November CD of the Month: Mahler Songs

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This is a recording of music by Gustav Mahler, as arranged for smaller performing groups by Arnold Schoenberg.

Mahler (arr. Schoenberg): Songs

Mahler:

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (4 songs, complete)
arr. Arnold Schoenberg, with Roderick Williams (baritone)

Das Lied von der Erde, with Susan Platts (mezzo-soprano) and Charles Reid (tenor)

Performed by the Attacca Quartet and the Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players, JoAnn Falletta conducting.

Arnold Schoenberg founded the ‘Society for Private Musical Performances’ in 1918 to perform contemporary music from ‘Mahler to the present’. Mahler had been an early supporter of Schoenberg’s music, and Schoenberg repaid the favor by arranging Mahler’s orchestral works for chamber ensemble and including them at the society’s concerts.

Mahler’s ‘Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen’ are given a feel of great intimacy in this form, while the lighter scoring of Das Lied von der Erde has the advantage of clarifying instrumental textures, its magical effects capturing ‘the finite nature of earthly things’.

Interest in Schoenberg and his circle’s arrangements of orchestral works for chamber ensemble for his Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen has grown considerably in recent years, with recordings of the chamber version of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony alone already having appeared on the Avie, Linn, Dorian and ABC Classics labels.

Here is Mahler’s Lied Von der Erde, as arranged by Schoenberg:

 

 

 

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