Widmung is the first song of 26 in Schumann’s song cycle Myrthen. This cycle was a gift, dedicated to his wife on their wedding day, hence the name Widmung, meaning dedication. This song speaks of all the aspects of love. It speaks of the good and the painful side of an all encompassing love.
This song is mostly made of root position and inverted I V and IV chords, giving it a very stable sound, strengthening the theme of love in the song.
The overall structure of this song is ABA.
A: AbM mm.1-13
B: EM mm.14-29
Return of A: AbM mm.30-44
The roman numeral analysis for mm. 8-9 is
m.8 IV6 v
The purpose of the Gb5 in these two measures could have to do with text painting. The translation for the text in measures 8 and 9 is “ in which I float”. Therefore, the flatted G that is outside the normal tonal structure of the key (Ab), could suggest an “other worldliness”.
I have had the privilege of performing this song before. And when I learned this song, I made sure that over the fast-paced and smooth accompaniment, I didn’t make the melody too choppy sounding. It is hard in this song, especially with the German language, to keep a smooth line that continues even through glottals and rests. It is also hard to stay calm vocally when singing this song. With such a swooping and seemingly fast-paced piano accompaniment, by the return of A, I always had to remind myself not to speed towards the end.