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Sängers Morgenlied (1815) D163

Sängers Morgenlied

Süsses Licht! Aus goldnen Pforten
Brichst du siegend durch die Nacht.
Schöner Tag! Du bist erwacht.
Mit geheimnisvollen Worten,
In melodischen Akkorden
Grüss’ ich deine Rosenpracht!
Ach! der Liebe sanftes Wehen
Schwellt mir das bewegte Herz,
Sanft, wie ein geliebter Schmerz.
Dürft’ ich nur auf goldnen Höhen
Mich im Morgenduft ergehen!
Sehnsucht zieht mich himmelwärts.
Und der Seele kühnes Streben
Trägt im stolzen Riesenlauf
Durch die Wolken mich hinauf.
Doch mit sanftem Geisterbeben
Dringt das Lied ins inn’re Leben,
Löst den Sturm melodisch auf.
Vor den Augen wird es helle;
Freundlich auf der zarten Spur
Weht der Einklang der Natur,
Und begeistert rauscht die Quelle,
Munter tanzt die flücht’ge Welle
Durch des Morgens stille Flur.

The Minstrel's morning song

Sweet light! Through golden portals
you break victoriously through the night.
Fairest day! You are awakened.
With mysterious words
and melodious strains
I greet your roseate splendour!
Ah, the soft breath of love
swells my full heart,
as softly as a beloved pain.
If only I could wander on those golden heights
in the fragrant morning!
A yearning draws me heavenwards.
And the soul’s bold striving
draws me upwards through the clouds
in its proud giant’s course.
But with a soft, magical quivering
the song penetrates the inner life,
and with its melodies dispels the storm.
It grows bright before my eyes;
in harmony nature wafts tenderly
upon its gentle course,
and the stream murmurs excitedly;
the fleeting waves dance merrily
through the silent morning meadows.
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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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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Karl Theodor Körner  was a German poet and soldier. After some time in Vienna, where he wrote some light comedies and other works for the Burgtheater, he became a soldier and joined the Lützow Free Corps in the German uprising against Napoleon. During these times, he displayed personal courage in many fights, and encouraged his comrades by fiery patriotic lyrics he composed, among these being the “Schwertlied" (“Sword Song"), composed during a lull in fighting only a few hours before his death, and “Lützows wilde Jagd" ("Lützow's Wild Chase"), each set to music by both Carl Maria von Weber and Franz Schubert. He was often called the “German Tyrtaeus.

He was born at Dresden, capital of the Saxon electorate, the son of the consistorial councillor Christian Gottfried Körner and his wife Minna Stock Körner. He was raised by his parents and by his aunt, the artist Dora Stock, who lived in the home. He attended the Kreuzschule.

After his education, he chose mining as an occupation. He moved to Vienna, where he befriended Wilhelm von Humboldt, the Prussian ambassador, Karl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel, and other eminent literary and scientific men. Here, within the short space of fifteen months, he produced a succession of dramas, operas, and farces, as well as several small poems. The success of his works obtained him the appointment of poet to the court at the Vienna Burgtheater. It was in this period of his life that he became betrothed to the popular actress Antonie Adamberger.

During the War of the Sixth Coalition, he left Vienna in March 1813, and together with Friedrich Friesen and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn joined the Lützow Free Corps, a voluntary paramilitary association which Ludwig Adolf Wilhelm von Lützow was then forming in Breslau, Silesia. In the midst of the most active campaigns, Körner continued to write poetry and other works. He wrote a singspiel, Der vierjährige Posten, which was set to music by Franz Schubert in 1815, but the piece was not performed until 1869, when it was staged at the Hofoper, Dresden. It was later adapted in English as The Outpost.

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