Resounding Verse

Letzter Wunsch (Last Wish): Julius Sturm and Marie von Kehler

December 15, 2022 Season 2 Episode 4
Resounding Verse
Letzter Wunsch (Last Wish): Julius Sturm and Marie von Kehler
Show Notes

We know very little about the German composer Marie von Kehler (1822–1882), who served as a "lady in waiting" to a princess and seems to have been acquainted with Johannes Brahms. But we do know that she wrote over eighty songs that were published over a decade after her death—none of which had ever been recorded until Stephan Loges and Jocelyn Freeman recorded four of them for my website Art Song Augmented. This episode looks at one of the best Kehler song's, a setting of a poem by Julius Sturm about a strange prayer that someone says to a beloved who has wounded him.

For more information on Marie von Kehler's songs, go to her page on Art Song Augmented and check out my blog post on her on the Women's Song Forum.

Nur einmal möcht' ich dir noch sagen
Julius Sturm

Nur einmal möcht' ich dir noch sagen,
Wie du unendlich lieb mir bist,
Wie dich, so lang mein Herz wird schlagen,
Auch meine Seele nie vergißt.

Kein Wörtlein solltest du erwidern,
Nur freundlich mir in's Auge sehn,
Ja, mit gesenkten Augenlidern
Nur stumm und schweigend vor mir stehn.

Ich aber legte meine Hände
Dir betend auf das schöne Haupt,
Damit dir Gott den Frieden sende,
Den meiner Seele du geraubt.


Just once yet I would like to tell you
How endlessly dear you are to me,
How as long as my heart still beats
My soul, too, will never forget you.

You need not reply with a single word,
Just look kindly into my eyes,
Yes, with lowered eyelids
Just stand before me, speechless and quiet.

But I laid my hands
Prayerfully upon your beautiful head,
So that God might send you the peace
That you have stolen from me.

Thanks to Sharon Krebs for her help with the English translation.