Gustav Mahler: Das klagende Lied
Mahler’s cantata Das klagende Lied is a true rarity in the concert
hall, even though Mahler is recognised as one of the most
significant composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Based on a horror tale written by Mahler himself, this large-scale,
vocal symphonic work sets the scene for Mahler’s later and more
familiar output. Aged only 20, Mahler submitted the score for the
Beethoven Prize at the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna.
Failing to win the prize, he subsequently made several revisions.
Some twenty years later, it was finally premiered by the composer
in Vienna on 17 February 1901. The ‘mixed version’ heard on this
recording consists of the original first movement and the revised
versions of the other two parts. It became customary to perform
this version during the great Mahler Renaissance in the 1960s.
This live performance featuring the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony
Orchestra was conducted by Michael Gielen, who died in 2019.
Like Mahler, he was both a conductor and a composer. The
recording was made in June 1990 at the Konzerthaus Vienna.