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Songs

Aus Heliopolis I (1822) D753

Aus Heliopolis I

Im kalten, rauhen Norden
Ist Kunde mir geworden
Von einer Stadt, der Sonnenstadt.
Wo weilt das Schiff, wo ist der Pfad,
Die mich zu jenen Hallen tragen?
Von Menschen konnt’ ich nichts erfragen, 
Im Zwiespalt waren sie verworren.
Zur Blume, die sich Helios erkoren,
Die ewig in sein Antlitz blickt,
Wandt’ ich mich nun, und ward entzückt.
„Wende, so wie ich, zur Sonne 
Deine Augen! Dort ist Wonne, 
Dort ist Leben;
Treu ergeben
Pilgre zu und zweifle nicht: 
Ruhe findest du im Licht. 
Licht erzeuget alle Gluten, 
Hoffnungspflanzen, 
Tatenfluten!“

From 'Heliopolis' I

In the cold, harsh north
I learnt
of a city, the city of the sun.
Where is the ship, where the path
that will take me to its courts?
Men could tell me nothing,
for they were entangled in conflict.
I then turned to the flower chosen by Helios, 
that forever gazes into his face,
and was enchanted.
‘Like me, turn your eyes 
to the sun!
There is bliss,
there is life;
in true devotion
make your pilgrimage, and do not doubt.
In the light you will find peace.
Light creates all ardour,
begets flowers of hope and torrents of deeds!’

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Composer

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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Poet

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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