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Schwestergruss (1822) D762


Im Mondenschein
Wall’ ich auf und ab,
Seh’ Totenbein’
Und stilles Grab.
Im Geisterhauch
Vorüber bebt’s,
Wie Flamm’ und Rauch
Vorüber schwebt’s;
Aus Nebeltrug
Steigt eine Gestalt,
Ohn’ Sünd’ und Lug
Vorüber wallt,
Das Aug’ so blau,
Der Blick so gross
Wie in Himmelsau,
Wie in Gottes Schoss;
Ein weiss Gewand
Bedeckt das Bild,
In zarter Hand
Eine Lilie quillt.
Im Geisterhauch
Sie zu mir spricht:
„Ich wand’re schon
Im reinen Licht,
„Seh Mond und Sonn’
Zu meinem Fuss
Und leb’ in Wonn’,
In Engelkuss;
„Und all’ die Lust,
Die ich empfind’,
Nicht deine Brust
Kennt, Menschenkind!
„Wenn du nicht lässt
Den Erdengott,
Bevor dich fasst
Der grause Tod.“
So tönt die Luft,
So saust der Wind,
Zu den Sternen ruft
Das Himmelskind,
Und eh’ sie flieht,
Die weiss’ Gestalt,
In frischer Blüt’
Sie sich entfalt’:
In reiner Flamm’
Schwebt sie empor,
Ohne Schmerz und Harm,
Zu der Engel Chor.
Die Nacht verhüllt
Den heil’gen Ort,
Von Gott erfüllt
Sing’ ich das Wort.

Sister's greeting

In the moonlight
I wander up and down
seeing dead bones
and a silent grave.
In the ghostly breeze
something floats past,
like flame and smoke.
From the deluding mists
a figure rises,
without sin or falsehood,
and drifts past.
Such blue eyes,
such a noble gaze,
as in the fields of heaven,
as in the lap of God.
A white garment
covers the apparition.
From its delicate hand
springs a lily.
In a ghostly whisper
she speaks to me:
‘Already I walk
in the pure light.
‘I see the moon and the sun
at my feet,
and live in bliss,
kissed by angels.
‘Your heart, child of man,
cannot know
how great is the joy
I feel.
‘Unless you relinquish
the earth’s false gods
before fearful death
seizes you.’
Thus the air echoes;
thus the wind whistles;
the child of heaven
calls to the stars.
And before she flees
her white form
is enfolded
in fresh flowers.
She floats up
in pure flame,
without pain or grief,
to the choir of angels.
Night veils
the holy place;
filled with God,
I sing the Word.

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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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Franz Joseph von Bruchmann was the son of Johann Christian Maria von Bruchmann, director of the Vienna National Bank, one of the richest men in Vienna and  patron of Franz Schubert and the artist Leopold Kupelwieser.  In his Vienna home Johann Christian  hosted the so-called Schubertiaden, musical and literary evenings with Schubert at their centre.

Franz Joseph graduated in Law in 1827 and joined the Austrian civil service. Following the untimely death of his wife Juliana in 1830 , he went to Rome and entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, and was ordained in Graz in 1833.  In 1841 he founded the Redemptorist mission in Upper Bavaria. He later became the Provincial of the Austrian and German congregations.

Schubert set five of Franz Joseph’s poems to music: Am Zee (D746), An die Leier (D737), Der Zürnende Barde (D785), Im Haine (D738), and Schewstergruss (D763)

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