Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Beethoven of course had many talented contemporaries. But, Schubert, much Beethoven's junior in age, but who lived in the same city as Beethoven for over 30 years, was arguably the closest in spirit to Beethoven achieved by anyone. Beethoven himself indicated that Schubert was a genius. The wonderful serenade "Nachtgesang im Walde“ (Night Song in the Forest), for four horns and men’s chorus, was one of the pieces which Schubert composed for the concert which took place on the first anniversary of Beethoven’s death.
Be always greeted by us, oh night,
But doubly so here in the forest,
Where your eyes smile more secretly,
Where your footsteps echo more quietly!
Upon the branches' leafy goblets
You pour out your silver,
You hang the moon with its gentle beams
As a lamp for us in the house of leaves.
Sighing little breezes are your speech,
Spinning beams are your threads,
All that is touched soothingly by your lips,
Lowers its eyes and sinks into sleep!
And yet, it is too lovely for sleeping,
Therefore arise and wake with the sound of horns,
With the wave-beats of brighter resonances,
That which earlier lay numbed in slumber.
There is already movement in the leaves;
The birds, they believe that night has flown.
The wandering deer timidly withdraw;
They think that soon day will dawn;
The treetops roar mightily,
The well-spring makes sounds as if it were awake;
And we cry out in song: “the night is at home in the forest!”
The echo calls out, “It is at home in the forest!”
Therefore be doubly greeted here in the forest
By us, beloved night;
Where everything that appears beautiful,
Smiles even more beautifully upon us.