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Gute Nacht (1827)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Winterreise (D911)

Listen below to Dietrich Henschel and Sholto Kynoch perform Franz Schubert's setting of 'Güte Nacht'. This Winterreise recording was made at the Holywell Music Room on 27 February 2021 as part of the Oxford Lieder Winter into Spring Festival.

Gute Nacht

Fremd bin ich eingezogen,
Fremd zieh’ ich wieder aus. 
Der Mai war mir gewogen
Mit manchem Blumenstrauss. 
Das Mädchen sprach von Liebe, 
Die Mutter gar von Eh’ –
Nun ist die Welt so trübe, 
Der Weg gehüllt in Schnee.
Ich kann zu meiner Reisen 
Nicht wählen mit der Zeit:
Muss selbst den Weg mir weisen 
In dieser Dunkelheit.
Es zieht ein Mondenschatten 
Als mein Gefährte mit,
Und auf den weissen Matten 
Such’ ich des Wildes Tritt.
Was soll ich länger weilen, 
Dass man mich trieb’ hinaus? 
Lass irre Hunde heulen
Vor ihres Herren Haus!
Die Liebe liebt das Wandern, 
Gott hat sie so gemacht –
Von einem zu dem andern – 
Fein Liebchen, gute Nacht.
Will dich im Traum nicht stören, 
Wär’ Schad’ um deine Ruh’, 
Sollst meinen Tritt nicht hören – 
Sacht, sacht die Türe zu! 
Schreib’ im Vorübergehen
An’s Tor dir gute Nacht, 
Damit du mögest sehen, 
An dich hab’ ich gedacht.

Good Night

I arrived a stranger,
a stranger I depart.
May blessed me
with many a bouquet of flowers. 
The girl spoke of love,
her mother even of marriage; 
now the world is so desolate,
the path concealed beneath snow.
I cannot choose the time 
for my journey;
I must find my own way 
in this darkness.
A shadow thrown by the moon 
is my companion;
and on the white meadows
I seek the tracks of deer.
Why should I tarry longer 
and be driven out?
Let stray dogs howl
before their master’s house. 
Love delights in wandering – 
God made it so –
from one to another. 
Beloved, good night!
I will not disturb you as you dream,
it would be a shame to spoil your rest. 
You shall not hear my footsteps;
softly, softly the door is closed.
As I pass I write
‘Good night’ on your gate,
so that you might see
that I thought of you.

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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.

Information from Wikipedia. Read more here.

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Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Müller was a German lyric poet.
Wilhelm Müller was born on October 7, 1794 at Dessau, the son of a tailor. He was educated at the gymnasium of his native town and at the University of Berlin, where he devoted himself to philological and historical studies. In 1813-1814 he took part, as a volunteer in the Prussian army, in the national rising against Napoleon. He participated in the battles of Lützen, Bautzen, Hanau and Kulm. In 1814 he returned to his studies at Berlin. From 1817 to 1819, he visited southern Germany and Italy, and in 1820 published his impressions of the latter in Rom, Römer und Römerinnen. In 1819, he was appointed teacher of classics in the Gelehrtenschule at Dessau, and in 1820 librarian to the ducal library. He remained there the rest of his life, dying of a heart attack aged only 32.

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