Gottlieb von Leon was one of the most important literary men of Vienna; forty years older than Schubert (whom he was to outlive) it is not surprising that the composer chose to clothe his words in the musical manner of an earlier age. In 1816 Leon was named Kustos
(curator) of the Hofbibliothek, an appointment which was a tribute to his deep knowledge of the collection of autographs and printed books in the Imperial collection. He was a great admirer of Klopstock and Hölty and wrote Anacreontic odes in their manner as well as Minnelieder
in the manner of Bürger and Gleim. Indeed his poems contributed to the awakening of a taste for medieval literature in Austria. Although he was not a very original poet, Leon was involved in several important publishing ventures including the foundation of the celebrated Wienerischer Musenalmanach
and (with Ratschky, poet of Schubert's Der Weiberfreund
) of Apollonia
, another celebrated almanac.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1994