Rückert-Lieder – Ich Atmet’ Einen Linden Duft (I Breathed A Gentle Fragrance)

Listening Guide


The Work

Key: D major (E-flat major in final verse)
Tempo: Sehr zart und innig (Very tender and intimate)
Time Signature: 6/4 (3/4 in final six measures)
Rhythm: continuous eighth-note ostinato interwoven around the quarter-notes of the vocal line like Athe gentle rocking rhythm of a lullaby.
Form: Two-part song form.
Orchestration: 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet in A, 2 bassoons, 3 horns, celesta, harp, violins and violas.

Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft
Ein Zweig der Linde,
Im Zimmer stand
Ein Angebinde
Von lieber Hand.
Wie lieblich war der Lindenduft!


Wie lieblich ist der Lindenduft!
Das Lindenreis
Brachst du gelinde!
Ich atme leis
Im Duft der Linde
Der Liebe linden Duft.

I breathed a gentle fragrance!
In the room stood
A branch of a linden tree,
A present
From a dear hand.
How lovely was the fragrance of a linden tree!


How lovely is the fragrance of a linden tree!
The linden-twig
Was gently plucked by you.
I softly breathe,
In the fragrance of a linden tree,
Love’s gentle fragrance.

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