“Ich atmet’ einen Lindenduft” (I breathe in the scent of the linden tree)

30 May

Linden blossoms

Schubert’s song about linden trees may be more famous, but it is the 100th anniversary of Mahler’s death this year so I quote Mahler (or, more precisely, Friedrich Rückert, but Mahler set the poem to music).

The linden trees are in blossom in Vienna already, their distinctive fragrance sweetening the air. They’re early this year, but then it’s been that kind of spring. At the end of March suddenly everything came out at the same time so that forsythia and lilacs, chestnut trees and daffodils were all jostling for attention at once. Now it’s the elderflowers, cherries (not the blossoms, the fruit!), and the linden trees all out together in slightly disorienting array.

Musical addenda

Thomas Hampson singing Mahler’s “Ich atmet’ einen Lindenduft”. Hampson has been singing a lot in Vienna the last few weeks so his name is rather hanging in the air.

Hermann Prey singing Schubert’s “Der Lindenbaum”. I’ve never been that much of a Fischer-Dieskau fan. I’ve always had a soft spot for Prey’s human vulnerability. And I had the great, great privilege of hearing him sing “Die Winterreise”  in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, a year or so before his death. He stood and sang the cycle as if it were an old, intimate friend, which I suppose it was. Absolutely extraordinary.


One Response to ““Ich atmet’ einen Lindenduft” (I breathe in the scent of the linden tree)”


  1. Early June in the park | ecbinvienna - June 2, 2015

    […] For more on linden trees in Vienna. […]

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