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Adelaide (1814) D95


Einsam wandelt dein Freund im Frühlingsgarten, 
Mild vom lieblichen Zauberlicht umflossen,
Das durch wankende Blütenzweige zittert, 
In der spiegelnden Flut, im Schnee der Alpen, 
In des sinkenden Tages Goldgewölke,
Im Gefilde der Sterne strahlt dein Bildnis, 
Abendlüftchen im zarten Laube flüstern, 
Silberglöckchen des Mai’s im Grase säuseln, 
Wellen rauschen und Nachtigallen flöten: 
Einst, o Wunder! entblüht auf meinem Grabe 
Eine Blume der Asche meines Herzens; 
Deutlich schimmert auf jedem Purpurblättchen: 


In solitude your lover walks in the spring garden 
gently bathed in the lovely magic light that shimmers
through the swaying branches in blossom, 
In the mirroring waters, in the Alpine snows, 
in the golden clouds of the dying day,
in the meadows of stars your image shines, 
Evening breezes whisper in the tender leaves, 
silver bells of May rustle in the grass,
waves plash and nightingales sing:
One day, miraculously, a flower from the ashes 
of my heart shall bloom upon my grave;
on every tiny purple leaf shall glimmer clearly: 

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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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Friedrich von Matthisson was a German poet, an early member of the German Romantic movement. His best known poem is probably Adelaide, which was set to music by Beethoven.

He was born at Hohendodeleben near Magdeburg, the son of the village pastor, on the 23rd of January 1761. After studying theology and philology at the university of Halle, he was appointed in 1781 master at the classical school Philanthropinum in Dessau. This once famous seminary was, however, then rapidly decaying in public favor, and in 1784 Matthisson was glad to accept a travelling tutorship. He lived for two years with the Swiss author Bonstetten at Nyon on Lake Geneva.

In 1794 he was appointed reader and traveling companion to Princess Louisa of Anhalt-Dessau (wife of Leopold III, Duke of Anhalt-Dessau). They visited Switzerland, Tyrol, and Italy. For a time, they were joined in their travels by Danish author and salonist Friederike Brun. After Princess Louisa's death in 1811, he entered the service of the king of Württemberg, was ennobled, created counselor of legation, appointed intendant of the court theatre and chief librarian of the royal library at Stuttgart. He resided for a time in Italy. In 1828 he retired and settled at Wörlitz near Dessau, where he died on the 12th of March 1831.

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