Ich liebe dich, weil ich dich lieben muß


Ich liebe dich, weil ich dich lieben muß - (2007)     

Friedrich Rückert

for high or medium voice and piano

meiner Frau gewidmet

Ich liebe dich, weil ich dich lieben muß;

Ich liebe dich, weil ich nicht anders kann;

Ich liebe dich nach einem Himmelsschluß;

Ich liebe dich durch einen Zauberbann.

Dich lieb ich wie die Rose ihren Strauch;

Dich lieb ich wie die Sonne ihren Schein;

Dich lieb ich, weil du bist mein Lebenshauch;

Dich lieb ich, weil dich lieben ist mein Sein.

[ 1 page, circa 1' 45" ]


Friedrich Rückert


I love you, because I must love you;

I love you, because I cannot love another;

I love you until the close of heaven,

I love you through a magic spell.

You I love as the rose its bush,

You I love as the sun its shine,

You I love, because you are my life's breath;

You I love, because to love you is my being.


This sweet text lends its scansion to unequal meters, and so a very simple setting of the melody shifts back and forth from 3/4 to 4/4, in the course of two strophes of the text, with its grammatical inversion for the second set.


Marilyn Barnett at the console of the Deutsche Staatsoper organ


For a production of Massenet's Manon in which the St. Sulpice scene was being rehearsed, I sat by while my wife played the organ cues. I had brought a small book of poetry in which the Rückert poem is found, and began to sketch a setting of the text in the margin of the page. The form quickly suggested itself, and I composed the work based on a simple theme, engraving it later the same afternoon. It is a gift for her birthday.


A setting of Rückert's comic Aufgegeben Endreime for baritone is also available by clicking on its title.


This score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


Ich liebe dich / high key


Ich liebe dich / medium key