Tags - Ruckert

Gustav Mahler – "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" (Rückert) – Fischer-Dieskau

During the summers of 1901 and 1902, Gustav Mahler set to music five poems by the German Romantic poet Friedrich Rückert. The third of these, „Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen“, portrays a world-weary artist who exists in our everyday world, but who actually lives his life in another, more ethereal plane reserved for great artists. Mahler, much maligned as composer during his lifetime, identified strongly with the poem, saying that it expressed his very self. In fact, he felt so strongly about this song that he reused much of the music in the famous Adagietto of his Fifth Symphony, which he composed during the summer of 1902. The orchestral song begins with a mournful melody played by solo English horn. This melody is then restated and extended by the singer during the first stanza, which speaks of the artists isolation in a world that already thinks him dead. The tempo increases slightly for the second stanza, during which the artist reflects that he does not really care what the world thinks. The third stanza is remarkably peaceful as the artist describes the other world in which he resides: I live alone in my heaven, in my love, in my song. The gentle consonant-dissonant alternation of the violins and English horn in the coda seems to portray the artist staring beyond the horizon into his musical paradise. Many consider „Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen“, as Mahlers greatest song, one of his most profound and moving works and was of immense personal significance
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