Gustav Mahler: Songs of the Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen)

ASSIGNMENT: Gustav Mahler: Songs of the Wayfarer  (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen)


Listen to the fourth song The Two Blue Eyes of My Beloved from Mahler’s song cycle The Songs of the Wayfarer


  1. Mark the sections of the song by drawing lines at the appropriate places in the text to show where one section ends and the next begins. How many sections are there?
  2. Within each section describe how Mahler changes the music to reflect what the poem is about.
  3. How does the song end? (Happy, hopeful, optimistic, sad, depressed)
  4. Why did Mahler choose to end the song the way he did? What do you think his interpretation of the poem was?

 IV – “Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz” (“The Two Blue Eyes of my Beloved”)

The final movement culminates in a resolution. The music (also reused in the First Symphony) is subdued and gentle, lyrical and often reminiscent of a chorale in its harmonies. Its title, “Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz” (“The Two Blue Eyes of my Beloved”), deals with how the image of those eyes has caused the Wayfarer so much grief that he can no longer stand to be in the environment. He describes lying down under a linden tree, allowing the flowers to fall on him. He wishes to return to his life before his travels. He asks that the whole affair had never occurred: “Everything: love and grief, and world, and dreams!”


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