Letztes Lied


Letztes Lied - (2009)    

Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim

for mezzo soprano and piano


Meine Blumen sind verblüht!

Sing es, kleines Lied! --

Meine Bumen sind verblüht,

Aber andre, hoff ich, werden

Schöner blühn auf schönern Erden,

Wo die kleinste nicht verblüht.

Sing es, kleines Lied!

[ 1 page, circa 1' 10" ]

Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim


My blossoms are all faded!

Sing this, little song! --

My blossoms are all faded,

But others, I hope, will

Blossom more beautifully in a more beautiful world,

Where the littlest shan't blossom.
Sing this, little song!



Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719–1803) studied law at the University of Halle and became secretary to Prince William of Brandenburg-Schwedt at Berlin. When the prince was killed at the battle of Prague, Gleim temporarily became secretary to Prince Leopold of Dessau. Thereafter in 1747 he was appointed secretary of the cathedral chapter at Halberstadt. "Father" Gleim was the title accorded to him for his patronage alike of the poets of that period. During this time he published his own collections of fables and romances. Gleim's Collected Works in seven volumes were published in 1811–1813.


Our poet suggests that, like the more famous Goethe in confessing his own oneness, we are plainly the measure of all that we are and have been, the best alongside the worst. The progress of an individual life is hopefully one of bettering one's self, but the greater progress of the world is a general betterment of all things, where the most insignificant and worst errors of our lives might be less often repeated in the lives of others.


The setting is very simple, a flow of eighth notes sustained into chords, over which a simple melody is formed from these same elements. One page in length, it is simple in size as in structure, more a hymn than a song form.



The score for Letztes Lied is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


Letztes Lied