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Songs

Songs

Abendstern (1824) D806


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 Benjamin Hulett and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.



Abendstern

Was weilst du einsam an dem Himmel,
O schöner Stern? und bist so mild;
Warum entfernt das funkelnde Gewimmel
Der Brüder sich von deinem Bild?
„Ich bin der Liebe treuer Stern,
Sie halten sich von Liebe fern.“
So solltest du zu ihnen gehen,
Bist du der Liebe, zaud’re nicht!
Wer möchte denn dir widerstehen?
Du süsses eigensinnig Licht.
„Ich säe, schaue keinen Keim,
Und bleibe trauernd still daheim.“

The Evening Star

Why do you linger all alone in the sky,
fair star? For you are so gentle;
why does the host of sparkling brothers
shun your sight?
‘I am the faithful star of love;
they keep far away from love.’
If you are love,
you should go to them without delay!
For who could resist you,
sweet, wayward light?
‘I sow no seed, I see no shoot,
and remain here, silent and mournful.’

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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

Johann Baptist Mayrhofer , was an Austrian poet and librettist. He is best known for his close friendship with the composer Franz Schubert.

Mayrhofer was born in Steyr, educated and Novitiate in St. Florian's Priory Upper Austria. In 1810 he began to study Jurisprudence and Theology at the University of Vienna, both of which courses he finished. In 1814 he met the young composer Franz Schubert and his friends (Joseph von Spaun, Franz von Schober).

Mayrhofer wrote a lot of lyric poetry and published it in 1824.

47 Schubert songs and two of his operas are based on Mayrhofer’s lyric poems.

As a young man Mayrhofer had been hopelessly in love with Mina (Wilhelmina Watteroth), the daughter of Heinrich Watteroth, who was one of Mayrhofer's professors and for a short time also his landlord. In his late years Mayrhofer (like Schubert) fell in love with a young 15-year-old girl, the daughter of his landlord Doctor Strauss. Mayrhofer, who had been a hypochondriac all his life, committed suicide by jumping from the window of his office in Vienna.

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About Oxford Lieder

Oxford Lieder is one of the world's leading promoters of song and the winner of a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award. The focal point of each year is the two-week Oxford Lieder Festival in October.

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