Mahler’s confrontation with mortality, vacillation between dark and light, sorrow and gaiety, old age and youth are the very issues that rise in the six poems of Das Lied von der Erde. Mahler selected these poems from Hans Bethge’s Die chinesische Flöte. He begun composing the song cycle in 1908 and by 1909 the orchestration was complete. Upon completing Das Lied von der Erde, Mahler wrote to Bruno Walter, “It is the most personal thing I have yet created.” Unfortunately, Mahler would die on May 18, 1911. and Das Lied von der Erde was premiered in November, 1911 in Munich, with Walter conducting. Arnold Schönberg’s Theory of Harmony, published in 1911, bears the dedication, “To the Hallowed Memory of Gustav Mahler.” This dedication is noRead more mere ceremonious gersture. Mahler’s support for Schönberg’s work was unwavering. Mahler provided financial support and always publicly defended Schönberg’s work. In 1921 Schönberg did begin an arrangement of Das Lied von der Erde and the version recorded here was finished by Reiner Riehn in 1980.
Works on This Recording
Das Lied von der Erdeby Gustav Mahler
Tim Sparks (Tenor),
Ellen Williams (Mezzo Soprano)
Duraleigh Chamber Players
Period: Romantic Written: 1908-1909; Vienna, Austria