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Songs

Der Alpenjäger (1817) D524

Der Alpenjäger

Auf hohem Bergrücken,
Wo frischer alles grünt,
Ins Land hinab zu blicken,
Das nebelleicht zerrinnt –
Erfreut den Alpenjäger.
Je steiler und je schräger
Die Pfade sich verwinden,
Je mehr Gefahr aus Schlünden,
So freier schlägt die Brust.
Er ist der fernen Lieben,
Die ihm daheim geblieben,
Sich seliger bewusst.
Und ist er nun am Ziele
So drängt sich in der Stille
Ein süsses Bild ihm vor;
Der Sonne goldne Strahlen,
Sie weben und sie malen,
Die er im Tal erkor.

The Alpine Huntsman

High on the mountain ridge
where everything is greener and fresher,
the huntsman delights
in gazing down at the landscape
veiled in mist.
The more steeply the paths
wind upwards,
the more dangerous the precipices,
the more freely his heart beats,
The more fondly he thinks
of his distant beloved
who remains at home.
And when he reaches his goal
a sweet image fills his mind
in the stillness;
the sun’s golden beams
weave and paint a portrait of her
whom he has chosen in the valley.

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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