In the reflection of the river, in the snows of the Alps,
In the golden clouds of sinking day,
In the fields of stars thy face beams forth,
Evening breezes whisper through the tender leaves
The silver bells at Maytime rustle in the grass,
Waves roar and nightingales sing,
In der spiegelnden Flut, im Schnee der Alpen,
In des sinkenden Tages Goldgewölke,
In Gefilde der Sterne strahlt dein Bildnis,
Einst, o Wunder! entblüht auf meinem Grabe,
Eine Blume der Asche meines Herzens.
Deutlich schimmert auf jedem Purpurblättchen:
The following text on Beethoven’s musical composition ‘Adelaide’ is derived from Wikipedia.
The text of ‘Adelaide’ is an early Romantic poem written in German by Friedrich von Matthisson (1761–1831). The poem expresses an outpouring of yearning for an idealized and apparently unattainable woman.
The song is ‘thought-composed’, meaning that every stanza is assigned its own mood.
Beethoven treated the text in two parts. The first, covering the first three stanzas, is set larghetto and marked dolce. There is a triplet accompaniment in the piano, with many modulations through the flat keys, creating a dreamy atmosphere.
The second part of Beethoven’s song sets the extravagant death fantasy of the final stanza, in which flowers sprout from poet’s grave to express his undying love. Strikingly, Beethoven sets this stanza in tones not of despair but of ecstasy; the tempo marking is allegro molto.
In an essay on this song, Carla Ramsey offers an almost lurid account of the final section:
“A culmination of the yearnings expressed in the earlier part of the song, the Allegro molto might be viewed as a kind of triumphal march in which the young lover exults in a death and a transfiguration whereby he is symbolically united with his beloved… The march crescendos and culminates on F above middle C with an impassioned outcry of the beloved’s name. The final eleven measures, marked ‘calando’ musically portray an almost post-coital relaxation of the exhausted lover into his lover’s arms with a dying, prayer-like exhalation: “Adelaide.”
This is a link to the Wikipedia post on David Daniels.