‘Widmung’ (Rückert) and ‘Stille Liebe’ (Kerner)
 Facsimile of the Autograph MS with Schumann’s Dedication in The Juilliard Manuscript Collection, New York
ith Critical Appreciation by Michael Musgrave

Schumann, "Widmung" autograph

Of all the many works inspired by his beloved wife Clara Wieck/ Schumann, Robert Schumann’s song ‘Widmung’ is probably the very best known. Not only for its title, ‘Dedication’, but for its ecstatic text by Friedrich Rückert beginning ‘Du meine Seele, du mein Herz’ (‘You my soul, you my heart’), that seems to capture all their joy and relief in finally being able to anticipate marriage, after the opposition of Clara’s autocratic father and piano teacher Friedrich Wieck. The wedding took place on 12 September 1840, the day before Clara’s 21st birthday, at the church at Schönefeld, then on the outskirts of Leipzig. Moreover, ‘Widmung’ stands at the head of the collection ‘Myrthen’ that Schumann dedicated specifically to Clara as a wedding gift. And in the piano transcription by Liszt, the song soon reached (and still reaches) a much wider audience. The songs of the ‘Myrthen’ collection were among the first of the flood of songs Schumann produced in his ‘Year of Song’ 1840: up until that year he had never published any songs. They were written in February 1840, Robert explaining to Clara on 22nd of the month: ‘Since yesterday I have written 24 sides of music ...and I laughed and cried for joy... O Clara, what joy it is to write for the voice’.  Only two MS copies of ‘Widmung’ are now known to have existed, and only one, reproduced here along with the song ‘Stille Liebe’, is known to be extant. This copy has a clear provenance and personal associations, and is the only known dedicated manuscript copy. It is signed and inscribed by the composer to ‘Frau Majorin Serre / zu freundlicher Erinnerung / Robert Schumann’.  The manuscript strikingly displays Schumann’s characteristically precise, small, quickly written, yet elegant hand, on manuscript paper printed for solo voice, piano treble/bass with ledger lines in groups of one plus two staves. (Michael Musgrave)

Schumann, Myrthen op.25

Title page of first printed edition with autograph dedication
Clara & Robert Schumann portraits c.1840
Portraits of Clara and Robert Schumann, made around the time of their wedding

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This edition has been underwritten by Mr. David Tyler of London on the occasion of his marriage to the pianist Margaret Fingerhut on July 7, 2017. The facsimile, presented as a surprise to his bride, follows the spirit of Robert Schumann's original gift of the ‛Myrthen’ cycle to Clara for their wedding in 1840.

Schumann, "Widmung" facsimile, cover

Salzburg, 2017. Oblong 33 x 25 cm, ix, 8, iii pp. Hardbound
ISBN 978 1 5272 0957 2
The facsimile is available in two versions:
*velvet bound w/gold lettering $195
linen bound w/gold lettering  $125

*Robert Schumann commissioned his original gift to be bound in red velvet and gold embossed

Thomas Quasthoff singing ‛Widmung’ in a 2004 performance with pianist Justus Zeyen

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