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Das Lied von der Erde – Von der Schönheit

Listening Guide

The Work


Tempo: Comodo Dolcissimo
Principal Key: G major with modulations into E, G, C, A-flat, F, D and B-flat major
Time signature: shifting between 3/4, 4/4 and occasional bars of 2/4
Form: sonata form (ABA’)

Junge Mädchen pflücken Blumen,
pflücken Lotosblumen an dem Uferrande.
Zwischen Büschen und Blättern sitzen sie,
sammeln Blüten in den Schoss und rufen
sich einander Neckereien zu.

Goldne Sonne webt um die Gestalten,
spiegelt sie im blanken Wasser wider.

Sonne spiegelt ihre schlanken Glieder,
ihre süssen Augen wider.
Und der Zephir hebt mit Schmeichelkosen das Gewebe
ihrer Ärmel auf, führt den Zauber
ihrer Wohlgerüche durch die Luft.

O sieh, was tummeln sich für schöne Knaben
dort an dem Uferrand auf mutgen Rossen?
Weithin glänzend wie die Sonnenstrahlen;
schon zwischen dem Geäst der grünen Weiden
trabt das jungfrische Volk einher!
Das Ross des einen wiehert fröhlich auf
über Blumen, Gräser, wanken hin die Hufe,
und scheut und saust dahin,
sie zerstampfen jäh im Sturm die hingesunken Blüten,
Hei! Wie flattern im Taumel seinen Mähnen,
dampfen heiss die Nüstern!

Goldne Sonne webt um die Gestalten,
spiegelt sie im blanken Wasser wider.
Und die schönste von den Jungfrau sendet
lange Blicke ihm der Sehnsucht nach.
Ihre stolze Haltung ist nur Vertellung:
in dem Funkeln ihrer grossen Augen,
in dem Dunkel ihres heissen Blicks
schwingt klagend noch die Erregung ihres Herzens nach.

Young girls are picking flowers,
lotus-flowers by the river-bank.
They are sitting among the bushes and the leaves,
gathering blossoms in their laps and calling
teasingly to one another.

The golden sun shines over their forms
and reflects them in the clear water.

The sun reflects their slender limbs,
and their sweet eyes.
And the breeze lifts their embroidered sleeves
caressingly, and carries the magic of their
perfume through the air.

Oh see, what fair youths are those
there by the river-bank on their brave steeds?
Flashing in the distance like sunbeams,
the gay young men are trotting by,
among the branches of the green willows!
The steed of one of them neighs merrily,
hesitates and plunges on.
His hoofs pass over flowers and grass;
stormily they trample down the fallen blossoms.
How his mane tosses in frenzy!
Hot steam blows from his nostrils.

The golden sun shines over the forms
and reflects them in the clear water.
And the fairest of the maidens casts
looks of longing after him.
Her proud bearing is only pretense:
in the flashing of her large eyes,
in the darkness of her warm glances,
her anxious heart is still throbbing.

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