Introduction Ruckert-Lieder

Rückert-Lieder is a song cycle of five Lieder for voice and orchestra or piano by Gustav Mahler, based on poems written by Friedrich Ruckert (1788-1866).

Lied Ruckert 1: Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder

Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder explores a more unusual theme. It warns the listener not to be too inquisitive about the process of creation, and suggests that the poet does not trust himself to inquire too much: only the finished work counts, not how it was achieved. The ...

Lied Ruckert 2: Ich atmet' einen linden Duft!

Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft is perhaps unique in musically evoking a fragrance, the delicate fragrance of the lime tree with which the poet associates his love. The color of the setting is still more transparent, and much brighter than “Blicke mir nicht.” The orchestration again consists of single ...

Lied Ruckert 3: Um Mitternacht

Um Mitternacht moves from the most brilliant day to deepest night, and the change is once more immediately apparent in its coloration. Mahler calls for an orchestra without strings. In addition to pairs of woodwinds (with a single oboe d’amore replacing the usual oboes), three horns, two trumpets, three ...

Lied Ruckert 4: Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen

The poetic theme of “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,” one of Mahler’s most beautiful and moving songs, is again unusual. It evokes the peace achieved through the poet’s withdrawal from the everyday turmoil of the world and his absorption in the most meaningful and central aspects of his ...

Lied Ruckert 5: Liebst du um Schoenheit

The most traditional of the songs was the last composed, “Liebst du um Schönheit.” It is the most clearly strophic in form, with the four stanzas presented in pairs, with a very brief orchestral interlude in the middle. The first three stanzas are clear variants of one another.

Orchestration Ruckert-Lieder


  • 2 Bassoon. 
  • 2 Clarinet A. 
  • 2 Clarinet Bb. 
  • 1 Contra bassoon. 
  • 1 Cor Anglais (English horn).  
  • 2 Flute. 
  • 2 Oboe. 
  • 1 Oboe d’Amore. 


  • 1 Bass tuba. 
  • 2 Horn Eb. 
  • 4 Horn F (French horn). 
  • 3 Trombone. 
  • 2 Trumpet Eb. 

String sections