Het Collectief – Gregor Mayrhofer conductor – Lucile Richardot alto – Yves Saelens tenor
No other composer bade farewell to the world as eloquently, as evocatively and as frequently as Gustav Mahler. Death rears its head again and again throughout his oeuvre: sometimes gentle and reassuring, sometimes savage and intense. Das Lied von der Erde, composed during an extremely difficult period of his life, is no exception to this.
Mahler based Das Lied von der Erde on very free and romanticised translations of ancient Chinese poetry by the German poet Hans Bethge. In these lyrics, a sudden awareness of one’s own mortality brings about a hedonistic enjoyment of the beauty of nature. The final movement bids a resigned farewell.
The recently deceased composer, conductor and pianist Reinbert de Leeuw wrote a new arrangement of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde for the Brussels ensemble Het Collectief. His version has a songlike intimacy, and is the last score he completed before his death.