Friedrich Rückert

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Alias: Freimund Raimar


Born: 16 May 1788

Died: 31 January 1866


Friedrich Rückert was a German poet, translator, and professor of Oriental languages. When Rückert began his literary career, Germany was engaged in her life-and-death struggle with Napoleon; and in his first volume, Deutsche Gedichte (German Poems), published in 1814 under the pseudonym Freimund Raimar, he gave, particularly in the powerful Geharnischte Sonette (Sonnets in Arms/Harsh Words), vigorous expression to the prevailing sentiment of his countrymen.

Rückert was master of thirty languages and made his mark chiefly as a translator of Oriental poetry and as a writer of poems conceived in the spirit of Oriental masters.

Rückert's poetry was a powerful inspiration to composers and there are about 121 settings of his work — behind only Goethe, Heine and Rilke in this respect. Among the composers who set his poetry to music are Schubert, Robert and Clara Schumann, Brahms, Mahler, Richard Strauss, Zemlinsky, Hindemith, Bartók, Berg, Hugo Wolf and Heinrich Kaspar Schmid.

View the Wikipedia article on Friedrich Rückert.

Settings of text by Friedrich Rückert


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