OF foreign lands and peoples

A cultural discovery trip together with the Cortot Institute of arts Shanghai

Music unites and does not know any borders in time and space. People with completely different backgrounds may have the same urging questions and the same thirst for interaction with the sites of bygone lands and with great people of the past.


Being commited to this idea the House of Culture Freiburg went on a discovery trip together with the Cortot Institute of Arts Shanghai.


Wandering on the traces of Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms and with attentive perception of shining relicts of former times.


Hence - being aware of the present times which are growing away from the world of arts - a question imposes itself on our minds:

Could it be that Schumann's Of Foreign Lands and People rather can be regarded as an alienation of the people from erstwhile poetry of bygone times? Are the monuments of artistic creation of the past those of foreign lands and peoples?


Some impressions:



Master student of the Cortot Institute of Arts Shanghai experiencing and enjoying the great and unique sound of the Steingräber & Sons grand piano 205 (model "Franz Liszt") in the House of Culture Ramersbach.




Up there at his look-out

The old knight has fallen asleep;

Rain-storms pass overhead,

And the wood stirs through the portcullis.


Beard and hair matted together,

Ruff and breast turned to stone,

For centuries he’s sat up there

In his silent cell.


Outside it’s quiet and peaceful,

All have gone down to the valley,

Forest birds sing lonely songs

In the empty window-arches.


Down there on the sunlit Rhine

A wedding-party’s sailing by,

Musicians strike up merrily,

And the lovely bride—weeps.









To the distant beloved:


Resounding through all the notes / In the earth's colorful dream / There sounds a faint long-drawn note / For the one who listens in secret.




Where angels and ghosts have been living




You my soul, you my heart,
You my rapture, O you my pain,
You my world in which I live,
My heaven you, to which I aspire,
O you my grave, into which
My grief forever I’ve consigned!
You are repose, you are peace,
You are bestowed on me from heaven.
Your love for me gives me my worth,
Your eyes transfigure me in mine,
You raise me lovingly above myself,
My guardian angel, my better self!




In the Rhine, in the holy river,

Mirrored in its waves,

With its great cathedral,

Stands great and holy Cologne.


In the cathedral hangs a picture,

Painted on gilded leather;

Into my life’s wilderness

It has cast its friendly rays.


Flowers and cherubs hover

Around Our beloved Lady;

Her eyes, her lips, her cheeks

Are the image of my love’s.









The House of Culture Ramersbach and the Cortot Institute of Arts Shanghai.



Somber is the autumn,
and when the leaves fall,
so does the heart sink
into dreary woe.
Silent is the meadow
and to the south have flown
silently all the songbirds,
as if to the grave.

Pale is the day,
and wan clouds veil
the sun as they veil the heart.
Night comes early:
for all work comes to a halt
and existence itself rests in profound secrecy.

Man becomes kindly.
He sees the sun sinking,
he realizes that life is
like the end of a year.
His eye grows moist,
yet in the midst of his tears shines
streaming from the heart
a blissful effusion.




Contrapunctus 1




Yonder light gleams through the willows,

and a pale glimmer

beckons to me from the bedroom

of my sweetheart.


It flickers like a will-o’-the-wisp,

and its reflection sways gently

in the circle

of the undulating lake.


I gaze longingly

into the blue of the waves,

and greet the bright

reflected beam.


And spring to the oar,

and swing the boat

away on its smooth,

crystal course.


My sweetheart slips lovingly

down from her little room,

and joyfully hastens to me

in the boat.


Then the breezes gently

blow us again

out into the lake

from the elder tree on the shore.


The pale evening mists

envelop and veil

our silent, innocent dallying

from prying onlookers.


And as we exchange kisses,

the waves lap,

rising and falling,

to foil eavesdroppers.


Only stars in the far distance

overhear us, and bathe

deep down below the course

of the gliding boat.


So we drift on blissfully,

in the midst of darkness,

high above

the twinkling stars.


Weeping, smiling,

we think we have soared free

of the earth, and are already up above,

on another shore.





O Man! Take heed!
What does the deep midnight say?
‘I was asleep, asleep –,
I have awoken from deep dreams: –
The world is deep,
And deeper than the day imagined.
Deep is its grief!
Joy, deeper still than heartache!
Grief says: Perish!
But all joy seeks eternity –,
– seeks deep, deep eternity!’


O Mensch! O Mensch! Gib acht!
Was spricht, die tiefe Mitternacht?
"Ich schlief, ich schlief -,
Aus tiefem Traum bin ich erwacht: -
Die Welt ist tief,
Und tiefer als der Tag gedacht.
Tief ist ihr Weh -,
Lust - tiefer noch als Herzeleid:
Weh spricht: Vergeh!
Doch alle Lust will Ewigkeit -,
- Will tiefe, tiefe Ewigkeit!"

O Mensch! Gib acht!
Was spricht die tiefe Mitternacht?
„Ich schlief, ich schlief -,
Aus tiefem Traum bin ich erwacht: -
Die Welt ist tief,
Und tiefer als der Tag gedacht.
Tief ist ihr Weh -,
Lust - tiefer noch als Herzeleid:
Weh spricht: Vergeh!
Doch alle Lust will Ewigkeit -
- will tiefe, tiefe Ewigkeit!“