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Als ich sie erröten sah (1815) D153

Als ich sie erröten sah

All’ mein Wirken, all’ mein Leben 
Strebt nach dir, Verehrte, hin! 
Alle meine Sinne weben
Mir dein Bild, o Zauberin!
Du entflammest meinen Busen 
Zu der Leier Harmonie,
Du begeisterst mehr als Musen, 
Und entzückest mehr als sie.
Ach, dein blaues Auge strahlet 
Durch den Sturm der Seele mild, 
Und dein süsses Lächeln mahlet 
Rosig mir der Zukunft Bild.
Herrlich schmückt des Himmels Gränzen 
Zwar Aurora’s Purpurlicht,
Aber lieblicheres Glänzen
Überdeckt dein Angesicht,
Wenn mit wonnetrunk’nen Blicken 
Ach! und unaussprechlich schön, 
Meine Augen voll Entzücken 
Purpurn dich erröten seh’n. 

When I saw her blush

All that I do, all that I am
is for you, my adored one!
All my senses weave
an image of you, enchantress!
You kindle within my heart
the sweet sounds of the lyre;
you inspire me more than the Muses, 
and, more than they, delight me!
Your blue eyes shine tenderly 
through the tempest of the soul, 
and your sweet smile paints
a rosy image of the future.
Though the horizon is adorned 
by Aurora’s crimson glow,
a still fairer radiance
suffuses your countenance
When, with ecstatic glances, 
my delighted eyes
see the ineffable beauty
of your crimson blush.

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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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Bernhard Ambros Ehrlich was an imperial royal gubernial councillor (a government official) and official auditor of accounts—and hence probably also a censor—in Prague; no more is known about him. Schubert set his poem Als ich sie erröten sah (When I saw her blush), D. 153 [1] in ecstatically lyrical tone with melodic phrases of great expressivity that constantly mount in enthusiasm accompanied by a constant flow of semiquavers. It is almost more akin to an aria than to the more declamatory Lied.

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