Du bist die Ruh, D. 776; Op. 59, No. 3

Winding my way down an Internet rabbit hole this afternoon, I found a beautiful piece by Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), “Du bist die Ruh” (“You are repose,” or “You are rest and peace”). Schubert wrote music, for solo voice and piano, to four poems by German poet Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866). Today’s selection is the third of that set.

I found numerous versions of this piece by various artists. The first one I listened to, sung by American soprano Renée Fleming accompanied by German pianist and conductor Christoph Eschenbach, is the one I was most drawn to as Fleming’s exquisite vocal and the delicate playing of Eschenbach so beautifully evoke the sensual love of the poetry.

I also found a translation of the poem, which Rückert had originally left untitled, then later named “Kehr ein bei mir” (“Stay with me”).

You are repose
and gentle peace.
You are longing
and what stills it.

Full of joy and grief
I consecrate to you
my eyes and my heart
as a dwelling place.

Come in to me
and softly close
the gate
behind you.

Drive all other grief
from my breast.
Let my heart
be full of your joy.

The temple of my eyes
is lit
by your radiance alone:
O, fill it wholly!

Translation © Richard Wigmore, author of Schubert: The Complete Song Texts, published by Schirmer Books, provided courtesy of Oxford Lieder (www.oxfordlieder.co.uk)

The performance by Fleming and Eschenbach is genuinely captivating. What a blissful discovery!

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today, on Classical Sunday. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio from Renée Fleming’s official YouTube channel:

This will be my last Classical Sunday post until I resume blogging in September after taking a break through July and August.

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