Written between 1908 and 1909, Das Lied is a succession of 6 songs, for 2 singers alternating movements.
In order to even get a glimpse into this monumental work, we need to understand the biographical background that nurtured it.
Mahler had been obsessed with death for a long time but in the last years of his life, it acquired a whole new meaning. [...]
Das Lied von der Erde: the inspiration
In his quest for answers or, simply, solace Mahler was captivated by something extraneous: Hans Bethge’s Die chinesische Flöte, a paraphrase of an anthology of Chinese poetry published first in a German translation by Hans Heilmann in 1905. [...]