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Songs

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Herbstgefühl (1853) Op. 48 no.7

Herbstgefühl

Wie wenn im frost’gen Windhauch tödlich
Des Sommers letzte Blüte krankt,
Und hier und da nur, gelb und rötlich,
Ein einzles Blatt im Windhauch schwankt,
So schauert über mein Leben
Ein nächtig trüber kalter Tag;
Warum noch vor dem Tode beben,
O Herz, mit deinem ew’gen Schlag!
Sieh rings entblättert das Gestäude!
Was spielst du, wie der Wind am Strauch,
Noch mit der letzten, welken Freude?
Gib dich zur Ruh’, bald stirbt sie auch.

Autumn feeling

As when summer's last flower
Falls fatally ill in the freezing wind,
And only here and there, yellow and reddish,
A solitary leaf stirs in that breeze,
So there shudders over my life
A darkly cold and sombre day;
Why do you still tremble at the thought of death,
O heart, with your eternal beating!
See the shrubs all stripped of leaves!
Why still trifle, like the wind in the bushes,
With the withered happiness that remains?
Surrender to rest, soon that happiness too will die.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. 

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by many. 

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