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An den Mond D193

An den Mond

Geuss, lieber Mond, geuss deine Silberflimmer
Durch dieses Buchengrün,
Wo Phantasien und Traumgestalten
Immer vor mir vorüberfliehn.
Enthülle dich, dass ich die Stätte finde,
Wo oft mein Mädchen sass,
Und oft, im Wehn des Buchbaums und der Linde,
Der goldnen Stadt vergass.
Enthülle dich, dass ich des Strauchs mich freue,
Der Kühlung ihr gerauscht,
Und einen Kranz auf jeden Anger streue,
Wo sie den Bach belauscht.
Dann, lieber Mond, dann nimm den Schleier wieder,
Und traur um deinen Freund,
Und weine durch den Wolkenflor hernieder,
Wie dein Verlassner weint!

To The Moon

Beloved moon, shed your silver radiance 
through these green beeches,
where fancies and dreamlike images 
forever flit before me.
Unveil yourself, that I may find the spot
where my beloved sat, where often,
in the swaying branches of the beech and lime, 
she forgot the gilded town.
Unveil yourself, that I may delight in the whispering 
bushes that cooled her,
and lay a wreath on that meadow
where she listened to the brook.
Then, beloved moon, take your veil once more,
and mourn for your friend.
Weep down through the hazy clouds, 
as the one you have forsaken weeps.

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Composer

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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Poet

Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty, was German poet who is considered the most gifted lyric poet of the Göttinger Hain, a group of young poets who saw themselves as heirs of the great lyric poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock and whose work was characterized by love of nature and the expression of national feeling.

He was influenced by Johann Uz and Friedrich Klopstock, but his love for the Volkslied and his delight in nature preserved him from the artificiality of Uz and the unworldliness of Klopstock. A strain of melancholy runs through all his lyrics. His ballads are the pioneers of the rich ballad literature on English models, which sprang up in Germany over the next few years.

To many, the opening lines of Hölty's poem Der alte Landmann an seinen Sohn ("he Old Farmer to His Son) are the very embodiment of all Prussian virtues. This poem was set to music by Mozart to a melody adapted from the aria Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen from his 1791 opera The Magic Flute. It was played daily by the carillon of the Potsdam Garrison Church where Frederick the Great was initially buried.

Many of Hölty's poems were set to music by composers including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms. Several streets and schools in Germany are named after him, including the Hölty-Gymnasium in Wunstorf near Hanover; in 2008, the biennial poetry prize Hölty-Preis was created in his name.

Among the many poems set by Schubert are An den Mond (D193 and D468),  An die Nachtigall (D196), Blumenlied (D431), Frühlingslied (D243 and D398), Klage (D436), Mailied (D129, D199 and D202), Minnelied (D429), Die Nonne (D208), Seligkeit (D433), Totengräberlied (D38 and D44) and Winterlied (D401).

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Oxford Lieder is one of the world's leading promoters of song and the winner of a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award. The focal point of each year is the two-week Oxford Lieder Festival in October.

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