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Die Vögel (1820) D691

Die Vögel

Wie lieblich und fröhlich,
Zu schweben, zu singen;
Von glänzender Höhe
Zur Erde zu blicken!
Die Menschen sind töricht,
Sie können nicht fliegen;
Sie jammern in Nöten,
Wir flattern gen Himmel.
Der Jäger will töten,
Dem Früchte wir pickten;
Wir müssen ihn höhnen,
Und Beute gewinnen.

The birds

How delightful and exhilarating it is
to soar and to sing,
to look down on the earth
from the radiant heights!
Men are foolish:
they cannot fly.
They lament in their distress;
we fly up to the heavens.
The huntsman whose fruit we pecked
wants to kill us;
but we should mock him
and snatch our spoils.

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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 Wilhelm Friedrich (after 1814: von) Schlegel  was a German poet, literary critic, philosopher, philologist and indologist. With his older brother, August Wilhelm Schlegel, he was one of the main figures of the Jena romantics. He was a zealous promoter of the Romantic movement and inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Adam Mickiewicz and Kazimierz Brodziński. Schlegel was a pioneer in Indo-European studies, comparative linguistics, in what became known as Grimm's law, and morphological typology. As a young man he was an atheist, a radical, and an individualist. Ten years later, the same Schlegel converted to Catholicism. Around 1810 he was a diplomat and journalist in the service of Metternich, surrounded by monks and pious men of society.

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