Du bist wie eine Blume

Du bist wie eine Blume

Du bist wie eine Blume

Schumann's "Du bist wie eine Blume" turned into my theme song this semester.  I assigned it to many of my students and enjoyed watching them evolve and grow with the piece throughout the semester.  It is ideal for learning legato, refining diction, and establishing an open throat.

I, myself, tackled this song in my Analytical Performance theory class.  The most edifying element of this theory project was to listen to and analyze many recordings by the great singers.  Indeed, how much we singers can learn from listening and meditating on the musical choices, artistry, and technique of those few iconic singers who have risen to the level of "great."  Among the many recordings I heard, two stood out as superior in every way: baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with pianist Christoph Eschenbach, and baritone Thomas Quasthoff with pianist Justus Zeyen.  Exquisite.  I learned much from listening to these recordings and also from analyzing the piece alongside my professor, Dr. Timothy Jackson.  

Here is a class performance that was performed directly following an in-class analysis and discussion earlier in the semester: <Du bist wie eine Blume>.  After listening to impeccable interpretations by Dietrich Fischer Diskau and Thomas Quasthoff, among others, it is difficult to put my performance forward for listening ears.  I offer it not as a finished product but as a song in process.  Though, granted, is not every performance eternally in process?  ... Perhaps that is a question to dissect another time.

Du bist wie eine Blume

Du bist wie eine Blume
Du bist wie eine Blume,
So hold und schön und rein;
Ich schau' dich an, und Wehmut
Schleicht mir ins Herz hinein.
Mir ist, als ob ich die Hände
Aufs Haupt dir legen sollt',
Betend, daß Gott dich erhalte
So rein und schön und hold.
       Heinrich Heine, 1823
You Are So Like a Flower
You are so like a flower,
So lovely and beautiful and pure;
I gaze on you, and grief
Creeps into my heart.
I feel as though I should
Lay my hands upon your head,
Praying to God that He keep you
So pure and beautiful and lovely.