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Zur Rosenzeit Analysis

The translations from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s (1749-1832) “Wehmut” from Erwin und Elmire was set (and partially repeated) in the Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) setting for “Zur Rosenzeit” follows. This song was posthumousely published with five other songs in  his op.48, and “Zur Rosenzeit” falls as the fifth song in this unofficial ‘cycle’.

Ihr verblühet, süße Rosen,                           You are wilting, sweet roses
Meine Liebe trug euch nicht;                        my love could not sustain you.
Blühtet, ach! dem Hoffnungslosen,            Bloom for hopelessness then,
Dem der Gram die Seele bricht!                   for he whose soul is breaking from sorrow!

Jener Tage denk’ ich  trauernd,                   I think mournfully of those days,
Als ich, Engel, an dir hing,                             when I hung on you, angel,
Auf das erste Knöspchen lauernd               waiting for your first little bud,
Früh zu meinem Garten ging;                       and going to my garden early;

Alle Blüten, alle Früchte                                 Every blossom, every fruit
Noch zu deinen Füßen trug                            I carried to your feet;
Und vor deinem Angesichte                         and before your countenance,
[Hoffnung in dem]1 Herzen schlug.            hope throbbed in my heart.

Der auf erste Knöspchen lauernd                Bloom for him who waits for your first bud,
früh zu seinem Garten ging,                           going to his garden early;
ach der Tage denk ich trauernd,                  alas, I think mournfully of those days
als ich Engel an dir hing.                                 when I hung on you, my angel.

(English translation by Emily Ezust)

For graphing and interpretation purposes, please note that Grieg chose to set the entire first stanza again at the end of his song. This does have a significant impact on graphing choices.

Embedded below is a live performance of this song for your listening pleasure.

*After this morning’s presentation I will upload my Schenker graphs for viewing.

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