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Der Sänger am Felsen (1816) D482

Der Sänger am Felsen

Klage, meine Flöte, klage
Die entschwundnen schönen Tage
Und des Frühlings schnelle Flucht,
Hier auf den verwelkten Fluren,
Wo mein Geist umsonst die Spuren
Süss gewohnter Freuden sucht.
Klage, meine Flöte, klage!
Einsam rufest du dem Tage,
Der dem Schmerz zu spät erwacht.
Einsam schallen meine Lieder;
Nur das Echo hallt sie wieder
Durch die Schatten stiller Nacht.

The Singer on the Rock

Mourn, my flute, mourn
the beautiful, vanished days,
and the swift flight of spring
here on the faded meadows,
where in vain my spirit seeks the traces
of sweet, familiar pleasures.
Mourn, my flute, mourn!
All alone you cry out to the day
which too late awakes to pain.
My lonely songs ring out;
only the echo carries them back
through the shades of the silent night.

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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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Karoline Pichler, also spelled Caroline Pichler, was an Austrian novelist. She was born in Vienna to Hofrat Franz Sales von Greiner (1730–1798) and his wife Charlotte, née Hieronimus (1739–1815).

In 1796, Karoline married Andreas Pichler, a government official, and the brother of Anton Pichler, the owner of the Viennese publisher and printer A. Pichlers Witwe & Sohn. For many years her salon was the centre of the literary life in the Austrian capital, frequented by Beethoven, Schubert, Friedrich von Schlegel and Grillparzer, among many others, from 1802 to 1824. As a young girl she had met Haydn, and she was a pupil of Mozart, who regularly performed music at the Greiners' residence. She died in Vienna in 1843 and 50 years after her death was reburied at the Zentralfriedhof.

Her early works, Olivier, first published anonymously (1802), Idyllen (1803) and Ruth (1805), though displaying considerable talent, were immature. She made her mark in historical romance, and the first of her novels of this class, Agathocles (1808), an answer to Edward Gibbon's attack on that hero in his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, attained great popularity. Among her other novels may be mentioned Die Belagerung Wiens (1824); Die Schweden in Prag (1827); Die Wiedereroberung Wiens (1829) and Henriette von England (1832). Her last work was Zeitbilder (1840). Her autobiography in four volumes, Denkwürdigkeiten aus meinem Leben (Memorables from my Life) was published posthumously in 1844. Pichler's Complete Works consist of 60 volumes.

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