations are not indicated, but usually result from the musical phrase.

Syllables are not, as usual, marked by punctuation, but with hyphens. As in the orthographic text, we also use underscores at the word ends to facilitate the reading of the transcription.

When consonants occur at the end of a syllable in the middle of a word, they are systematically moved to the onset of the following syllable. This rule is only deviated from in exceptional cases, such as the combination with extremely short note values. This approach becomes particularly comprehensible in combination with longer note values and melismas: Many singers aim at staying on sonorous sounds like vowels as long as possible.

Diphthongs are transcribed in a completely different way than when speaking, as you can see in figure 3 (chapter »IPA for German«). It is also considered that when singing, the first vowel of the diphthong is usually sung longer than the second vowel or the transition from one vowel to the other, which cannot be recorded in the transcription, or only inadequately. The transmission of the second vowel in each case can be, amongst other reasons, explained by the often-low position of the larynx in classical singing technique.

As described in our introduction to »IPA for German«, the »r« in German can be pronounced in various ways. Due to this complexity, we decided to go with the simplest variant, usually the low Schwa. But here, it is possible to adapt the pronunciation according to your own preferences and interpretation. Thus, at these points, the transcriptions are suggestions rather than static guidelines.

The aspiration of consonants is not transcribed as it is predictable due to phonological rules and also tends to be less when singing than when speaking. This applies especially for soloist singing, as it is the case here.

In some cases, a liaison indicates that there are originally two words, which, due to the spelling or composition, are to be pronounced as one word. In this way, we ensure smooth attribution of the transcription to the original orthographic text.

The original spelling of the lyrics from the 1895 edition was maintained and not altered or normalised. We generally assume that old spelling can point to certain conventions of pronunciation. In this edition, for example, the use of »th« instead of a simple »t« could suggest a stronger aspiration of the consonant. Thus the original spelling of “Gross” (m. 17, no. 3 »Waldesgespräch«) has also been preserved.

The performance instructions of the individual songs, as well as indications such as »ritard.« or »Im Tempo«, correspond to the 1850 edition, but their spelling has been standardised. The score has been revised according to modern rules of musical notation: Appoggiaturas and acciaccatura are always linked to the main note with a slur, and triplets without a continuous beam are market with brackets.

There are a few cases where the 1895 edition does not clearly indicate the position of dynamic signs, especially hairpins. We adapted them accordingly to the phrase. Trills, staccati and clearly recognizable accents are in accordance with the original print of 1850 by Whistling.


English Translation

The LiederNet archive provides several translations of the original song texts. One is by Emily Ezust, the other one is a singable version by Shula Keller, which is (re)printed with kind permission on the archive’s webpage: https://www.lieder.net/lieder/assemble_texts.html?SongCycleId=39

Further reading

The following selection of literature serves to provide a more detailed picture of Robert Schumann’s song oeuvre and especially his song cycles. In spite of the clear preponderance of German-language research results, contributions from the English-speaking world have been included in roughly equal measure, so that the present list should also be of interest to foreign speakers.

An overview of Robert Schumann’s song oeuvre in general is provided by:

  • Tewinkel, Christiane: »Lieder«, in: Schumann Handbuch, ed. by Ulrich Tadday, Stuttgart/Kassel 2006, pp. 400-457 (ISBN: 978-3-476-01671-3).

For an overview of the Liederkreis op. 39, the following articles and monographs are particularly suitable:

  • Andraschke, Peter: »Liederkreis nach Joseph Freiherrn von Eichendorff für eine Singstimme und Klavier op. 39«, in: Robert Schumann: Interpretationen seiner Werke, Bd. 1, ed. by Helmut Loos, Laaber 2005, pp. 205-213 (ISBN: 978-3-89007-447-4).

  • Brinkmann, Reinhold: Schumann und Eichendorff: Studien zum Liederkreis Opus 39 (= Musik-Konzepte 95), München 1997 (ISBN: 978-3-88377-522-7).

  • Ferris, David: Schumann’s Eichendorff Liederkreis and the genre of the romantic cycle, New York 2001 (ISBN: 978-0-19-512447-7).

  • Knaus, Herwig: Musiksprache und Werkstruktur in Robert Schumanns »Liederkreis«: mit dem Faksimile des Autographs, München 1974 (ISBN: 978-3-87397-029-8).

Further titles dealing with special research questions concerning Schumann’s Eichendorff-Liederkreis:

  • Andraschke, Peter: »Schumann und Eichendorff. Zur Rezeption von Schumanns Liederkreis op. 39«, in: Schumann und seine Dichter: Bericht über das 4. Internationale Schumann-Symposion am 13. und 14. Juni 1991 im Rahmen des 4. Schumann-Festes, Düsseldorf (= Schumann Forschungen 4), ed. by Matthias Wendt, Mainz 1993, pp. 159-172 (ISBN: 3-7957-0238-0).

  • Finson, Jon W.: »The Intentional Tourist: Romantic Irony in the Eichendorff Liederkreis of Robert Schumann«, in: Schumann and his world, ed. by R. Larry Todd, Princeton (NJ) 2014, pp. 156-170 (ISBN: 978-0-6916-0702-3).

  • Mosley, David L.: Gesture, sign, and song: an interdisciplinary approach to Schumann’s Liederkreis opus 39, New York et al. 1990 (ISBN: 978-0-8204-1102-6).

  • Taylor, Benedict: »Absent Subjects and Empty Centers«, in: 19th-Century Music 40/3 (2017), pp. 201-222 (ISSN: 15338606).