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Title Composer Description View or Listen Date Posted
An die Musik Schubert
Voice and guitar
Arr. Reinhold Jentsch 
mus  pdf  mid  mp3  xml  2007-10-11
An die Musik Schubert
Guitar duet
Arr. Reinhold Jentsch and Tom Potter
mus  pdf  mid  mp3  xml  2013-04-30

Title: "An die Musik"

Composer: Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Words: Franz von Schober (1798-1882)

History

"An die Musik", which means, "To Music", is one of Schubert's most familiar and best-loved songs.  It is a love song in which the beloved is Music herself. 

Schubert based his song on a poem by his close friend, Franz von Schober, a young man of Schubert's age who was, unlike Schubert, from a well-to-do family.  (Schober was born in Sweden).  In 1815, when Schober met him, Schubert was trapped in the drudgery of teaching in his father's school for children (in Vienna).  Schober and Schubert quickly became friends, and Schober fell in love with Schubert's music.  Seeing that Schubert was forced to spend too much time away from music, Schober invited Schubert to come live with him in his mother's house.  Schober offered to support Schubert so that he could become a full-time composer.  Schubert's father and Schober's mother granted consent to this arrangement. 

Schubert and Schober enjoyed a lasting friendship.  For protacted periods, the two young men lived together, often sleeping in the same room.  "An die Musik" was composed in 1818, but not published until 1827, the year before Schubert's death.

Neither in his own time nor since has Schober received recognition as a writer of unusual talent.  His poetry was not published, and he is remembered today only as the author of "An die Musik", and of several other poems set to music by Schubert.  Interestingly, the only Schubert song for which Schubert himself wrote the words is "Abschied von einem Freunde" ("Farewell to a friend"), written in 1817 on the occasion of Schober's departure from Vienna (Newbould, p. 67).

Text

 

An die Musik
By Franz von Schober


To Music
By Franz von Schober
Translated by Tom Potter

1 Du holde Kunst, in wieviel grauen Stunden
Wo mich des Lebens wilder Kreis umstrickt,
Hast du mein Herz zu warmer Lieb entzünden,
Hast mich in eine bess're Welt entrückt,
In eine bess're Welt entrückt

You dear, sweet Art, in many dismal hours
Where I’ve been bound by life’s unruly course,
Then in my heart, a warmer love you have ignited
You’ve carried me to a better, better world,
Yes, to a better, better world!
2 Oft hat ein Seufzer, deiner Harf' entflossen,
Ein süsser heiliger Akkord von dir
Den Himmel bess'rer Zeiten mir erschlossen,
Du holde Kunst,ich danke dir dafür,
Du holde Kunst, ich danke dir!


Oft comes a sigh, a holy chord from your harp strings
That sparks in me a vision, one I clearly see,
A glimpse of heaven, and the sight of better times before me,
I thank you for these things, you dear sweet Art,
For these things, my thanks to you.
 
Translation donated to the public domain, Tom Potter, 2008

 

Remarks

Translation

My English version has the objective of fitting the rhythm of the song.  In places, therefore I depart from a literal translation.

Guitar accompaniment

The guitar part, by Reinholdt Jentsch, is a masterful retailoring of the piano accompaniment to suit the capabilities of the guitar.  It is fairly easy and sounds great—an unbeatable combination!  To achieve this, Jentsch's arrangement freely rearranges the chords.  I have made a few small corrections.

I have also changed existing dynamic markings and added others.  The only dynamic markings
both in Schubert and Jentsch are a "p" at the beginning of bar 1 and a "pp" at the beginning of bar 3.

References

Jackson, Stephen, Franz Schubert, An Essential Guide to his Life and Works, Pavilion Books, London, 1996 (110 pages).  [Contains a good short account of Schubert's life.]

Hellborn, Kreissle von, The Life of Franz Schubert, (translated from German by Arthur Duke Coleridge), 2 volumes, London, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1869.  [In books.google.com.  Contains information about Schober and his friendship with Schubert.]

Newbould, Brian, Schubert, The Music and the Man, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1997 (465 pages)  [Newbould, an emeritus professor retired from the University of Hull, is an internationally-known Schubert scholar; see his website at http://www.briannewbould.co.uk/].

"Franz Schubert", (2008, March 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:01, March 21, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Franz_Schubert&oldid=199837445

W. Werckmeister (1873-?), editor, Deutsches Lautenlied, A. Köster Verlag, Berlin, 1916 edition, p. 614  [My source for the music arranged by Reinholdt Jentsch, and the text by Schober].

 

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