Gurre songs

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Ruins of Gurre Castle in 2007
Performance of Gurre-Lieder at the Graz Opera House in 2013

The Gurre-Lieder are an oratorio for five soloists, speakers, choir and large orchestra by Arnold Schönberg . The work was composed between 1900 and 1903 and 1910 and was premiered on February 23, 1913 in Vienna .


The text poem comes from the Danish writer Jens Peter Jacobsen , it was translated into German by Robert Franz Arnold . The title Gurre-Lieder refers to Gurre Castle , a ruined castle in North Zealand in Denmark. It is the location of the medieval love tragedy in Jacobsen's poems around the Danish legend of King Valdemar Atterdag's love for his lover Tove and her murder, which was carried out by his Queen Helvig.


The work is divided into three parts.

Part 1

Orchestral prelude

  1. Now the dawn is dampening (Waldemar)
  2. O when the moon's rays (Tove)
  3. Horse! My steed! What are you sneaking about! (Waldemar)
  4. Stars cheer, the sea, it shines (Tove)
  5. So the angels do not dance before God's throne (Waldemar)
  6. Now I tell you for the first time (Tove)
  7. It's midnight time (Waldemar)
  8. You send me a love look (Tove)
  9. You whimsical Tove! (Waldemar) orchestral interlude
  10. Pigeons of Gurre! (Voice of the wood pigeon)
Part 2
  1. Lord God do you know what you did (Waldemar)
part 3
  1. Awake, worthy of King Waldemar's men! (Waldemar)
  2. Lid of the coffin rattles and folds (farmer)
  3. Greetings, O King, at Gurre Beach! (Waldemar's men)
  4. The forest whispers in Tove's voice (Waldemar)
  5. A strange bird is such an eel (Klaus-Fool)
  6. You strict judge above (Waldemar)
  7. The rooster raises its head to the wire (Waldemars Mannen) The summer wind's wild hunt - orchestral prelude
  8. Mr. Gänsefuß, Mrs. Gänsekraut (speaker)
  9. See the sun colorful on the edge of the sky (mixed choir)