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Alte Liebe rostet nie (1816) D477

Alte Liebe rostet nie

Alte Liebe rostet nie,
Hört ich oft die Mutter sagen; 
Alte Liebe rostet nie,
Muss ich nun erfahrend klagen.
Wie die Luft umgibt sie mich, 
Die ich einst die Meine nannte, 
Die ich liebte ritterlich,
Die mich in die Ferne sandte.
Seit die Holde ich verlor,
Hab’ ich Meer und Land gesehen, – 
Vor der schönsten Frauen Flor 
Durft ich unerschüttert stehen.
Denn aus mir ihr Bildnis trat, 
Zürnend, wie zum Kampf mit ihnen; 
Mit dem Zauber, den sie hat,
Musste sie das Spiel gewinnen.
Da der Garten, dort das Haus,
Wo wir oft so traulich kos’ten!
Seh’ ich recht? sie schwebt heraus – 
Wird die alte Liebe rosten?

Old love never dies

Old love never dies,
I often heard my mother say –
old love never dies;
with experience I must now sadly agree.
She envelops me like the air,
she whom I once called my own, 
whom I loved chivalrously,
who sent me into the wide world.
Since I lost my beloved
I have travelled on sea and land – 
before the fairest flower of womanhood 
I could only stand unmoved.
For her image arose from within me, 
angrily, as if in opposition to them; 
with the magic she possesses
she had to win the contest.
There is the garden, there the house
where we once caressed so lovingly!
Am I seeing things? She glides out towards me – 
will old love never die?

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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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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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