Walter Niemann: Impressions, op. 112

Introductory Remarks
‘The “Impressions”, inspirations conceived from Nature or from incidents of human life, originate partly in poems of the German leader of Impressionism, Stefan George, partly in those of Else Bergmann, a poetess belonging to George’s sphere.

In character and colouring these “Impressions” correspond with the poems entitled “Morning Voices” (1), “Estival Melancholy” (2), “The Hour of Dusk” (3), and “Gardens in Spring” (6). They are selected from two collections of lyrical poems published by Stefan George under the title of “Der Teppich des Lebens” and “Lieder von Traum und Tod” (“Life’s variegated Tissue” and “Songs of Dream and Death”). The rest, “Tse-Fung” (4) and “Beghina” (5) are poems of Else Bergmann.

The pictures of Nature traced by Stefan George do not want any explanation. As to the two poems of E. Bergmann, we may be allowed to add, that Tse-Fung is the name of a young Chinese princess who, on the point of marrying an old mandarin, feels the impossibility to forget her young lover and kills herself, overwhelmed by an invincible melancholy. No. 5 wants to evoke before us the sweet form of a young beguine, who after cruel deceptions finds peace in a beguinage, in Amsterdam, leading there a life of pious resignation and godliness – quite a legendary life.

This may be all necessary to be known by him who wishes to conceive the sense of these musical poems.”
Walter Niemann