For me one of the saddest and most beautiful songs of all time:
RICHARD STRAUSS Im Abendrot Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan, Gundula Janowitz
A breathtakingly beautiful poem by Joseph von Eichendorff written between 1804 and 1857 sung by Gundula Janowitz. Richard Strauss wrote the music 1948 afaik under the impression of the destroyed city of Munich. I hope that the translation comes at least a little bit close to the original.
We have, of need and joy,
wandered hand in hand;
From wandering rest we now
amidst the silent land.
The valleys fold around themselves
before the deepening gloom
Alone two larks still soar
Rapt in the twilight perfume.
Stand here and let them whirl,
soon enough comes their rest
Would that we not lose ourselves
within this loneliness.
O utter silent peace!
Suffused with this sun's last breath
Of wandering grow we so weary -
Is this our sense of death?
The beginning is much, much too fast by Karajan. Kurt Masur clearly did it better. But it is all the more sustained and beautiful when the singing begins.