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Klaglied (1812) D23

This song was recorded on the album 'Schubert Year by Year' on Stone Records, in preparation for Oxford Lieder's 2014 The Schubert Project, the first ever complete performance of Schubert's songs in a single festival. It features one song from each year of Schubert's creative life.

Click here to listen to the song with Anna Huntley and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.


Meine Ruh’ ist dahin,
Meine Freud’ ist entfloh’n,
In dem Säuseln der Lüfte,
In dem Murmeln des Bach’s
Hör’ ich bebend nur Klageton.
Seinem schmeichelnden Wort,
Und dem Druck seiner Hand,
Seinem heissen Verlangen,
Seinem glühenden Kuss,
Weh’ mir, dass ich nicht widerstand!
Einmal, ach einmal nur
Möcht’ ich ihn glücklich seh’n
Hier am klopfenden Herzen,
An der sehnenden Brust:
Wollte dann lächelnd untergeh’n!


My peace is gone,
my joy has fled;
in the rustling of the breezes,
in the murmuring of the brook
I hear only the quivering plaint.
His flattering words
and the press of his hand,
his ardent desire,
his burning kisses –
alas, that I did not resist!
Once, oh only once
I would like to see him happy
Here on my beating heart,
On my yearning breast:
Then I would die smiling!

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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 Friedrich Rochlitz was a German playwright, musicologist and art and music critic. His most notable work is his autobiographical account Tage der Gefahr (Days of Danger) about the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 — in Kunst und Altertum, Goethe called it "one of the most wondrous productions ever to have been written". A Friedrich-Rochlitz-Preis for art criticism is named after him — it is awarded by the Leipzig Gesellschaft für Kunst und Kritik and was presented for the fourth time in 2009.

Friedrich Rochlitz attended Leipzig's Thomasschule and from 1789 to 1791 studied theology in Leipzig, before working as a private tutor. In 1798 he founded the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, along with Gottfried Christoph Härtel, serving as its editor until 1818. He planned to marry the harpist Therese aus dem Winkel and so Duke Karl August made him a privy councillor of the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar on 14 September 1800, but the marriage did not materialise. Instead, on 23 February 1810 he married his childhood sweetheart Henriette Winkler née Hansen (1770–1834) on 23 February 1810. Her previous husband had been the Leipzig businessman Daniel Winkler and brought Winkler's precious art collection (including a Rembrandt painting) with her on her marriage to Rochlitz.

Rochlitz was a friend of several cultural figures of his era, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, E. T. A. Hoffmann and the composers Louis Spohr and Carl Maria von Weber — Weber dedicated his Piano Sonata No 4 in E minor (J287, Op 70) to Rochlitz. During a stay in Vienna, Rochlitz also got to know Beethoven and Franz Schubert, with the latter setting three poems by Rochlitz to music in 1827.

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