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Die Schatten (1813) D50

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 Daniel Norman and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.

Die Schatten

Freunde, deren Grüfte sich schon bemoosten!
Wann der Vollmond über dem Walde dämmert,
Schweben eure Schatten empor
Vom stillen Ufer der Lethe.
Seid mir, Unvergessliche, froh gesegnet!
Du vor allen, welcher im Buch der Menschheit
Mir der Hieroglyphen so viel gedeutet,
Redlicher Bonnet!
Längst verschlürft im Strudel der Brandung
Wäre wohl mein Fahrzeug,
Oder am Riff zerschmettert, hättet ihr nicht,
Genien gleich, im Sturme schirmend gewaltet!
Wiederseh’n, Wiederseh’n der Liebenden!
Wo der Heimat goldne Sterne leuchten,
O du der armen Psyche, die gebunden
Im Grabtal schmachtet, himmlische Sehnsucht!

Die Schatten

Friends, whose graves are already mossy!
When the full moon rises over the forest,
your shades float up
from the silent banks of Lethe.
With joy I bless you, unforgotten creatures,
and you above all, who in the book of life
explained so many secrets to me,
honest Bonnet.
Long ago my vessel would have sunk
in the swirling surf,
or been wrecked on the reef, had you not,
like guardian spirits, protected me in the storm.
To see again those we love,
where the golden stars of the homeland shine!
O celestial longing of the poor soul
which languishes, captive, in the grave.

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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.

Information from Wikipedia. Read more here.

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Friedrich von Matthisson was a German poet, an early member of the German Romantic movement. His best known poem is probably Adelaide, which was set to music by Beethoven.

He was born at Hohendodeleben near Magdeburg, the son of the village pastor, on the 23rd of January 1761. After studying theology and philology at the university of Halle, he was appointed in 1781 master at the classical school Philanthropinum in Dessau. This once famous seminary was, however, then rapidly decaying in public favor, and in 1784 Matthisson was glad to accept a travelling tutorship. He lived for two years with the Swiss author Bonstetten at Nyon on Lake Geneva.

In 1794 he was appointed reader and traveling companion to Princess Louisa of Anhalt-Dessau (wife of Leopold III, Duke of Anhalt-Dessau). They visited Switzerland, Tyrol, and Italy. For a time, they were joined in their travels by Danish author and salonist Friederike Brun. After Princess Louisa's death in 1811, he entered the service of the king of Württemberg, was ennobled, created counselor of legation, appointed intendant of the court theatre and chief librarian of the royal library at Stuttgart. He resided for a time in Italy. In 1828 he retired and settled at Wörlitz near Dessau, where he died on the 12th of March 1831.

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