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Songs

An die Laute

by Franz Schubert

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Text & Translation

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An die Laute
German source: Rochlitz, Johann

Leiser, leiser, kleine Laute, 
Flüstre, was ich dir vertraute, 
Dort zu jenem Fenster hin!
Wie die Wellen sanfter Lüfte 
Mondenglanz und Blumen düfte, 
Send es der Gebieterin!

Neidisch sind der Nachbars Söhne, 
Und im Fenster jener Schöne 
Flimmert noch ein einsam Licht. 
Drum noch leiser, kleine Laute: 
Dich vernehme die Vertraute, 
Nachbarn aber, Nachbarn nicht!

To the Lute
English translation © Richard Wigmore

Play more softly, little lute,
whisper what I secretly told you
to that window there!
Like the ripple of gentle breezes,
like moonlight and the scent of flowers, 
convey your secret to my mistress.

The neighbour’s sons are envious,
and at the fair lady’s window
a solitary lamp flickers.
So play still more softly, little lute:
that my beloved may hear you,
but the neighbours – no, not the neighbours!

Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

An die Laute
German source: Rochlitz, Johann

To the Lute
English source: Richard Wigmore

Leiser, leiser, kleine Laute, 
Play more softly, little lute,
Flüstre, was ich dir vertraute, 
whisper what I secretly told you
Dort zu jenem Fenster hin!
to that window there!
Wie die Wellen sanfter Lüfte 
Like the ripple of gentle breezes,
Mondenglanz und Blumen düfte, 
like moonlight and the scent of flowers, 
Send es der Gebieterin!
convey your secret to my mistress.

Neidisch sind der Nachbars Söhne, 
The neighbour’s sons are envious,
Und im Fenster jener Schöne 
and at the fair lady’s window
Flimmert noch ein einsam Licht. 
a solitary lamp flickers.
Drum noch leiser, kleine Laute: 
So play still more softly, little lute:
Dich vernehme die Vertraute, 
that my beloved may hear you,
Nachbarn aber, Nachbarn nicht!
but the neighbours – no, not the neighbours!

Composer

Franz Schubert

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…

Poet

Rochlitz, Johann

Johann Friedrich Rochlitz was a German playwright, musicologist and art and music critic. His most notable work is his autobiographical account Tage der Gefahr (Days of Danger) about the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 — in Kunst und Altertum, Goethe…

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