Das klagende Lied (Song of Lamentation) is a cantata by Gustav Mahler, composed between 1878 and 1880 and greatly revised over the next two decades.


Das klagende Lied (Song of Lamentation) is a cantata by Gustav Mahler, composed between 1878 and 1880 and greatly revised over the next two decades. In its original form, Das klagende Lied is one of the earliest of his works to have survived (the Piano Quartet movement in A minor is believed to date from 1876).

Compositional History

Mahler began to write the text of Das klagende Lied (possibly basing it on the fairy tale of the same name by Ludwig Bechstein and/or Der singende Knochen (The Singing Bones) by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm) during the early part of his final year in the Vienna Conservatory, where he was a student between 1875 and 1878. The draft text for the work is dated 18 March 1878, and composition of the music began in the Autumn of 1879 and was completed on 1 November 1880. The work is laid out on a very large and complex scale, requiring a large orchestra and taking 60–70 minutes to perform in full.

As originally composed, Das klagende Lied was in three parts:

  1. Waldmärchen (Forest Legend)
  2. Der Spielmann (The Minstrel)
  3. Hochzeitsstück (Wedding Piece)

The first performance did not take place until 1901, by which time Mahler had subjected his original score to several major revisions. The first revision of the work took place in the second half of 1893. This featured a significant reduction and re-arrangement of the orchestral and vocal forces, with the number of harps in the first part being reduced from six to two, and the vocal soloists from eleven to four. The boys’ voices were also removed. The off-stage orchestra, which had played an important role in the original score, was also completely removed from the second and third parts. In spite of having lavished such detailed effort on revising the work's first part, Mahler then decided (Autumn 1893) to omit it completely.

Further revisions to what was now a work in two parts (after the omission of the original first part) were made between September and December 1898. At this point, Mahler’s previous decision to remove the off-stage brass was reversed. The 1898 revisions were in fact so extensive that Mahler had to write out an entirely new manuscript score.

Performance and recording history

The first performance of Das klagende Lied took place on 17 February 1901 in Vienna, with Mahler himself conducting. It was in this two-part version that the work was published and entered the repertoire. Once the manuscript of the original three-part version came to light in 1969, however, the earlier score came to be regularly performed and recorded as well. The score of the three-part version was published as part of the Gustav Mahler Edition in 1997.


3 flutes (2nd and 3rd doubling on piccolo)
2 oboes
English horn
2 clarinets in B flat (both also in A)
Bass clarinet in B flat (doubling as 3rd clarinet in B or C)
3 bassoons (3rd doubling on double bassoon)
4 horns (all 4 doubling on natural horns (Waldhorn))
4 trumpets in F (1st and 2nd doubling on cornet in F)
3 trombones
percussion for 4 percussionists
bass drum
2 harps
Offstage Orchestra
2 flutes
2 clarinets in E flat
2 clarinets in B flat
3 bassoons
4 flugelhorns in B flat (3 doubling on trumpets in F)
2 cornets in E flat

, boy alto.boy soprano, baritone, tenor, contralto, soprano (SATB) and vocal soloists: choirIt includes a mixed


Part I: Waldmärchen (Forest Legend)

A beautiful yet scornful queen decides to hold a contest, the winner of which will be awarded her hand in marriage. The knight who finds a red flower in the forest, she announces, will be judged the winner. Two brothers in particular, one kind and chivalrous, the other wicked and blasphemous, venture into the thicket to find the elusive flower. The gallant brother quickly finds the flower, places it in his cap, and dozes off in the field. Coming upon this scene, the wayward brother draws his sword and kills his sibling, seizing the flower for himself.

Part II: Der Spielmann (The Minstrel)

A minstrel, wandering through the forest, stumbles across a bleached bone in the shade of a willow tree and carves it into a flute. The slain brother sings through the flute, telling the minstrel the details of his unfortunate death. The minstrel resolves to find the queen and inform her of what he has learned.

Part III: Hochzeitsstück (Wedding Piece)

On the same day the minstrel is to arrive at the castle to divulge his discovery, a celebration in honour of the queen's marriage takes place. The murderer-knight, quiet and pale, reflects morbidly on his rash course of action. The minstrel arrives and plays the slain knight's bone-flute. The king-to-be confiscates the flute, but upon playing it himself is accused by his brother of ending his life early for an unjust reason. Pandemonium ensues: the queen faints, the partygoers flee, and the castle itself collapses.


歌词 (英汉对照)

Part One - 第一部分

<Forest Legend> 《森林传说》

There was a proud gueen, 从前有一位自负的女王,
Lovely beyond measure, 迷人得超乎想象。
No knight was suitable in her mind, 在她眼里没有一位骑士能与她相配。
She hated all of them. 她厌恶他们全部。
O Woe, you fair woman! 哎,你这美丽的女人!
For whom will your sweet body bloom? 你那温柔的情絮将会对谁绽放呢?

In the forest there grew a red flower 林间盛开了一株红色的花朵,
As beautiful as the queen, 仿佛女王一样娇美动人。
The knight who found the flower 找到此花的骑士,
Could win her for his wife. 便可以娶她为妻。
O woe, you proud queen! 哎,你这高傲的女王!
When will your proud spirit break? 你那高傲的锐气何时才会消磨呢?

Two brothers entered the forest 一对兄弟进入了森林,
To search for the flower, 企图寻觅此花。
The one fair and of gentle spirit, 他们二人一位俊美且文雅,
The other could but curse. 而另一位却心中充满咒怨。
O knight, my wicked knight, 骑士啊,我顽恶的骑士。
Forsake your cursing! 抛弃你的诅咒吧!

When they had travelled for a while, 当他们前行不久,
It happened that they parted, 便相互作别,各择其途。
The search was now conducted in haste 搜寻在匆忙地进行着,
In the forest and on the heath. 在树林间,在草丛中。
My knights in a hurry, 我匆忙的骑士们啊。
Who will discover the flower? 谁才能够发现那株花呢?

The younger travelled through wood and heath, 年轻的弟弟在树间和丛中穿梭。
He had not far to go, 他尚未走远,
For soon by a willow he saw 便看到了一棵柳树,
The red flower growing. 那红花正开于其上。
He stuck it in his hat 他将它别于帽上,
And then lay down to rest. 然后便躺下休息了。

The other was drawn to the wild hillside, 年长的哥哥误入了荒芜的山坡,
In vain searched through the heather, 徒劳地搜索于石南花丛中。
And when the evening descended, 在夜幕降临时,
He came to the green willow. 他找到了那棵绿色的柳树。
O woe, whom he found sleeping there, 哎,他发现谁正熟睡于此!
The flower in his hat, in green ribbon! 那花朵正别于他帽上的绿色缎带中!

You fair nightingale 你这美丽的夜莺,
And robin in the hedge, 以及树篱上的知更鸟啊。
Your sound should 你们的歌声应当
Awaken the poor knight 唤醒这可怜的骑士。
You red flower in the hat, 你这帽上的红花啊,
You gleam indeed like blood! 竟然像血光一样闪烁!

His eye gleams with savage joy, 他的眼中流露出了凶残的喜悦。
Its look has told no lie; 这种眼神并没有说谎:
A sword of steel hangs at his side, 一把刚剑悬挂在他腰间。
Now he has drawn it! 它已被抽出剑鞘!
The elder laughs‘neath the willow tree, 年长的哥哥冷笑于柳树之下。
The younger smiles as in a dream. 年轻的弟弟却微笑于睡梦之中。

You flowers, what makes you so heavy with dew? 你们这些花朵儿啊,是什么使你们垂下露珠?
Methinks indeed you are weeping! 在我看来,你们难道不是在哭泣么!
You winds, why waft so sadly, 你们这些风啊,为何如此哀戚地飘荡!
What does your whispering mean? 你们低沉的耳语到底意味着什么?
‘In the forest on the greensward, “在树林中的草地上。
There grows an old willow.’ 生长着一棵苍老的柳树。”

- Part Two - 第二部分

<The Minstrel> 《游吟歌手》

By the willow tree in the cool fir wood, 在那棵柳树旁,在冰冷的杉木林中。
Where the jackdaws and ravens flutter, 穴鸟和乌鸦振翼徘徊。
There lies a fair-haired knight一位金发骑士躺在那里,
Under leaves and blossoms buried. 被树叶和花瓣埋藏。
It is so mild and fragrant there, 那里是如此地温适而芬芳。
As though weeping filled the air. 空气中仿佛充斥着伤感的泪滴。
O sorrow, sorrow! 哎,悲哀,悲哀!

A minstrel wandered once that way, 一位游吟歌手迷失其途,
He saw a small bone gleaming 他看到一小块骨头发出若隐若现的淡淡光芒。
He picked it up as if were a pipe, 他将它拾起,并发现它好似一只笛管。
He meant to carve a flute from it. 他打算将它雕造成一支长笛。
O minstrel, dear minstrel, 噢,游吟歌手,亲爱的游吟歌手!
It will be a strange performance! 这将是怎样的一场非凡的演奏啊!
O sorrow, woe! O sorrow! 哎,悲哀啊!哎,悲哀!

The minstrel set flute to his lips, 游吟歌手将长笛置于唇前,
And loudly made it sound. 并大声地吹奏。
O wonder, what there now began, 噢!发生了什么样的奇迹啊!
What strange and doleful singing! 它竟发出了如此奇异而阴郁的歌声!
It sounded so sad and yet so beautiful, 它听起来是那么的悲伤,但又是那样的美妙!
Who heard it might die of sorrow! 听到它的人一定会痛不欲生!
O sorrow, sorrow! 哎,悲哀,悲哀!

‘Ah minstrel, dear minstrel, “啊,游吟歌手,亲爱的游吟歌手。
Now I must lament to you: 现在我必须对你哀悼:
For a beautiful flower 为了一株美丽的花儿
My brother struck me dead. 我的兄长将我刺死。
In the forest my young body bleaches.我年轻的躯体在森中化为白骨。
My brother woos a fair woman! 而我的兄长却迎娶了美丽的女人!
O sorrow, sorrow! Woe!’ 哎,悲哀,悲哀!哎!”

The minstrel wandered far and wide, 游吟歌手漫步四野。
Letting it everywhere sound. 让这歌声响遍每一个角落。
Ah woe, ah woe, dear people! 啊,悲哀!啊,悲哀!亲爱的人们,
What do you think of my singing? 你们对我的歌声作何感想?
I must up to the king's hall, 我必须到皇宫去,
Up to the king's gracious bride! 到国王圣洁的新娘那里去!
O sorrow, woe! O sorrow! 哎,悲哀啊!哎,悲哀!

- Part Three - 第三部分

<Wedding Piece> 《婚礼篇》

From the high rock the castle gleams, 城堡在高耸的岩石上闪烁,
The trumpets and drums resound, 号角声和锣鼓声回荡山谷。
There sits the brave band of knight, 那里坐满了勇敢的骑士们,
The ladies with golden chains. 以及珠光宝气的妇人们。
What means the rejoicing, joyful sound? 这欢欣,喜悦的声音意味着什么?
What shines and glitters in the king's hall? 是什么在大厅中闪耀照人?
O joy, hey-ho! Joy! 噢,喜悦。嗨!喜悦!

And know you not wherefore the joy? 你难道不知道只是为何而喜悦吗?
Hey, that I can tell you; 嗨,那我可以告诉你:
The queen is to be married today 女王将在今天
To young knight. 嫁给年轻的骑士。
See over there, the proud queen! 你看到了么,高傲的女王就在那里!
But today her proud spirit will be broken! 但就在今天,她高傲的锐气将被消磨!
O joy, hey-ho! Joy! 噢,喜悦。嗨!喜悦!

Why is the king so silent and pale? 为何国王是那样的沉默和苍白?
He does not hear the sounds of rejoicing, 他听不到欢声笑语。
Does not see the guests, proud and rich, 看不到佳朋满座,
The queen's gracious beauty. 和女王的圣洁的美貌。
What goes on in his mind? 他的心里到底在想些什么?
A minstrel enters at the door! 一个游吟歌手迈进了大门!
What can the minstrel's purpose be? 他的意图会是什么?
O sorrow, sorrow! Woe! 哎,悲哀,悲哀!哎!

‘Ah minstrel, dear minstrel, “啊,游吟歌手,亲爱的游吟歌手。
Now I must lament to you: 现在我必须对你哀悼:
For a beautiful flower为了一株美丽的花儿
My brother struck me dead. 我的兄长将我刺死。
In the forest my young body bleaches,我年轻的躯体在森林中化为白骨,
My brother woos a fair woman!’ 而我的兄长却迎娶了美丽的女人!”
O sorrow! Woe, o sorrow! 哎,悲哀!哎,悲哀!

The king leaps up from his throne 国王从他的宝座上一跃而起,
And looks at the wedding party; 瞪视着新婚的盛宴,
And takes the flute in outraged scorn 狂怒地夺过了长笛,
And puts it to his own there sounds! 并将亲自将它奏起!
Hear the story, fearing death! 聆听着那个故事,畏惧着毁灭的到来!

‘Ah brother, dear brother, “啊,兄长。亲爱的兄长。
It was you who struck me dead, 是你把我刺死。
Now you play on my dead bone, 现在你在我的死骨上演奏。
Wherefore I must ever lament. 我因此必须永恒地哀悼。
Why have you given away 你为何出卖
My young life to death?’ 我年轻的生命?”
O sorrow, woe! O sorrow! 哎,悲哀!哎,悲哀!

The queen lies upon the floor, 女王晕倒在地,
The drums and trumpets fall silent, 号角和锣鼓销声匿迹。
With terror the knights and ladie flee. 骑士们和妇人们惶恐逃窜。
The ancient walls fall down. 远古的墙壁轰然坍塌。
The lights go out in the king's hall! 大厅陷入一片黑暗!
What is there now of the wedding feast? 这场新婚盛宴至此还剩下什么了?
Ah sorrow! 啊,悲哀!

英:Eric Mason / 译:孙方序
感谢Lord of the Flies原创评论

马勒 - 悲叹之歌
Composer: Mahler 1878-1880 rev. 1892-93, 1898-99
Duration: 1:01:00 ( Average )
Genre :Lied / Cantata


Update Time:2018-07-12 23:03