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Du bist die Ruh'

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Wikipedia article


"'" (You are rest and peace), D. 776; Op. 59, No. 3 is a Lied composed by Franz Schubert (17971828) in 1823. The text is from a set of poems by the German poet Friedrich Rckert (17881866). It is the third poem in a set of four. This song is set for solo voice and piano.

Description and analysis

Rckert's poem was originally untitled. Schubert used the poem's first line as the title of the song. Rckert later titled his poem "" (Stay with me).

Franz Liszt transcribed many of Schubert's songs for piano, including "" (S. 558/3). The melody and harmonies are all Schubert's but with the addition of Liszt's own interpretation, while still staying true to the original meaning of Rckert's poem.

The piece is in triple meter and is marked larghetto (fairly slow) and pianissimo (very soft). The piece is in bar form and its original key is E-flat major. It starts with both hands playing broken triads softly and slowly in treble clef.

The simplicity of the melody makes this piece that much more difficult to sing as it requires perfect legato and breath control. Any inconsistencies in the sound can disrupt the 'peace' of the poem. Schubert sets tender and gentle themes to Rckert's words, and the simplicity of the piano line further enhances the meaning of the song. The progression of the harmonies repeat with the bar form, always establishing the key of the piece. With a pianissimo and larghetto marking and the piano part light in texture, Schubert sets up the poem for the first few lines, "You are the calm, the mild peace", in the introduction.

The piece has five stanzas. The first and second verses are almost exactly identical to the third and fourth, with the exception of one note. The fifth (and final) verse is the start of the B section (""). Both the piano and the voice have a marking of pianissimo up until measure 57, when there is finally a crescendo. This is in the first few bars of the B section. In measure 59, Schubert marks forte. Here is the climax as well as the highest note of the piece along with a decrescendo. There is then a bar of rest and Schubert marks the next entrance at pianissimo once again. Perhaps this is to reinforce the mood of the song. "What could be more restful than silence?" Schubert repeats this text, thereby creating a sixth verse. He then ends the vocal line on the dominant (B-flat), which leaves the piano to resolve the harmony. Throughout the piece, Schubert sets words like "joy" on the tonic, and words like "pain" on the dominant harmonies.


Du bist die Ruh',

der Friede mild,

die Sehnsucht du,

und was sie stillt.

Ich weihe dir

voll Lust und Schmerz

zur Wohnung hier

mein Aug' und Herz.

Kehr' ein bei mir,

und schliee du

still hinter dir

die Pforten zu.

Treib' andern Schmerz

aus dieser Brust!

Voll sei dies Herz

von deiner Lust.

Dies Augenzelt,

von deinem Glanz

allein erhellt,

O fll es ganz!

You are the calm,

the mild peace,

you my longing

and what stills it.

I consecrate to you

full of joy and grief

to dwell here

my eye and heart.

Come in to me,

and softly close

the gates

behind you.

Drive other pain

from this breast.

Full be my heart

of your joy.

The canopy of my eyes

by your splendour

alone is lit,

O, fill it completely!

Other settings

"Du bist die Ruh" was also set to music by Fanny Mendelssohn in her Opus 7 in 1839.


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