"Mignon" was mentioned in:

  • "Mignon" no.35 in <<Album Für Die Jugend Op.68>>

    This seems to be a reflection in the pondering or deep-thought mood.

  • Requiem für Mignon, Op. 98b

My question: Who or what exactly is "Mignon"? Are the two "Mignon" the same?

-- According to <Who Was Mignon? What Was She?> in << Rethinking Schumann >> Roe-Min Kok and Laura Tunbridge, Mignon may be a female appeared in Wilhelm von Schadow's controversial painting Mignon (1828). See the source ref.

-- According to Translation: Mignon in French means cute. It may mean also delicately pretty. You may also hear before Filet Mignon.

So Who or what exactly is "Mignon"? Are the two "Mignon" the same in two music pieces?


Mignon is a character created by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and who inspired music by Robert Schumann and also Franz Schubert. She is a tragic figure, appearing also in Goethe's poem "An Mignon".

A good many composers were attracted to “Mignon,” the 13-year old androgynous character in Goethe’s novel Wilhelm Meister. In the novel, she is rescued by the young merchant Wilhelm from a troupe of acrobats, who have kidnapper her from her native Italy and brought her to Germany. The child forms a close bond with Wilhelm, who finds her exotic nature and latent sexuality deeply intriguing. It is only later that we learn that Mignon will die of a broken heart, as she was born out of an incestuous relationship between the harper and his own sister. (SOURCE)

The introduction to Schumann's Requiem für Mignon reads (via Google Translate)

In the evening the exequies [funeral rights] for Mignon took place. The company went into the hall of the past and found it strangely lighted and decorated. The walls were covered almost from top to bottom with sky-blue carpets, so that only the plinth and frieze appeared. Large wax torches burned on the four candelabra in the corners, and so in proportion to the four smaller ones that surrounded the sarcophagus. Next to this stood four boys, clad in sky blue with silver, and seemed to be blowing air with wide fans of ostrich feathers at a figure that was resting on the sarcophagus. The company sat down and two choirs began to ask with lovely singing: [first text of Requiem] "Who are you bringing us to the quiet company?"1

1 Am Abend fanden die Exequien für Mignon statt. Die Gesellschaft begab sich in den Saal der Vergangenheit und fand denselben auf das sonderbarste erhellt und ausgeschmückt. Mit himmelblauen Teppichen waren die Wände fast von oben bis unten békleidet, so dass nur Sockel und Fries hervorschienen. Auf den vier Candelabern in den Ecken brannten grosse Wachsfackeln, und so nach Verhältniss auf den vier kleineren, die den Sarkophag umgaben. Neben diesem standen vier Knaben, himmelblau mit Silber gekleidet und schienen einer Figur, welche auf dem Sarkophag ruhte, mit breiten Fächern von Straussenfedern Luft zuzuweh'n. Die Gesellschaft setzte sich und zwei Chöre fingen mit holdem Gesang an zu fragen: [first text of Requiem] "Wen bringt ihr uns zur stillen Gesellschaft?"

  • thanks very much! +1 voted
    – wonderich
    Mar 9 '21 at 22:59

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