COVID-19 Update

Despite the problems caused by the Corona-virus our Webshop and the contact forms on our website are fully available. You may also address your inquiries to Thank you for your understanding if our answer takes longer as usual because of the current restrictions. Your Universal Edition Team

Gustav Mahler: Das klagende Lied (Song of Lamentation)

  • for soli, mixed choir and orchestra
  • original version 1880 in 3 movements
  • 3 3 3 3 - 4 4 3 2 - timp, perc(4), hp(6), str - off-stage ens: 3 0 4 3 - 0 0 0 0 - timp, perc, flhn(4), cornet(2)
  • Duration: 60’
  • Soloists:
    boy soprano
    boy contralto
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute (+picc)
    3rd flute (+picc)
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    cor anglais
    1st clarinet in Bb (+cl(A))
    2nd clarinet in Bb (+cl(A))
    bass clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    3rd bassoon
    1st horn in F (+natural horn)
    2nd horn in F (+natural horn)
    3rd horn in F (+natural horn)
    4th horn in F (+natural horn)
    1st trumpet in F (+piston in F)
    2nd trumpet in F (+piston in F)
    3rd trumpet in F
    4th trumpet in F
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    1st bass tuba
    2nd bass tuba
    percussion(4): triangle, cymbal, tam-tam, bass drum
    1st harp
    2nd harp
    3th harp
    4th harp
    5th harp
    6th harp
    violin I
    violin II
    fernorchestra: piccolo
    1st flute in Db (or in C)
    2nd flute in Db (or in C)
    1st clarinet in Eb
    2nd clarinet in Eb
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    3rd bassoon
    1st flugelhorn in Bb (+tpt(F))
    2nd flugelhorn in Bb (+tpt(F))
    3rd flugelhorn in Bb (+tpt(F))
    4th flugelhorn in Bb
    1st piston in Eb
    2nd piston in Eb
    percussion(2): triangle, cymbal
  • Choir: SATB
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Editor: Reinhold Kubik
  • Text author: Gustav Mahler
  • Table of contents:
    Der Spielmann

Work introduction

The work is based on poems written by the composer and was completed in 1880. It consisted of three movements which bore the following titles:

Waldmärchen (A Tale from the Woods)

Der Spielmann (The Minstrel)

Hochzeitsstück (Wedding Piece)

The composer subjected the score to several revisions and eventually arrived at a version in which the first movement was omitted altogether and movements Nos 2 and 3 lost their titles and were thoroughly reworked. This new version was published in 1899 by Weinberger and premiered under Mahler’s baton in Vienna in 1901.

The work was taken over in 1906 by Universal Edition, together with other compositions by Mahler. Subsequently, he subjected the score to yet another revision, which was then published in a study score. It was this version that Rudolph Stephan included in volume 12 of his complete edition of Mahler’s works in 1978.

The manuscript of the original version was acquired by the Osborn Collection of the Music Library at Yale University. The first movement was published in 1969 by Belwin Mills in the United States in a provisional, not critical, edition. There followed performances and recordings of a three-movement „mongrel“ version, with the first movement representing the original version as published by Belwin Mills and movements 2 and 3 taken from the Weinberger/UE edition of the revised score.

The work as composed by Mahler in 1880 has first been performed in its entirety on 7th October 1997 in Manchester. It appeared in volume 3 of the supplement to the complete edition edited by Reinhold Kubik, who is also general editor of the complete edition.


World première

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (GB)
Hallé Orchestra
Kent Nagano
Main soloists:
Marina Shaguch, Jadwiga Rappé, Hans Peter Blochwitz, Hakan Hagegard, 2 Knaben des Manchester Boy Chorus

Previously Viewed Works

No previously viewed works