Schumann: Zigeunerleben



      SCORE MARKINGS, DICTION, AND MEMORIZATION:

      With pencil, number the measures in your score consecutively.

      Read these liner notes from the Pacific Northwest Chamber Chorus CD titled "The Romantic Gypsy":

          "Robert Schumann's (1810-1856) fascination with gypsies grew out of his encounter with Emanuel Geibel's 'gypsy poems,' and finally found expression in his Zigeunerleben, opus 29, no. 3. Schumann musically portrays Geibel's colorful description of a gypsy campfire. The piece begins with the mysterious quiet of 'woods filled with shadows and whispering branches,' and then rising vocal lines depict the flames as they 'flare up to illumine the trees. The close of the piece captures the nomadic aspect of gypsy life with the final text, 'But where do they go? Who knows where?'"


      Read this English translation:

          In the shadows of the forest, among the beechtrees,
          something moves and rustles and whispers all at once.
          Flames are flickering, their glow dances
          Around colorful figures, around leaves and rocks:
          It is the roaming band of gypsies
          With flashing eyes andwaving hair,
          weaned on the holy waters of the Nile,
          tanned by Spain's scorching sun.

          Around the fire in the swelling green forest
          Wild and bold men are resting,
          women squat to prepare the meal,
          and busily fill ancient goblets.
          And tales and songs resound all around,
          telling how the gardens in Spain are so full
          of bloom, so full of color;
          and words of magic to ward off need and danger
          the wise old woman recites for the listening crowd.

          Dark-eyed girls begin their dance
          While torches flicker inredish glow;
          The guitar casts its lure and the cymbal sounds;
          The dance grows wild and wilder.
          Then they rest, weary from the night of dance,
          and the beeches rustle them to sleep.
          And, banned as they are from their blissful homeland,
          they see it in their dreams, that happy land.

          But now, when the morning awakes in the east,
          so vanish the beautiful visions of the night;
          at daybreak the mules paw the ground,
          the figures move away-who knows where?


      Download and use these German Diction Guidelines (.pdf file).

      With score in hand, listen to and master the German Diction by (a) clicking on the phrases as many times as necessary to hear and be able to repeat the diction, and (b) writing in your score memory aids/markings to assist you.

      Copy and paste this text into your word processor, then print out to use for memory practice:

          Im Schatten des Waldes, im Buchengezweig
          da regt's sich und raschelt und flüstert zugleich.
          Es flackern die Flammen, es gaukelt der Schein
          um bunte Gestalten, um Laub und Gestein.

          Das ist der Zigeuner bewegte Schar
          mit blitzendem Aug' und wallendem Haar,
          gesäugt an des Niles geheiligter Flut,
          gebräunt von Hispaniens südlicher Glut.

          Um's lodernde Feuer in schwellendem Grün
          da lagern die Männer verwildert und kühn,
          da kauern die Weiber und rüsten das Mahl
          und füllen geschäftig den alten Pokal.

          Und Sagen und Lieder ertönen im Rund,
          wie Spaniens Gärten so blühend und bunt,
          und magische Sprüche für Not und Gefahr
          verkündet die Alte der horchenden Schar.

          Schwarzäugige Mädchen beginnen den Tanz,
          da sprühen die Fackeln in rötlichem Glanz,
          es lockt die Gitarre, die Cymbel klingt,
          wie wild und wilder der Reigen sich schwingt.

          Dann ruh'n sie ermüdet vom nächtlichen Reih'n;
          es rauschen die Buchen in Schlummer sie ein.
          Und die aus der glücklichen Heimat verbannt,
          sie schauen im Träume das glückliche Land.

          Doch wie nun im Osten der Morgen erwacht,
          verlöschen die schönen Gebilde der Nacht;
          es scharret das Maultier bei Tagesbeginn,
          fort zieh'n die Gestalten, wer sagt dir, wohin?


      For further information about the form of this composition, click here.