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Songs

Lebensmut (1828) D937

Lebensmut

Fröhlicher Lebensmut
Braust in dem raschen Blut;
Sprudelnd und silberhell
Rauschet der Lebensquell.
Doch eh’ die Stunde flieht,
Ehe der Geist verglüht,
Schöpft aus der klaren Flut
Fröhlichen Lebensmut!
Mutigen Sprung gewagt;
Nimmer gewinnt, wer zagt;
Schnell ist das Wechselglück,
Dein ist der Augenblick.
Wer keinen Sprung versucht,
Bricht keine süsse Frucht,
Auf! Wer das Glück erjagt,
Mutigen Sprung gewagt.

Courage for Living

Joyful courage for living
surges in the quick blood;
the fountain of life flows
bubbling and silver-bright.
But before the hour flies,
before the spirit’s ardour fades,
draw joyful courage for living
from the clear waters.
Dare the bold leap;
he who hesitates never wins;
fortune changes rapidly;
the moment is yours.
He who does not venture the leap
will reap no sweet fruit.
Come! He who chases fortune
must dare the bold leap

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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

Heinrich Friedrich Ludwig Rellstab was a German poet and music critic. He was born and died in Berlin. He was the son of the music publisher and composer Johann Carl Friedrich Rellstab. An able pianist, he published articles in various periodicals, including the influential liberal Vossische Zeitung, and launched the music journal Iris im Gebiete der Tonkunst, which was published in Berlin from 1830 to 1841. His outspoken criticism of the influence in Berlin of Gaspare Spontini landed him in jail in 1837.

Rellstab had considerable influence as a music critic and, because of this, had some power over what music could be used for German nationalistic purposes in the mid-nineteenth century. Because he had "an effective monopoly on music criticism" in Frankfurt and the popularity of his writings, Rellstab's approval would have been important for any musician's career in areas in which German nationalism was present.

The first seven songs of Franz Schubert's Schwanengesang have words by Rellstab, who had left them in 1825 with Beethoven, whose assistant Anton Schindler passed them on to Schubert. His work was also set to music by Franz Liszt.

He is also known to have given Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27/2 its famous nickname Moonlight Sonata.

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About Oxford Lieder

Oxford Lieder is one of the world's leading promoters of song and the winner of a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award. The focal point of each year is the two-week Oxford Lieder Festival in October.

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