Mahler’s Songs from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”
Des Knaben Wunderhorn (“The Youth’s Magic Horn”) is a collection of old German poems and folk songs published in the early 1800s. Gustav Mahler used eight of these in his symphonies, and he chose 13 (often changing the text for his own purposes) for this collection of songs. These elaborately orchestrated songs speak of love, life in the military, comedic episodes, mysticism, and sometimes several of these topics.
Thomas Quasthoff and Anne Sophie von Otter have beautiful voices, and clearly a solid understanding of these poems. They also have great vocal technique and diction, and they express the changing moods of the songs very effectively. Their performance is sensitive, and nicely phrased. The accompaniment by Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic is crisp and balanced, and the sound is excellent.
Here are a few of the song titles and the respective performer as presented on this CD:
• Trost im Unglück
• Verlor’ne Müh
• Der Schildwache Nachtlied
• Das irdische Leben
• Lied des Verfolgten im Turm
• Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?
• Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt
• Lobes hohen Verstandes
• Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen
• Der Tamboursg’sell
Here is Thomas Hampson, explaining to us more of the origin of these songs:
And here is Brigitte Fassbaender singing “Where the Beautiful Trumpets Sound” from Mahler’s “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”: (9th song from the list, above)
Tags: Mahler, Knaben Wunderhorn, Quasthoff, von Otter, Abbado, songs