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Songs

Frohe Botschaft

by Hugo Wolf

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This song was recorded live at the Oxford Lieder Festival as part of Hugo Wolf: The Complete Songs on Stone Records.
Click here to listen to this song with Daniel Norman and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.

Text & Translation

View IPA

Frohe Botschaft
German source: Robert Reinick

Hielt die allerschönste Herrin
Einst mein Herz so eng gefesselt,
Dass kein Wort es konnte sprechen
Aus den engen Fesseln.

Sandt’ es ab als flinke Diener
Feurig schnelle Liebesblicke,
Zu besprechen sich im stillen
Mit der Herrin Blicken.

Sandt’ es Pagen, fein und listig;
Heimlich schlichen hin die Finger,
Schmiegten leise sich und bittend
An die schönsten Finger.

Sandt’ es ab zwei kühne Boten;
Sind die Lippen gar verwogen
An der Herrin Mund geflogen,
Botschaft sich zu holen.

„Nun, ihr Boten, Pagen, Diener!
Welche Botschaft bringt ihr wieder,
Haben Augen, Finger, Lippen
Nichts mir zu verkünden?“

Und voll Freuden rufen Alle:
Juble, Herz! und lass das Zagen,
Deine Herrin sendet Gnade,
Deine Bande fallen!

Glad tidings
English translation © Richard Stokes

My fairest lady once held
My heart so closely fettered,
That it could utter no word
In those tight chains.

So it despatched as nimble servants
Swift and fiery loving glances
To converse in silence
With my lady’s glances.

It despatched pages, elegant and artful;
Fingers slipped furtively
And pleadingly
Between my fair one’s fingers.

It despatched two bold messengers;
And lips were brazen enough
To fly to my lady’s lips,
To return with messages.

“Now, you messengers, pages and servants,
What tidings do you bring back?
Have eyes, fingers, lips
Nothing to report to me?”

And all of them cry with joy:
Rejoice, heart, and fear no more,
Your lady pardons you,
And unties your chains!’

Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Frohe Botschaft
German source: Robert Reinick

Glad tidings
English source: Richard Stokes

Hielt die allerschönste Herrin
My fairest lady once held
Einst mein Herz so eng gefesselt,
My heart so closely fettered,
Dass kein Wort es konnte sprechen
That it could utter no word
Aus den engen Fesseln.
In those tight chains.

Sandt’ es ab als flinke Diener
So it despatched as nimble servants
Feurig schnelle Liebesblicke,
Swift and fiery loving glances
Zu besprechen sich im stillen
To converse in silence
Mit der Herrin Blicken.
With my lady’s glances.

Sandt’ es Pagen, fein und listig;
It despatched pages, elegant and artful;
Heimlich schlichen hin die Finger,
Fingers slipped furtively
Schmiegten leise sich und bittend
And pleadingly
An die schönsten Finger.
Between my fair one’s fingers.

Sandt’ es ab zwei kühne Boten;
It despatched two bold messengers;
Sind die Lippen gar verwogen
And lips were brazen enough
An der Herrin Mund geflogen,
To fly to my lady’s lips,
Botschaft sich zu holen.
To return with messages.

„Nun, ihr Boten, Pagen, Diener!
“Now, you messengers, pages and servants,
Welche Botschaft bringt ihr wieder,
What tidings do you bring back?
Haben Augen, Finger, Lippen
Have eyes, fingers, lips
Nichts mir zu verkünden?“
Nothing to report to me?”

Und voll Freuden rufen Alle:
And all of them cry with joy:
Juble, Herz! und lass das Zagen,
Rejoice, heart, and fear no more,
Deine Herrin sendet Gnade,
Your lady pardons you,
Deine Bande fallen!
And unties your chains!’

Composer

Hugo Wolf

Hugo Filipp Jakob Wolf was born on 13 March 1860, the fourth of six surviving children, in Windischgraz, Styria, then part of the Austrian Empire. He was taught the piano and violin by his father at an early age and continued to study piano at the…

Poet

Robert Reinick

Robert Reinick was a German painter and poet, associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. One of his poems, Dem Vaterland, was set to music by Hugo Wolf. Reinick was born in Danzig (Gdańsk) and died in Dresden. Taken from Wikipedia. To view…

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