- Das Lied von der Erde, for alto (or baritone), tenor & orchestra
- Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, song cycle for voice & piano (or orchestra)
The idea of chamber versions of Mahler may strike you as bizarre, akin to a diet ice cream sundae, but actually several recordings have been made of these versions by Arnold Schoenberg, made for his Society for Private Musical Performance in Vienna. Mahler was an early supporter of the experiments of Schoenberg and his group, and Schoenberg, at a time when recordings of Mahler's vast works were in their infancy, made these arrangements as a way of bringing his music to a small gathering. Schoenberg was a master arranger, and only a bit of suspension of disbelief is needed, especially in the "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen" (Songs of a Wayfarer), for the mind to fill in the blanks. Conductor JoAnn Falletta and a group of American musicians including the Attacca Quartet and Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players, have strong singers to work with, although mezzo-soprano Susan Platts tends to overwhelm the chamber group in her songs from "Das Lied von der Erde." Sample instead baritone Roderick Williams' highly expressive "Ich hab' ein glühend Messer," from the "Songs of a Wayfarer," and you'll hear a version that Mahler himself might have approved. Recommended, especially for lovers of the Second Viennese School.