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Songs

Songs

Der Hirt (1816) D490

Der Hirt

Du Turm! zu meinem Leide
Ragst du so hoch empor,
Und mahnest grausam immer
An das, was ich verlor.
Sie hängt an einem Andern,
Und wohnt im Weiler dort.
Mein armes Herz verblutet,
Vom schärfsten Pfeil durchbohrt.
In ihren schönen Augen
War keiner Untreu Spur;
Ich sah der Liebe Himmel,
Der Anmut Spiegel nur.
Wohin ich mich nun wende –
Der Turm, er folget mir;
O sagt’ er, statt der Stunden,
Was mich vernichtet, ihr!

The Shepherd

Bell-tower, to my grief
you soar so high,
and forever remind me cruelly
of what I have lost.
She is devoted to another,
and lives in the hamlet there.
My poor heart bleeds,
pierced by the sharpest arrow.
In her beautiful eyes
there was no trace of faithlessness,
I saw in them only heavenly love,
the mirror of grace.
Now wherever I turn
the bell-tower follows me.
Would that, instead of telling the hours,
it told her what is destroying me.

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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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