“I can neither play nor sing, and when I write poetry, I nevertheless sing and play. If I were able to express the tunes in my head, then my songs would be more successful than they now are. But do not despair, some day a kindred soul may well turn up that can hear the melodies hidden in my words and give them back to me.” These lines were written in his diary on 8 October 1815 by Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827), a native of Dessau, the teacher, librarian, and poet who wrote the verses for ‘Die schöne Müllerin’. Franz Schubert was Müller’s junior by three years, and the song was the most essential element of his entire oeuvre. In Schubert, Müller found that sought-after ‘kindred soul’. The composer Schubert was charmed by the aesthetic quality of the poet Müller’s text; Müller, taking for his model ‘the most beautiful German folk songs’, succinctly summed up the principal criteria of his literary language: “Simplicity of form, singing quality of the rhythm, natural directness of language … unconscious, deep, tenderness, which … .echoes long afterwards, and naive openness towards the shy expression of the highest ideals.”The origins of the text for ‘Die schöne Müllerin’ go back to Müller’s student years in Berlin, 1816/1817. At that time, Müller, who was studying philology, was part of a group of young men and women interested in literature, who met regularly for enthusiastic literary discussions at the house of State Counsellor Friedrich August von Stägemann, who himself wrote poetry…..Download booklet
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