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Rückblick (1827)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Winterreise (D911)


Es brennt mir unter beiden Sohlen, 
Tret’ ich auch schon auf Eis und Schnee, 
Ich möcht’ nicht wieder Atem holen,
Bis ich nicht mehr die Türme seh’.
Hab’ mich an jeden Stein gestossen, 
So eilt’ ich zu der Stadt hinaus;
Die Krähen warfen Bäll’ und Schlossen 
Auf meinen Hut von jedem Haus.
Wie anders hast du mich empfangen, 
Du Stadt der Unbeständigkeit!
An deinen blanken Fenstern sangen 
Die Lerch’ und Nachtigall im Streit.
Die runden Lindenbäume blühten,
Die klaren Rinnen rauschten hell,
Und ach, zwei Mädchenaugen glühten! – 
Da war’s geschehn um dich, Gesell!
Kommt mir der Tag in die Gedanken, 
Möcht’ ich noch einmal rückwärts sehn, 
Möcht’ ich zurücke wieder wanken,
Vor ihrem Hause stille stehen.

Backward Glance

The soles of my feet are burning, 
though I walk on ice and snow;
I do not wish to draw breath again 
until I can no longer see the towers.
I tripped on every stone,
such was my hurry to leave the town;
the crows threw snowballs and hailstones 
on to my hat from every house.
How differently you received me, 
town of inconstancy!
At your shining windows
lark and nightingale sang in rivalry.
The round linden trees blossomed, 
the clear fountains plashed brightly, 
and, ah, a maiden’s eyes glowed; then, 
friend, your fate was sealed.
When that day comes to my mind
I should like to look back once more, 
and stumble back
to stand before her house.

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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 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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