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An die Apfelbäume, wo ich Julien erblickte (1815) D197

An die Apfelbäume, wo ich Julien erblickte

Ein heilig Säuseln und ein Gesangeston 
Durchzittre deine Wipfel, o Schattengang, 
Wo bang und wild der ersten Liebe
Selige Taumel mein Herz berauschten.
Die Abendsonne bebte wie lichtes Gold 
Durch Purpurblüten, bebte wie lichtes Gold 
Um ihres Busens Silberschleier;
Und ich zerfloss in Entzückungsschauer.
Nach langer Trennung küsse mit Engelkuss 
Ein treuer Jüngling hier das geliebte Weib, 
Und schwör in diesem Blütendunkel
Ew’ge Treue der Auserkornen.
Ein Blümchen sprosse, wenn wir gestorben sind, 
Aus jedem Rasen, welchen ihr Fuss berührt, 
Und trag’ auf jedem seiner Blätter
Meines verherrlichten Mädchens Namen.

To the Apple Trees where I caught sight of Julia

Let solemn murmuring and the sound of singing 
vibrate through the tree-tops above you, O shaded 
walk, where, fearful and impassioned, the blissful 
frenzy of first love seized my heart.
The evening sun shimmered like brilliant gold 
through purple blossoms; shimmered like brilliant 
gold around the silver veil on her breast.
And I dissolved in a shudder of ecstasy.
After long separation let a faithful youth 
kiss with an angel’s kiss his beloved wife, 
and in the darkness of this blossom
pledge eternal constancy to his chosen one.
May a flower bloom, when we are dead, 
from every lawn touched by her foot. 
And may each of its leaves
bear the name of my exalted love.

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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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Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty, was German poet who is considered the most gifted lyric poet of the Göttinger Hain, a group of young poets who saw themselves as heirs of the great lyric poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock and whose work was characterized by love of nature and the expression of national feeling.

He was influenced by Johann Uz and Friedrich Klopstock, but his love for the Volkslied and his delight in nature preserved him from the artificiality of Uz and the unworldliness of Klopstock. A strain of melancholy runs through all his lyrics. His ballads are the pioneers of the rich ballad literature on English models, which sprang up in Germany over the next few years.

To many, the opening lines of Hölty's poem Der alte Landmann an seinen Sohn ("he Old Farmer to His Son) are the very embodiment of all Prussian virtues. This poem was set to music by Mozart to a melody adapted from the aria Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen from his 1791 opera The Magic Flute. It was played daily by the carillon of the Potsdam Garrison Church where Frederick the Great was initially buried.

Many of Hölty's poems were set to music by composers including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms. Several streets and schools in Germany are named after him, including the Hölty-Gymnasium in Wunstorf near Hanover; in 2008, the biennial poetry prize Hölty-Preis was created in his name.

Among the many poems set by Schubert are An den Mond (D193 and D468),  An die Nachtigall (D196), Blumenlied (D431), Frühlingslied (D243 and D398), Klage (D436), Mailied (D129, D199 and D202), Minnelied (D429), Die Nonne (D208), Seligkeit (D433), Totengräberlied (D38 and D44) and Winterlied (D401).

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