"Du bist die Ruh'" (You are rest and peace), D. 776; Op. 59, No. 3 is a Lied composed by Franz Schubert (1797–1828) in 1823. The text is from a set of poems by the German poet Friedrich Rückert (1788–1866). It is the third poem in a set of four. This song is set for solo voice and piano.
Description and analysis
Rückert's poem was originally untitled. Schubert used the poem's first line as the title of the song. Rückert later titled his poem "Kehr ein bei mir" (Stay with me).
Franz Liszt transcribed many of Schubert's songs for piano, including "Du bist die Ruh" (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 Rückert's poem.
The piece is in triple meter (3
8) 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 Rückert'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 peace, the mild peace," in the introduction.
The piece has five verses. 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 ("Dies Augenzelt, von deinem Glanz allein erhellt, o füll es ganz!"). 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 "pleasure" 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 schließe du
still hinter dir
die Pforten zu.
Treib' andern Schmerz
aus dieser Brust!
Voll sei dies Herz
von deiner Lust.
von deinem Glanz
O füll es ganz!
- John Reed (15 August 1997). The Schubert Song Companion. Manchester University Press. pp. 208–9. ISBN 978-1-901341-00-3.
- Paul Terry; David Bowman (1 September 2004). A Student's Guide to AS Music for the AQA Specification. Rhinegold Publishing Ltd. pp. 70–1. ISBN 978-1-904226-61-1.
- Jonathan Retzlaff; Cheri Montgomery (11 May 2012). Exploring Art Song Lyrics: Translation and Pronunciation of the Italian, German & French Repertoire. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 213–4. ISBN 978-0-19-977532-3.
- Kellner, Stephen. "Analysis – Schubert's "Du bist die Ruh"".
- Smith, Stephanie. "Form and Analysis: Why "Du bist die Ruh" is so romantic".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to "Du bist die Ruh'".|
- "Du bist die Ruh", D 776: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- English translation at lieder.net
- "Du bist die Ruh'", English translation in Harper's Magazine
- 12 Lieder von Franz Schubert, S. 558 ("Du bist die Ruh'" is No. 3): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- on YouTube, Sylvia Schwartz (soprano)