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Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt (1822) D478a

Part of a series or song cycle:

Gesänge des Harfners (D478)

Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt

Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt,
Ach! der ist bald allein
Ein jeder lebt, ein jeder liebt
Und lässt ihn seiner Pein.
Ja! lasst mich meiner Qual!
Und kann ich nur einmal
Recht einsam sein,
Dann bin ich nicht allein.
Es schleicht ein Liebender lauschend sacht,
Ob seine Freundin allein?
So überschleicht bei Tag und Nacht
Mich Einsamen die Pein,
Mich Einsamen die Qual.
Ach, werd’ ich erst einmal
Einsam im Grabe sein,
Da lässt sie mich allein!

He who gives himself up to solitude

He who gives himself up to solitude,
ah, he is soon alone;
one man lives, another loves
and both leave him to his suffering.
Yes, leave me to my suffering!
And if I can just once
be truly lonely,
then I shall not be alone.
A lover steals softly, listening:
is his sweetheart alone?
Thus, day and night,
suffering steals upon me,
torment steals upon me in my solitude.
Ah, when I lie lonely
in the grave,
then they will leave me alone.
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

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Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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