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Songs

Songs

Irrlicht (1827)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Winterreise (D911)


Irrlicht

In die tiefsten Felsengründe
Lockte mich ein Irrlicht hin:
Wie ich einen Ausgang finde
Liegt nicht schwer mir in dem Sinn.
Bin gewohnt das Irregehen,
’S führt ja jeder Weg zum Ziel: 
Unsre Freuden, unsre Leiden, 
Alles eines Irrlichts Spiel!
Durch des Bergstroms trockne Rinnen 
Wind’ ich ruhig mich hinab –
Jeder Strom wird’s Meer gewinnen, 
Jedes Leiden auch sein Grab.

Will-o'-the-wisp

A will-o’-the-wisp enticed me
into the deepest rocky chasms; 
how I shall find a way out 
does not trouble my mind.
I am used to straying;
every path leads to one goal. 
Our joys, our sorrows –
all are a will-o’-the wisp’s game.
Down the dry gullies of the mountain stream 
I calmly wend my way;
every river will reach the sea;
every sorrow, too, will reach its grave.

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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

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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