Rückert-Lieder – Ich Bin Der Welt Abhanden Gekommen (I Have Lost My Way In The World)

Listening Guide

 

The Work

Key: F major in piano version; E-flat major in orchestral version (with modulations into A-flat and then C major and minor.
[N.B., the volume of the Critical Edition of Mahler’s works prepared under the auspices of the International Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft, Vienna, devoted to the orchestral version of four Rückert-Lieder includes 2 orchestral versions of this song, one in F and the other in E-flat. (See Band XIV, Teilband 4)].

Tempo: Äussert langsam und zurückhaltend (extremely slow and held back)
Time Signature: 4/4 (with one measure of 2/4).
Form: through-composed but with three distinct sections, the second of which contrasts somewhat with the others.

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,
Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben,
Sie hat so lange nichts von mir vernommen,
Sie mag wohl glauben, ich sei gestorben!

 

Es ist mir auch gar nichts daran gelegen,
Ob sie mich für gestorben hält,
Ich kann auch gar nichts sagen dagegen,
Denn wirklich bin ich gestorben der Welt.

Ich bin gestorben dem Weltgetümmel,
Und ruh’ in einem stillen Gebiet!
Ich leb’ allein in meinem Himmel,
In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied!

I have lost my way in the world
With which I used to waste much time;
It has heard nothing of me for so long,
It may well think I am dead!

 

And for me it is of no concern at all
If it considers me dead,
Nor can I say anything against it,
For in truth I am dead to the world.

I am dead to the world’s tummelt
And rest in a place of quietness!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my love, in my song.

6 comments

  1. I have gone lost to the world,
    With which I used to spoil much time,
    For long it has not heard from me,
    It might well believe I have died!

    For me, it is of no concern at all,
    If it considers me as having died,
    Nore can I say anything against it,
    For truely, I have died to the world.

    I have died to the world’s tummelt,
    And rest in a quiet place!
    I am living alone in my heaven,
    I my loving, in my song!

  2. work in progress again:

    second line in last verse should be:
    And rest in a quit realm!

    so, here is the complete last verse again:

    I have died to the world’s tummelt,
    And rest in a quiet realm!
    I am living alone in my heaven,
    In my loving, in my song!

  3. I have searched this page but cannot find any information concerning the singer or the recording of the version of Ich Bin Der Welt that is used. The voice and playing are very fine.
    Thank You!

  4. These past few months of “lock down ” have helped me, perhaps, understand the lyrics better.
    I live alone. I do not go to work or to the gym or out to cafes or classes.
    Days go by when I don’t speak face to face with anyone.
    I often ignore the news media.
    It’s just ME in my studio where I draw and paint.

    Pascal said that all of our miseries derive from our inability to sit quietly in a room.
    Wordsworth wrote
    “The world is too much with us….
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers”….
    Many great artists and thinkers have benefited from periods of isolation.
    Sometimes voluntary.
    Sometimes as a result of illness or imprisonment.
    We waste our powers with distractions.
    This forced disconnection from the daily round of busy-ness might turn out to be a blessing.
    Maybe that’s what Mahler was feeling.

    Here is a translation I came across that I prefer.

    I am lost to the world
    with which I used to waste so much time,
    It has heard nothing from me for so long,
    That it may very well believe that I am dead!

    It is of no consequence to me
    Whether it thinks me dead;
    I cannot deny it, for I really am dead to the world.

    I am dead to the world’s tumult,
    And I rest in a quiet realm!
    I live alone in my heaven,
    In my love and in my song.

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