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For Valentine’s Day, I give you Ich grolle nicht from Schumann’s Dichterliebe.

Dichterliebe, Poet’s Love, is the best song cycle ever written. I won’t back away from that and say, it’s my favorite or, in my opinion it’s the best. It is the best song cycle ever written.

Perhaps I should clarify what a song cycle is.

A song cycle is a group of short songs composed around a common theme. Often it is a setting of a collection of poetry.

In the case of Dichterliebe, the poems are by Heinrich Heine and are from his collection Lyrisches Intermezzo.

There are sixteen songs in the cycle and I will write of them from time to time.

I have chosen number seven for Valentine’s Day because it is angry and dark. To combat the syrupy, sappy, commercial aspects of Valentine’s Day, here is the translation of song number seven, Ich grolle nicht.

“I have no grudge, even though my heart may break, eternally love lost. Though you stand in a field of diamonds, no ray falls into your heart’s darkness. I have long known it. For I saw you in a dream. And saw the darkness in your heart, and I saw the snake that feeds upon your heart. I saw, my love, how empty you are. I have no grudge.”

Or in other words, "Whatever, I don't even care."

Happy V Day!


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nan shartel Feb. 16, 2011 @ 2:22 p.m.

those gotdamnedgermans really know how to ruin a holiday



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