Mahler, Rückert Lieder: I breathed a gentle fragrance

To the Queen Elizabeth Hall with my friend James to hear the Britten Sinfonia in a wonderful programme including Webern (Five Movements Op. 5), Schubert arranged by Webern and Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, sung by Roderick Williams.  Here is the first one in a translation by Emily Esuzt:

I breathed a gentle fragrance

I breathed a gentle fragrance!
In the room stood
a sprig of linden,
a gift
from a dear hand.
How lovely was the fragrance of linden!

How lovely is the fragrance of linden!
That twig of linden
You broke off so gently!
Softly I breathe in
the fragrance of linden,
the gentle fragrance of love

Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft!

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

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

Friedrich Rückert
Translated by Emily Ezust

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