Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde

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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/14/1999
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028946638125
  • Catalog Number: 466381
  • Sales rank: 16,750


Disc 1
  1. 1–6 Das Lied von der Erde, for alto (or baritone), tenor & orchestra - Gustav Mahler & Leonard Bernstein (66:48)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leonard Bernstein Primary Artist
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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Gustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde

    The Austrian composer Gustav Mahler penned down ("The Song of the Earth"), published in the autumn of 1907, as a large-scale work for two vocal soloists and orchestra. Set down in a preplanned pattern of six separate movements, each of them is an independent song. <BR/>Das Lied von der Erde is described "A Symphony for One Tenor and One Alto (or Baritone) Voice and Orchestra. <BR/><BR/>Mahler's abundant use of `Chinese' characteristics in the music represents a distinctive feature. Although Das Lied von der Erde has followed the 8th. Symphony yet Mahler did not number it as a symphony because of his superstitious fear of the purportedly "mortal significance" of a "ninth symphony". An awkward personal clash ensued in Mahler's psyche. According to Schoenberg , "" When Mahler wrote his Symphony No. 9 he thought he had baffled the curse, but died with his Tenth Symphony unfinished. (only the first movement of the Tenth was orchestrated at his death in 1911). <BR/><BR/>From Mahler's point of view, the only two victims of this `'curse of the ninth'' legend had been Beethoven and Bruckner. <BR/>In an essay about Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg wrote: "It seems that the Ninth is a limit. He who wants to go beyond it must pass away, as if something might be imparted to us in the Tenth which we ought not yet to know, for which we are not ready. Those who have written a Ninth stood too close to the hereafter." <BR/><BR/>I heard Karajan's interpretation and I love it. Bernstein's is also stupendous. They both bring us much closer to a song cycle. The work takes approximately sixty-five minutes in performance. <BR/>Berstein has been able to embody Mahler's predicaments as if he had lived that period himself.<BR/> <BR/>First under pressure into resigning from his post as Director of the Vienna Court Opera due to political machinations within the administration (partially involving anti-Semitism credos ); next, Mahler's oldest daughter Maria died from scarlet fever and diphtheria; finally, Mahler himself was, incidentally and without prior planning, diagnosed with an innate heart defect. "With one stroke," Mahler wrote to his friend Bruno Walter, "I have lost everything I have gained in terms of who I thought I was, and have to learn my first steps again like a newborn". <BR/><BR/>Mahler, at the end, have been able to translate the message, that is: ""since the beauties and mysteries of the earth renew themselves year after year, our own passing should not be feared but accepted calmly and without rancor. The earth, the world and nature goes on without us.""

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