- First performance: Berlin, March 16, 1896, with the baritone Anton Sistermans (1867-1926). (Premiere).
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen ('Songs of a Wayfarer') is a song cycle by Gustav Mahler on his own texts. The cycle of four Lieder for low voice (often performed by women as well as men) was written around 1884-1885 in the wake of Mahler's unhappy love for soprano Johanna Richter ...
The first movement is entitled "Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht" ("When My Sweetheart is Married"), and the text discusses the Wayfarer's grief at losing his love to another. He remarks on the beauty of the surrounding world, but how that cannot keep him from having sad dreams. The orchestral texture ...
The second movement, "Ging heut Morgen übers Feld" ("I Went This Morning over the Field"), contains the happiest music of the work. Indeed, it is a song of joy and wonder at the beauty of nature in simple actions like birdsong and dew on the grass. "Is it not a ...
The third movement is a full display of despair. Entitled "Ich hab'ein glühend Messer" ("I Have a Gleaming Knife"), the Wayfarer likens his agony of lost love to having an actual metal blade piercing his heart. He obsesses to the point where everything in the environment reminds him of some ...
The final movement culminates in a resolution. The music, also reused in the First Symphony (in the Scherzo "Funeral March in Callot's manner"), is subdued and gentle, lyrical and often reminiscent of a chorale in its harmonies. Its title, "Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz" ("The Two Blue ...
- 1 Bass clarinet Bb.
- 2 Bassoon.
- 3 Clarinet Bb.
- 2 Cor Anglais (English horn).
- 3 Flute.
- 2 Oboe.
- 1 Piccolo.
- 4 Horn F (French horn).
- 3 Trombone.
- 2 Trumpet F.
- Double bass.
- 1 Harp.