Unlike the earlier Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise, it uses poems by three poets, Ludwig Rellstab (1799–1860), Heinrich Heine (1797–1856) and Johann Gabriel Seidl (1804-1875). Schwanengesang has the number D 957 in the Deutsch catalogue.
The collection was named by its first publisher Tobias Haslinger, presumably wishing to present it as Schubert’s final musical testament to the world.
In the original manuscript in Schubert’s hand, the first 13 songs were copied in a single sitting, on consecutive manuscript pages, and in the standard performance order. Some[who?] claim that the last song, Taubenpost, text by Johann Gabriel Seidl (1804–1875), catalogue number D 965 A, is not part of the cycle as Schubert conceived it. However, it’s not clear that Schubert intended it to be a cycle at all, or if he did, that he completed it before he died. It may have been Tobias Haslinger, Schubert’s publisher, who conceived of it as a cycle, or attempted to finish an incomplete work by adding Taubenpost onto the end. So most people consider Haslinger’s published version ‘the’ version, and that’s how it’s performed today. Taubenpost is considered to be Schubert’s last Lied.
Franz Liszt later transcribed these songs for solo piano.
Schubert also set to music a poem named Schwanengesang by Johann Senn, unrelated to this collection (number D744 in the Deutsch catalogue). ~Taken from Wikipedia