“Mahler’s Best Symphony”. This succinct description of Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth, 1908–1909) belongs to composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, a renowned champion of Mahler’s music. Mahler began working on this composition in 1907, after three disasters befell him that year. The composer lost his older daughter, Maria, and was forced to resign as director of the Vienna Court Opera due to various intrigues against him. And the last blow – he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. “I have had such a distress in the last year and a half that I can hardly discuss it”, Mahler wrote to Bruno Walter, who in 1911 conducted the premiere of the work, which, unfortunately, took place after the composer’s death. In the same letter, Mahler said “… I am still thirsty for life!” The composer’s emotions corresponded to the texts from the collection Die chinesische Flöte by the German poet Hans Bethge, which the composer used in Das Lied von der Erde. In selected lines of poetry, Mahler was captivated by the vision of earthly beauty and the inevitable transience of human existence. Therefore, the work displays an extremely intimate connection between music and text.
A magnificent symphonic score is performed by prominent Lithuanian musicians – the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, internationally acclaimed soloists Justina Gringytė and Kristian Benedikt, and conductor Modestas Pitrėnas, a recipient of the Lithuanian National Prize.
ORCHESTRA: LITHUANIAN NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CONDUCTOR: MODESTAS PITRĖNAS
KRISTIAN BENEDIKT (tenor)
JUSTINA GRINGYTĖ (mezzo-soprano)