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Gondelfahrer (1824) D808

Gondelfahrer

Es tanzen Mond und Sterne
Den flücht’gen Geisterreih’n:
Wer wird von Erdensorgen
Befangen immer sein!
Du kannst in Mondesstrahlen
Nun, meine Barke, wallen;
Und aller Schranken los,
Wiegt dich des Meeres Schooss.
Vom Markusturme tönte
Der Spruch der Mitternacht:
Sie schlummern friedlich Alle,
Und nur der Schiffer wacht.

The gondolier

Moon and stars dance
the fleeting round of the spirits: 
who would be forever fettered 
by earthly cares!
Now, my boat, you can drift
in the moonlight;
free from all restraints
you are rocked on the bosom of the sea.
From the tower of St Mark’s 
midnight’s decree tolled forth: 
all sleep peacefully.
Only the boatman wakes.

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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 Baptist Mayrhofer , was an Austrian poet and librettist. He is best known for his close friendship with the composer Franz Schubert.

Mayrhofer was born in Steyr, educated and Novitiate in St. Florian's Priory Upper Austria. In 1810 he began to study Jurisprudence and Theology at the University of Vienna, both of which courses he finished. In 1814 he met the young composer Franz Schubert and his friends (Joseph von Spaun, Franz von Schober).

Mayrhofer wrote a lot of lyric poetry and published it in 1824.

47 Schubert songs and two of his operas are based on Mayrhofer’s lyric poems.

As a young man Mayrhofer had been hopelessly in love with Mina (Wilhelmina Watteroth), the daughter of Heinrich Watteroth, who was one of Mayrhofer's professors and for a short time also his landlord. In his late years Mayrhofer (like Schubert) fell in love with a young 15-year-old girl, the daughter of his landlord Doctor Strauss. Mayrhofer, who had been a hypochondriac all his life, committed suicide by jumping from the window of his office in Vienna.

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