Kennst du das Land

I listened to this recording on CD last night and couldn’t resist sharing it on here because it’s so lovely. It’s Hugo Wolf‘s  setting of a poem by Goethe,  called Mignon’s Song, which is actually a reminiscence about Italy (hence the distinctly Italianate flavour of the images in the video).  I’ve actually posted the verse before;  I learned it at school, where I studied German for one year before giving it up to concentrate on science subjects.

I had a rather eccentric teacher who thought the best way to learn a language was to read poetry rather than learning how to say banal things like “Please can you direct me to the railway station?”. It wasn’t a very good idea from an educational point of view, but at least it left me with bits of German poetry still in my head over 30 years later. I can still remember every word of this wonderful poem…

Kennst du das Land wo die Zitronen Blühn,
Im dunklen Laub die Gold-Orangen glühn,
Ein sanfter Wind vom blauen Himmel weht,
Die Myrte still und hoch der Lorbeer steht,
Kennst du es wohl?
Dahin! Dahin,
Möcht ich mit dir, o mein Geliebter, ziehn.

Kennst du das Haus? Auf Säulen ruht sein Dach,
Es glänzt der Saal, es schimmert das Gemach,
Und Marmorbilder stehn und sehn mich an:
Was hat man dir, du armes Kind getan?
Kennst du es wohl?
Dahin! Dahin
Möcht ich mit dir, o mein Beschützer, ziehn!

Kennst du den Berg und seinen Wolkensteg?
Das Maultier sucht im Nebel seinen weg:
In Höhlen wohnt der Drachen alte Brut;
Es stürzt der Fels und über ihn die Flut,
Kennst du ihn wohl?
Dahin! Dahin
Geht unser weg! o Vater, laß uns ziehn!

For an English translation you can look here. But  here it is in its beautiful musical setting by Hugo Wolf,  as performed by the inimitable Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Gorgeous.

 

One Response to “Kennst du das Land”

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