Bin Freund, und komme nicht, zu strafen. Sei gutes Muts!
The Maiden : Pass me by! Oh, pass me by! Go, fierce man of bones! I am still young! Go, dear, And do not touch me. And do not touch me. Death : Give me your hand, you beautiful and tender form!
1 - German melody
I am a friend, and come not to punish. Be of good cheer! I am not fierce, Softly shall you sleep in my arms! From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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You leave me long alone! I walk up and down with my lute on paths swelling with soft grass. O beauty! O eternal loving-and-life-bedrunken world! He dismounted and handed him the drink of Farewells.
He asked him where he would go and why must it be. He spoke, his voice was quiet. Ah my friend, Fortune was not kind to me in this world! Where do I go?
I go, I wander in the mountains. I seek peace for my lonely heart. I wander homeward, to my abode! I'll never wander far. Still is my heart, awaiting its hour. The dear earth everywhere blossoms in spring and grows green anew! Everywhere and forever blue is the horizon! Bethge used prior translations and adaptations of the original Chinese poetry. These attributions have been a matter of some uncertainty, and around the turn of the 21st century, Chinese scholars extensively debated the sources of the songs following a performance of the work in China in Mahler had already included movements for voice and orchestra in his Second , Third , Fourth and Eighth Symphonies.
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However, Das Lied von der Erde is the first complete integration of song cycle form with that of the symphony. The form was afterwards imitated by other composers, notably by Shostakovich and Zemlinsky. This new form has been termed a "song-symphony",  a hybrid of the two forms that had occupied most of Mahler's creative life. Mahler deploys these resources with great restraint; only in the first, fourth and sixth songs does the full orchestra play together. The celesta is only heard at the end of the finale, and only the first movement requires all three trumpets, with two playing in the fourth movement and none playing in the sixth.
In many places the texture resembles chamber music, with only a few instruments being used at one time. Mahler's habit was to subject the orchestration of every new orchestral work to detailed revision over several years. Though the musical material itself was hardly ever changed, the complex instrumental 'clothing' would be altered and refined in the light of experience gained in performance. In the case of Das Lied von der Erde , however, this process could not occur as the work's publication and first performance occurred posthumously.
The score calls for tenor and alto soloists. For the first few decades after the work's premiere, this option was little used. On one occasion Bruno Walter tried it out, and engaged Friedrich Weidemann , the baritone who had premiered Kindertotenlieder under Mahler's own baton in However, Walter felt that tenor and baritone did not work as well as tenor and alto, and he never repeated the experiment. Following the pioneering recordings of the work by baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau under conductors Paul Kletzki and Leonard Bernstein , the use of baritones in this work has increased.
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Arnold Schoenberg began to arrange Das Lied von der Erde for chamber orchestra, reducing the orchestral forces to string and wind quintets, and calling for piano , celesta and harmonium to supplement the harmonic texture. Three percussionists are also employed. Schoenberg never finished this project, but the arrangement was completed by Rainer Riehn in In , the Octavian Society commissioned Glen Cortese to create two reductions of the work, one for a chamber ensemble of twenty instruments and one for a small orchestra with woodwinds and brass in pairs.
Both these reductions are published in critical editions by Universal in Vienna. Mahler also arranged the work for piano accompaniment, and this has been recorded by Cyprien Katsaris with Thomas Moser and Brigitte Fassbaender. Katsaris has also performed this version in concert. Mahler had died six months earlier, on 18 May.
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One of the earliest performances in London possibly the first occurred in January at the Queen's Hall under conductor Henry Wood , where it was sung by Gervase Elwes and Doris Woodall. Wood reportedly thought that the work was 'excessively modern but very beautiful'. According to the musicologist Theodor W. Adorno , Mahler found in Chinese poetry what he had formerly sought after in the genre of German folk song: a mask or costume for the sense of rootlessness or "otherness" attending his identity as a Jew.
Mahler was aware  of the so-called " curse of the ninth ", a superstition arising from the fact that no major composer since Beethoven had successfully completed more than nine symphonies: he had already written eight symphonies before composing Das Lied von der Erde. His next symphony, written for purely instrumental forces, was numbered his Ninth.
That was indeed the last symphony he fully completed, because only two movements of the Tenth had been fully orchestrated at the time of his death. The first movement, "The Drinking Song of Earth's Misery" in A minor , continually returns to the refrain, Dunkel ist das Leben, ist der Tod literally, "Dark is life, is death" , which is pitched a semitone higher on each successive appearance. The singer's part is notoriously demanding, since the tenor has to struggle at the top of his range against the power of the full orchestra.
This gives the voice its shrill, piercing quality, and is consistent with Mahler's practice of pushing instruments, including vocal cords, to their limits. According to musicologist Theodor W. Adorno , the tenor should here create the impression of a "denatured voice in the Chinese falsetto style".
The movement begins with a three-note horn call which recurs throughout the song, most notably at the climax in which the singer describes an ape calling "into the sweet fragrance of life. Marked 'somewhat dragging and exhausted', it begins with a repetitive shuffling in the strings, followed by solo wind instruments.
The lyrics, which are based on the first part of a Tang Dynasty era poem by Qian Qi ,  lament the dying of flowers and the passing of beauty, as well as expressing an exhausted longing for sleep. The orchestration in this movement is sparse and chamber music -like, with long and independent contrapuntal lines. The third movement, "Of Youth" for tenor, in B-flat major , is the most obviously pentatonic and faux-Asian.
The form is ternary , the third part being a greatly abbreviated revision of the first. It is also the shortest of the six movements, and can be considered a first scherzo. The music of this movement, "Of Beauty" for alto, in G major , is mostly soft and legato, meditating on the image of some "young girls picking lotus flowers at the riverbank. There is a long orchestral postlude to the sung passage, as the most beautiful of the young maidens looks longingly after the most handsome of the young men.
The second scherzo of the work is provided by the fifth movement, "The drunken man in Spring" for tenor, in A major. Like the first, it opens with a horn theme. In this movement Mahler uses an extensive variety of key signatures, which can change as often as every few measures.
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The middle section features a solo violin and solo flute, which represent the bird the singer describes. The final movement, "The Farewell" for alto, from C minor to C major , is nearly as long as the previous five movements combined. Its text is drawn from two different poems, both involving the theme of leave-taking. Mahler himself added the last lines.
This final song is also notable for its text-painting, using a mandolin to represent the singer's lute, imitating bird calls with woodwinds, and repeatedly switching between the major and minor modes to articulate sharp contrasts in the text.