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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from APR5579
Recording details: April 1952
Milton Hall, Deansgate, Manchester, United Kingdom
Release date: June 2003
Total duration: 63 minutes 44 seconds

Das Lied von der Erde
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Mahler himself never heard Das Lied von der Erde. He completed it in 1909, having begun it two years earlier when a friend gave him Hans Bethge’s The Chinese Flute, a collection of German translations and adaptations of Chinese poetry. He had recently learned that he had a heart defect and in the poems he found an expression of his own philosophy – that the beauties of Nature renew themselves year after year and although mankind enjoys them for only a brief span, the earth blossoms again. What may have been envisaged as a song-cycle became a song-symphony in six movements. He orchestrated it in 1908–09 and told Bruno Walter it was the most personal work he had composed. One can trace a symphonic structure, with the short third, fourth and fifth movements forming a kind of scherzo. A large orchestra is used, but is often treated like a chamber group.

from notes by Michael Kennedy © 2003

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