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Erlafsee (1817) D586


Mir ist so wohl, so weh
Am stillen Erlafsee;
Heilig Schweigen
In Fichtenzweigen,
Der blaue Schoß,
Nur der Wolken Schatten flieh'n
Überm glatten Spiegel hin,
Frische Winde
Kräuseln linde
Das Gewässer
Und der Sonne
Güldne Krone
Flimmert blässer.
Mir ist so wohl, so weh
Am stillen Erlafsee.

Lake Erlaf

I feel so happy, so sad
By quiet Lake Erlaf:
Sacred silence
In the pine branches.
The blue depths;
Only cloud shadows flit
Across the glassy surface.
Fresh breezes
Gently ruffle
The water;
And the sun’s
Golden crown
Grows paler.
I feel so happy, so sad
By quiet Lake Erlaf.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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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 Baptist Mayrhofer , was an Austrian poet and librettist. He is best known for his close friendship with the composer Franz Schubert.

Mayrhofer was born in Steyr, educated and Novitiate in St. Florian's Priory Upper Austria. In 1810 he began to study Jurisprudence and Theology at the University of Vienna, both of which courses he finished. In 1814 he met the young composer Franz Schubert and his friends (Joseph von Spaun, Franz von Schober).

Mayrhofer wrote a lot of lyric poetry and published it in 1824.

47 Schubert songs and two of his operas are based on Mayrhofer’s lyric poems.

As a young man Mayrhofer had been hopelessly in love with Mina (Wilhelmina Watteroth), the daughter of Heinrich Watteroth, who was one of Mayrhofer's professors and for a short time also his landlord. In his late years Mayrhofer (like Schubert) fell in love with a young 15-year-old girl, the daughter of his landlord Doctor Strauss. Mayrhofer, who had been a hypochondriac all his life, committed suicide by jumping from the window of his office in Vienna.

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