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Gypsy's salute to Gustav Mahler's birthday

Gustav Mahler would have turned 150 last Wednesday if it weren't for a number of maladies and mortality in general. I think it's always good to keep the celebration going (plus internet seems good at the moment), so we can keep celebrating till this Wednesday - or until some other fine composer's birthday. The wood patterns on my ceiling at camp in the hinterlands reveal many pictures in the knots and spots. There's a clown figure, and to the right a bit is a Mahler having a wind blown hair day. I'd like to help Gustav celebrate with music that is more upbeat than say, Kindertotenlieder (songs on the deaths of children), and camp is saying going with the kids, thus:

Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The child's/youth's magic horn) - a cornucopia of songs based on poems collected by Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano. This is a gift that can keep on giving, as Mahler incorporated some of his settings into his orchestral works - especially the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th symphonies. Indeed, these poems are set for voice with orchestra - not piano like the standard German art songs. There is quite a collection, and other composers have set poetry from the collection. Mahler's chosen settings are listed below:

Der Schwildwacher Nachtlied (The Sentinel's Nightsong) Verlor'ne Müh (Labour Lost) Trost im Unglück (Solace in Misfortune) Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht? (Who Thought up this Song?) Das irdische Leben (The Earthly Life) Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt (St. Anthony of Padua's Sermon to the Fish) Rheinlegendchen (Little Rhine Legend) Lied des Verfolgten im Turm (Song of the Persecuted in the Tower) Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen (Where the Fair Trumpets Sound) Lob des hohen Verstandes (Praise of Lofty Intellect) Urlicht (Primeval Light) Es sungen drei Engel (Three Angels sang a sweet air)

Mahler replaced the last 2 with

Revelge (Reveille) Der Tamboursg'sell (The Drummer Boy)

These ain't kiddie songs, but given the fascination with vampires, grand theft auto, and so on, I can see teenagers getting into the poetry given the right environment.

Lucia Popp does a nice turn with "Who thought up this Song?" and "Where the Fair Trumpets Sound" with Leonard Bernstein conducting.

You can follow the entire cycle with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Brigitte Fassbaender going through this link to Fischer-Dieskau singing "Reveille" and "The Drummer Boy."

(tip to BrianDonohue)

P.S. I thought this had posted Sunday morning, and internet was getting finicky so I logged off. Enjoy through the week.




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