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Letzte Hoffnung (1827)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Winterreise (D911)

Letzte Hoffnung

Hie und da ist an den Bäumen
Manches bunte Blatt zu sehn, 
Und ich bleibe vor den Bäumen 
Oftmals in Gedanken stehn.
Schaue nach dem einen Blatte, 
Hänge meine Hoffnung dran; 
Spielt der Wind mit meinem Blatte, 
Zittr’ ich, was ich zittern kann.
Ach, und fällt das Blatt zu Boden, 
Fällt mit ihm die Hoffnung ab, 
Fall’ ich selber mit zu Boden, 
Wein’ auf meiner Hoffnung Grab.

Last Hope

Here and there on the trees
many a coloured leaf can still be seen. 
I often stand, lost in thought,
before those trees.
I look at one such leaf
and hang my hopes upon it;
if the wind plays with my leaf
I tremble to the depths of my being.
Ah, and if the leaf falls to the ground 
my hopes fall with it;
I, too, fall to the ground
and weep on the grave of my hopes.

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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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