Schumann, Robert


Schumann, Robert

Der Rose Pilgerfahrt Op. 112 for soli, choir and orchestra (after Moritz Horn)

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Schumann, Robert
Der Rose Pilgerfahrt Op. 112 for soli, choir and orchestra (after Moritz Horn)

A fairy tale after a poem by Moritz Horn
for solo voices, choir and orchestra (1851)

Part One
No. 1 The winds of spring bring the world a salutation of love p. 2
No. 2 St. John’s Day had come p. 8
No. 3 Round dance of the Elves. We dance in the lovely night p. 12
No. 4 And while singing they heard p. 16
No. 5 Thus they sang; day is already breaking p. 27
No. 6 I’m a poor orphan p. 31
No. 7 ’twas the rose’s first sorrow p. 34
No. 8 Like leaves on a tree p. 39
No. 9 The last clod rolling down p. 47
No. 10 Prayer. Thank thee, Lord, up there in the starry land p. 55
Part Two
No. 11 Into the gravedigger’s house p. 60
No. 12 Amongst the green trees p. 63
No. 13 Guided by the old man p. 66
No. 14 Soon, the new little daughter p. 72
No. 15 Did you stroll through the wood p. 75
No. 16 In the wood, leant against a trunk p. 80
No. 17 Evening’s slumber embraces the open fields p. 82
No. 18 O blessed time, there in the breast p. 89
No. 19 Who comes on Sunday morning p. 94
No. 20 O mill, dear mill p. 96
No. 21 Why do the horns sound? p. 99
No. 22 In the miller’s house the violins resound p. 108
No. 23 And as one year had passed p. 115
No. 24 Little rose, little rose! p. 121

Robert Schumann had been appointed Municipal Music Director in Düsseldorf in September 1850. In the spring the following year he received a letter by the aspiring poet Moritz Horn (1814-74), who hailed from Chemnitz. Still an unknown literary figure, Horn suggested to the composer that he set to music his own recently completed rhymed fairy tale. Schumann welcomed the idea with open arms and asked Horn to make some necessary changes in order to transform the work into something more concise and dramatic. According to Schumann’s book of projects he then composed “from April to 11th May: Der Rose Pilgerfahrt, for soli, chorus with piano accompaniment [24 numbers] [op. 112]”. In its first version with piano, this last contribution by Schumann to the oratorio was premiered in July 1851. The performance was given by the ‘Singekränzchen’ and lead by the composer, in celebration of the opening of Schumann’s new music salon. In a letter dated 29th September 1851 he considered the piano accompaniment, given the “tender subject, to be completely satisfactory still”. He nonetheless set out soon after to make an orchestration, as can be ascertained from his book of projects: “November, from 7th – 27th: Der Rose Pilgerfahrt, instrumentation complete”. This version was performed in Düsseldorf on 5th February 1852 under the baton of the composer. In his biography of Schumann (Berlin, 1916), Walter Dahms describes the plot as follows: “Here we have a rose that longs for human love and embodiment being granted her wish by the Queen of the Elves, adopted as their daughter by charitable miller’s people, falling in love with the forester and marrying him, but deliberately leaving the earth after giving birth to her child, as she had fully enjoyed the happiness of love and no further enhancement of bliss on earth could be expected”, adding “Moritz Horn’s poem overflows with tear jerking and sentimental romantic zeal.” As early as December 1853 Schumann witnessed the great success of Der Rose Pilgerfahrt in The Hague; this, then is a long standing popularity, one that at the end of an “era of gilt edge poetry” (Dahms) fades only gradually.

For performance materials (according to the edition of Schumann’s complete works) please contact the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden.

Score Data


Repertoire Explorer


Choir/Voice & Orchestra




210 x 297 mm



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