Gustav Mahler’s original musical manuscript for Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (I am Lost to the World) is selling at Sotheby’s.
It’s from a cycle of five songs based on the works of German poet Friedrich Ruckert and written in 1901-1902.
The piece is among Mahler’s most personal works.
This version of Mahler's Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen is scored for solo voice and orchestra
Sotheby’s comments: “This is the most important manuscript of Mahler’s greatest song: it is the only autograph source for the orchestral version of ‘Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen’, which is how Mahler always seems to have conceived it.”
Mahler (1860-1911) gave this manuscript to Guido Adler (1855-1941), an Austrian musicologist, lecturer and patron who helped fund publication of some of his early symphonies.
During Kristallnacht (1938), Adler’s home was raided by one of his old students - who had joined the Nazis.
Many of his most important manuscripts were stolen, including this one.
It only recently reappeared in 2000.
The song appears briefly (but memorably) in Champagne, the final scene of Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee & Cigarettes, after being described by actor Taylor Mead as “one of the most beautiful, saddest songs ever written”.
It’s expected to make £600,000-800,000 ($743,640-991,520) when it crosses the block in London on May 23.
Last year, the manuscript for Mahler’s Second Symphony realised £4.5m ($5.7m) at Sotheby’s – making it the most valuable piece of sheet music ever sold.
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