Waldszenen, (Forest Scenes) Op. 82 is one of Schumann’s last piano works. It consists of nine short pieces all with (sometimes enigmatic) titles.
This is no ordinary leaf-mold-under-foot, dappled-sunlight sort of forest but a magical one out of the fairy stories of Grimm and Perrault and; while many of the pieces are jolly evocations of hunters, wayside inns and pleasant scenery; the work certainly has its darker side – Verrufene Stelle (Cursed Place) is prefixed by a quotation from the poet Christian Friedrich Hebbel:
Die Blumen, so hoch sie wachsen,
Sind blass hier, wie der Tod;
Nur eine in der Mitte
Steht da, im dunkeln Roth.
Die hat es nicht von der Sonne:
Nie traf sie deren Gluth;
Sie hat es von der Erde,
Und die trank Menschenblut.
(The flowers that grow so high here,
Are pale, like death;
Only one, there in the center
Stands, a dark red.
The color comes not from the sun:
It never met its rays;
It comes from the earth,
Which drank of human blood.)
while Vogel als Prophet (Prophet Bird) was originally – Schumann later removed the text – preceded by a stern admonition from the poet Eichendorff to “Be careful, stay alert and watchful!”
- Eintritt (Entrance)
- Jäger auf der Lauer (Hunter in Ambush)
- Einsame Blumen (Lonely Flowers)
- Verrufene Stelle (Cursed Place)
- Freundliche Landschaft (Friendly Landscape)
- Herberge (Country Inn)
- Vogel als Prophet (Prophet Bird)
- Jagdlied (Hunting Song)
- Abschied (Farewell)
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