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Am ersten Maimorgen, fragment completed by Reinhard van Hoorickx (1816) D344

Am ersten Maimorgen, fragment completed by Reinhard van Hoorickx

Heute will ich fröhlich, fröhlich sein,
Keine Weis’ und keine Sitte hören;
Will mich wälzen, und für Freude schrein,
Und der König soll mir das nicht wehren.
Denn er kommt mit seiner Freuden Schaar
Heute aus der Morgenröte Hallen,
Einen Blumenkranz um Brust und Haar
Und auf seiner Schulter Nachtigallen.

On the first May morning

Today I shall be merry, merry;
I shall hear no wisdom and no moralizing.
I shall run about and shout for joy;
and even the king will not stop me.
For today he comes with his retinue of joys
from the halls of dawn,
garlands around his head and breast,
and nightingales on his shoulder.

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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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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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