Program Notes from Ralph B. Woodward: Moonlit Night

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Moonlit Night (Mondnacht) by Robert Schumann

In many ways, I relate more to the music of Robert Scumann than any other composers of the German Romantic Era,  and this is one of the greatest of all his songs.
The characteristic interplay between piano and voice is exquisite, and the overall effect of the song is simply transporting (especially as sung by these young voices).  As with all our settings of such music, the accompaniment  is left untouched, the vocal parts enhanced with appropriate harmonies only sparingly and at strategic points. I don’t think this song can ever be programmed too often.
Text of the English translation sung by our choir:

 

It seemed as if, serenely, by heav’n the earth were kissed
That she so bright and queenly must dream of heav’nly rest

 

The breeze was lightly straying through cornfields waving light
and forest leaves were sighing as starlit was the night

 

And my rapt soul, her pinions, in eager joy out spread,
moved o’er the earth’s dominions as homeward on she sped.

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