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Sehnsucht (1826) D879


Die Scheibe friert, der Wind ist rauh, 
Der nächt’ge Himmel rein und blau. 
Ich sitz’ in meinem Kämmerlein 
Und schau’ ins reine Blau hinein!
Mir fehlt etwas, das fühl’ ich gut, 
Mir fehlt mein Lieb, das treue Blut; 
Und will ich in die Sterne seh’n, 
Muss stets das Aug’ mir übergeh’n!
Mein Lieb, wo weilst du nur so fern, 
Mein schöner Stern, mein Augenstern? 
Du weisst, dich lieb’ und brauch’ ich ja, 
Die Träne tritt mir wieder nah.
Da quält’ ich mich so manchen Tag, 
Weil mir kein Lied gelingen mag, 
Weil’s nimmer sich erzwingen lässt 
Und frei hinsäuselt, wie der West!
Wie mild mich’s wieder grad’ durchglüht! 
Sieh’ nur, das ist ja schon ein Lied! 
Wenn mich mein Los vom Liebchen warf, 
Dann fühl’ ich, dass ich singen darf.


The window pane freezes, the wind is harsh, 
the night sky clear and blue.
I sit in my little room
gazing out into the clear blueness.
Something is missing, I feel only too well; 
my love is missing, my true love.
And when I look at the stars
my eyes constantly fill with tears.
My love, where are you, so far away, 
my fair star, my darling?
You know that I love you and need you; 
again tears well up within me.
For many a day I have suffered
because no song of mine has turned out well, 
because none can be forced
to murmur freely, like the west wind.
How gentle the glow that again warms me! 
Behold – a song!
Though my fate has cast me far from my beloved, 
yet I feel that I can still sing.
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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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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