The Lovers Reconciliation, New York : Published by N. Currier, c1846.
from Fünf Lieder, 1943
by Erich Korngold
The first song of the Fünf Lieder, "Glückwunsch" ("Wish of happiness" or, in Korngold's own English translation of the song's lyrics, "I wish you bliss") appears to have been based on the main title theme from the film Devotion (1943), the score of which was composed by Korngold himself and developed in this medium. As may be guessed from the song's title, it is a simple expression of happiness offered, "like love's most beautiful rose bouquet," from one person to another, almost childlike in its sincerity and directness. This simplicity is represented musically by appropriately restrained means: the entire song consists of a nearly constant alteration between the song's tonic E-flat major and its dominant B-flat major seventh chord, creating the impression of a lullaby. Even the song's few brief excursions into non-tonic areas, created for harmonic contrast, tend to gravitate toward neighboring or chromatically adjacent keys, never straying very far, or for very long, from the warmth of the tonic E-flat major.
Despite Korngold's misgivings about his own fluency in English, he nevertheless prepared his own English translation of "Glückwunsch,"written, incidentally, on the reverse side of stationery for "Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc." of Burbank, California (an image of which appears elsewhere on this website). Once can easily imagine Korngold, in a moment of rest from creating his latest film score or musical composition, tossing off this translation in a moment of poetic inspiration. Apparently Korngold's inspired creative genius, whether musical or poetic, was a quality with which he was endowed in boundless measure.