Gretchen am Spinnerade

🎼🎶 Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The best-known song from Goethe’s “Faust” is Franz Schubert’s setting of “Gretchen am Spinnrade” (Gretchen at the spinning wheel), which Schubert composed when he was just 16 years old.

As the story goes, after making his pact with the devil, Faust catches sight of the pious young woman Gretchen and makes her the object of his lust, in which he is aided by Mephistopheles and a busybody neighbor. Poor Gretchen is tormented by her infatuation, which borders on obsession.

My peace is gone
My heart is heavy;
I shall never
Ever find peace again.

When he’s not with me,
Life’s like the grave;
The whole world
Is turned to gall.

My poor head
Is crazed,
My poor mind
Shattered.

My peace is gone
My heart is heavy;
I shall never
Ever find peace again.

It’s only for him
I gaze from the window,
It’s only for him
I leave the house.

His proud bearing
His noble form,
The smile on his lips,
The power of his eyes,
And the magic flow
Of his words,
The touch of his hand,
And ah, his kiss!

My peace is gone
My heart is heavy;
I shall never
Ever find peace again.

My bosom
Yearns for him.
Ah! if I could clasp
And hold him,
And kiss him
To my heart’s content,
And in his kisses
Perish!

My peace is gone
My heart is heavy...

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  • John Scialdone
    published this page in Daily Beethoven 2021-05-25 08:42:50 -0400

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