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Songs

Songs

Der Tod (1901) no.7


Part of a series or song cycle:

8 Frühe Lieder


Der Tod

Ach, es ist so dunkel in des Todes Kammer,
Tönt so traurig, wenn er sich bewegt
Und nun aufhebt seinen schweren Hammer
Und die Stunde schlägt.

Death

Ah, it is so dark in death’s chamber,
It sounds so mournful when he stirs
And then lifts up his heavy hammer
And strikes the hour.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Anton Friedrich Wilhelm Webern was an Austrian composer and conductor.


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Poet

Matthias Claudius was a German poet, most notable for Der Mond ist aufgegangen (The Moon Has Risen) and editor of the journal Der Wandsbecker Bothe

After studying at Jena, Claudius held a series of editorial and minor official positions in Copenhagen and Darmstadt until in 1788 he acquired a sinecure in the Schleswig-Holstein bank. He edited the Wandsbecker Bothe (1771–75), popular not only with a general readership, for whose enlightenment it was designed, but also with the most important literary men of the time. Among the journal’s contributors were the philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder, the poet Friedrich Klopstock, and the critic and dramatist Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, the three of whom, with Claudius, formed a circle that fought against the prevailing rationalist and Classical spirit and sought to preserve a natural and Christian atmosphere in literature. Claudius’ own poems, e.g., Der Tod und das Mädchen, have a naive, childlike, and devoutly Christian quality.

Taken from Encyclopedia Britannica. To view the full Britannica article, please click here

 


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