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An die Freunde (1819) D654

An die Freunde

Im Wald, im Wald da grabt mich ein, 
Ganz stille, ohne Kreuz und Stein: 
Denn was ihr türmet, überschneid 
Und überwindet Winterszeit.
Und wann die Erde sich verjüngt 
Und Blumen meinem Hügel bringt, 
Das freut euch, Guten, freuet euch! 
Dies alles ist dem Toten gleich.
Doch nein, denn eure Liebe spannt 
Die Äste in das Geisterland,
Und die euch führt zu meinem Grab, 
Zieht mich gewaltiger herab.

To my friends

Bury me in the forest,
silently, without cross or stone;
for whatever you raise up
winter storms will cover with snow.
And when the earth grows young again, 
bringing flowers to my grave,
rejoice, good friends, rejoice;
all this is nothing to the dead.
But no, for your love extends
its branches into the land of spirits, 
and as it leads you to my grave,
it draws me more forcefully downwards.

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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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