Karl Felderer is the lyricist and composer of the South Tyrolean folk song “Wohl ist die Welt so groß und weit”.
Karl Felderer was born on the 17th of May 1895 in Magrè sulla Strada del Vino. Already in his childhood, he was an enthusiastic hiker, first he discovered the South Tyrolean mountains with his father, later with his fellows. The cheerful man served as a soldier in World War I and married Maria Barrasch in 1920, with whom he founded a family. They ran a general store and a spice shop in Bolzano.
Like all German-speaking South Tyroleans, Felderer experienced the suppression of the German language in public and the various measures of italianization in the fascist era. In 1926, after an excursion to the Corno del Renon mountain, the original text of the South Tyrolean folk song “Wohl ist die Welt so groß und weit” came into being at the regulars’ table with his friends. It was Karl Felderer who worked it out later. Also an old melody, which matched the lyrics well, was found immediately. At that time nobody had dreamed that this song would conquer the whole German-speaking area.
Karl Felderer knew how to assert himself in life. In 1940 he and his family moved to Innsbruck. There he built a house which he bartered for a piece of land in the Val Gardena valley in 1950, when they came back to South Tyrol again. The “Berghaus Felderer” was built. The passionate storyteller and heart of society lived here with his children and grandchildren until he had to move to Bolzano for health reasons. Karl Felderer died on the 3rd of March 1989 at the age of 95.
An illustrated book and two books were his works, in which he described South Tyrol, its peculiarities and the beautiful landscape. For many people Karl Felderer was and still is a leading figure who stands for sincere love of his native country. In the picture you see the Grafengasse alley in Magrè.