The settings of Des Knaben Wunderhorn by Gustav Mahler are orchestral songs and voice and piano settings of poems from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (‘The Youth’s Magic Horn’) a collection of anonymous German folk poems assembled by Ludwig Achim von Arnim (1781-1831)  and Clemens Brentano (1778-1842)and published by them, in heavily redacted form, between 1805 and 1808. 10 songs set for soprano or baritone and orchestra were first published by Mahler as a cycle in 1905. But in total 12 orchestral songs exist, and a similar number of songs for voice and piano.

1806. Des Knaben Wunderhorn by Ludwig Achim von Arnim (1781-1831).

Mahler’s self-composed text for the first of his Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (‘Songs of a Travelling Journeyman’, regularly translated as ‘Songs of a Wayfarer’; 1884-1885) is clearly based on the Wunderhorn poem ‘Wann mein Schatz’; his first genuine settings of Wunderhorn texts, however, are found in the Lieder und Gesänge (‘Songs and Airs’), published in 1892 and later renamed by the publisher as Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit (‘Songs and Airs from Days of Youth’). The nine Wunderhorn settings therein were composed between 1887 and 1890, and occupied the second and third volumes of this three-volume collection of songs for voice and piano. The titles of these nine songs (different in many cases from the titles of the original poems) are as follows:

Volume II

Lied 1: Um schlimme Kinder artig zu machen

Lied 2: Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grunen Wald

Lied 3: Aus! Aus!

Lied 4: Starke Einbildungskraft

Volume III

Lied 5: Zu Strassburg auf der Schanz

Lied 6: Ablosung im Sommer

Lied 7: Scheiden und Meiden

Lied 8: Nicht wiedersehen!

Lied 9: Selbstgefuhl!


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