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Auf der Riesenkoppe (1818) D611

Auf der Riesenkoppe

Hoch auf dem Gipfel 
Deiner Gebirge
Steh’ ich und staun’ ich, 
Glühend begeistert, 
Heilige Koppe, 
Weit in die Ferne 
Schweifen die trunknen 
Freudigen Blicke; 
Überall Leben,
Üppiges Streben, 
Überall Sonnenschein.
Blühende Fluren, 
Schimmernde Städte, 
Dreier Könige 
Glückliche Länder 
Schau’ ich begeistert, 
Schau’ ich mit hoher 
Inniger Lust.
Auch meines Vaterlands 
Grenze erblick’ ich,
Wo mich das Leben 
Freundlich begrüsste, 
Wo mich der Liebe 
Heilige Sehnsucht 
Glühend ergriff.
Sei mir gesegnet
Hier in der Ferne
Liebliche Heimat!
Sei mir gesegnet
Land meiner Träume! 
Kreis meiner Lieben,
Sei mir gegrüsst!

On the giant peak

High on the summit 
of your mountains
I stand and marvel 
with glowing fervour, 
sacred peak,
you that storm the heavens.
My joyful,
rapturous gaze
scans the far distance. 
Everywhere there is life, 
luxuriant growth, 
everywhere sunshine.
Meadows in bloom, 
sparkling towns,
the happy realms
of three kings:
there I behold with ardour, 
and sublime,
inward joy.
I behold, too, the borders 
of my homeland,
where life bade me
a friendly welcome. 
Where the sacred longing 
of love
first glowed within me.
Beloved homeland, 
I bless you
from afar.
I bless you,
land of my dreams! 
I greet you,
my loved ones!

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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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Karl Theodor Körner  was a German poet and soldier. After some time in Vienna, where he wrote some light comedies and other works for the Burgtheater, he became a soldier and joined the Lützow Free Corps in the German uprising against Napoleon. During these times, he displayed personal courage in many fights, and encouraged his comrades by fiery patriotic lyrics he composed, among these being the “Schwertlied" (“Sword Song"), composed during a lull in fighting only a few hours before his death, and “Lützows wilde Jagd" ("Lützow's Wild Chase"), each set to music by both Carl Maria von Weber and Franz Schubert. He was often called the “German Tyrtaeus.

He was born at Dresden, capital of the Saxon electorate, the son of the consistorial councillor Christian Gottfried Körner and his wife Minna Stock Körner. He was raised by his parents and by his aunt, the artist Dora Stock, who lived in the home. He attended the Kreuzschule.

After his education, he chose mining as an occupation. He moved to Vienna, where he befriended Wilhelm von Humboldt, the Prussian ambassador, Karl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel, and other eminent literary and scientific men. Here, within the short space of fifteen months, he produced a succession of dramas, operas, and farces, as well as several small poems. The success of his works obtained him the appointment of poet to the court at the Vienna Burgtheater. It was in this period of his life that he became betrothed to the popular actress Antonie Adamberger.

During the War of the Sixth Coalition, he left Vienna in March 1813, and together with Friedrich Friesen and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn joined the Lützow Free Corps, a voluntary paramilitary association which Ludwig Adolf Wilhelm von Lützow was then forming in Breslau, Silesia. In the midst of the most active campaigns, Körner continued to write poetry and other works. He wrote a singspiel, Der vierjährige Posten, which was set to music by Franz Schubert in 1815, but the piece was not performed until 1869, when it was staged at the Hofoper, Dresden. It was later adapted in English as The Outpost.

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