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An die Leier (1822) D737

An die Leier

Ich will von Atreus’ Söhnen, 
Von Kadmus will ich singen! 
Doch meine Saiten tönen 
Nur Liebe im Erklingen.
Ich tauschte um die Saiten, 
Die Leier möcht ich tauschen! 
Alcidens Siegesschreiten
Sollt ihrer Macht entrauschen!
Doch auch die Saiten tönen 
Nur Liebe im Erklingen!
So lebt denn wohl, Heroen! 
Denn meine Saiten tönen
Statt Heldensang zu drohen, 
Nur Liebe im Erklingen.

To my lyre

I would sing of Atreus’ sons, 
of Cadmus,
but my strings bring forth 
only sounds of love.
I have changed the strings,
I should like to change the lyre! 
Alcides’ victorious march 
should ring out from its might!
But these strings, too,
bring forth only sounds of love! 
Farewell, then, heroes!
For my strings,
instead of threatening with heroic songs, 
bring forth only sounds of 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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Franz Joseph von Bruchmann was the son of Johann Christian Maria von Bruchmann, director of the Vienna National Bank, one of the richest men in Vienna and  patron of Franz Schubert and the artist Leopold Kupelwieser.  In his Vienna home Johann Christian  hosted the so-called Schubertiaden, musical and literary evenings with Schubert at their centre.

Franz Joseph graduated in Law in 1827 and joined the Austrian civil service. Following the untimely death of his wife Juliana in 1830 , he went to Rome and entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, and was ordained in Graz in 1833.  In 1841 he founded the Redemptorist mission in Upper Bavaria. He later became the Provincial of the Austrian and German congregations.

Schubert set five of Franz Joseph’s poems to music: Am Zee (D746), An die Leier (D737), Der Zürnende Barde (D785), Im Haine (D738), and Schewstergruss (D763)

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