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Songs

Songs

Der Winterabend (1828) D938


This song was recorded on the album 'Schubert Year by Year' on Stone Records, in preparation for Oxford Lieder's 2014 The Schubert Project, the first ever complete performance of Schubert's songs in a single festival. It features one song from each year of Schubert's creative life.

Click here to listen to the song with Raphaela Papadakis and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.



Der Winterabend

Es ist so still, so heimlich um mich,
Die Sonne ist untern, der Tag entwich.
Wie schnell nun heran der Abend graut!
Mir ist es recht, sonst ist mir’s zu laut.
Jetzt aber ist’s ruhig, es hämmert kein Schmied,
Kein Klempner, das Volk verlief und ist müd.
Und selbst, dass nicht rass’le der Wagen Lauf,
Zog Decken der Schnee durch die Gassen auf.
Wie tut mir so wohl der selige Frieden!
Da sitz ich im Dunkeln, ganz abgeschieden,
So ganz für mich; nur der Mondenschein
Kommt leise zu mir ins Gemach.
Er kennt mich schon und lässt mich schweigen,
Nimmt nur seine Arbeit, die Spindel, das Gold,
Und spinnet stille, webt und lächelt hold,
Und hängt dann sein schimmerndes Schleiertuch
Ringsum an Gerät und Wänden aus.
Ist gar ein stiller, ein lieber Besuch,
Macht mir gar keine Unruh’ im Haus.
Will er bleiben, so hat er Ort,
Freut’s ihn nimmer, so geht er fort.
Ich sitze dann stumm im Fenster gern
Und schaue hinauf in Gewölk und Stern.
Denke zurück, ach weit, gar weit
In eine schöne verschwundne Zeit.
Denk an sie, an das Glück der Minne,
Seufze still und sinne und sinne.

Der Winterabend

It is so silent and secret all around me;
the sun has set, the day has vanished.
How swiftly now the evening grows grey!
It suits me well; day is too loud for me.
But now it is peaceful, no blacksmith hammers,
and no plumber. The people have dispersed, tired.
And, lest carts should rattle on their way, the snow
has even draped blankets through the streets.
How welcome to me is this blissful peace!
Here I sit in the darkness, quite secluded,
quite self-contained; only the moonlight
comes softly into my room.
It knows me and lets me be silent,
and just takes up its work, the spindle, the gold,
and spins and weeps silently, smiling sweetly,
and then hangs its shimmering veil
over the furniture and walls all around.
It is a silent and beloved visitor
that causes no disturbance in my house.
If it wishes to stay, there is room,
if it is not happy, then it goes away.
Then I like to sit silently at the window,
gazing up at the clouds and stars,
thinking back to long, long ago,
to a beautiful, vanished past.
I think of her, of love’s happiness,
and sigh softly, and muse.

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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

Karl (or Carl) Gottfried Ritter von Leitner ( was an Austrian author and publicist from Graz, Styria, Austria.

From 1837 to 1854 he was the first Secretary to the Estates in Styria. He was the editor of the newspaper "Steiermark Zeitschrift" (Styria Times). Karl was the curator of the Landesmuseum Joanneum (Joanneum National Museum) in Graz, Austria from 1858 to 1864, and ge co-founded the Historical Association for Styrian Friendship with Peter Rosegger.

Some of his ballads were set to music by Franz Schubert, including Der Kreuzzug (D932), Der Wallensteiner Lanzknecht beim Trunk (D931), Der Winterabend (D938), Des Fischers Liebesglück (D933), Die Sterne (D939) and Vor meine Wiege (D927).

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