The poet of Gruss
, Maximilian von Schenkendorf (or, to give him his full name, Gottlob Ferdinand Maximilian Gottfried von Schenkendorf, 1783– 1817), was best known for his patriotic poetry from the War of Liberation. The poem in two parts (Mendelssohn took the second for his song), was entitled ‘Am 30. September 1813’, and German readers would have known that this was only two weeks before the decisive Battle of the Nations in October 1813 and would have sympathized with the warrior who wishes that he could be with his beloved. Mendelssohn wrote this song in May 1840 for the album of Chérie Couraud, the future wife of Adolphe Adam, whom the Mendelssohns had just met.
from notes by Susan Youens © 2009