Mahler’s Song of the Earth (SU2)

Gustavo Dudamel leads the LA Phil in Mahler at his most transcendent.

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  • MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde


  • Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Gustavo Dudamel conductor
  • Russell Thomas tenor
  • Tamara Mumford mezzo-soprano

About This Performance

Mahler’s penultimate completed work is virtually unclassifiable – not really a song cycle, symphony, or an operatic drama. His profound settings of seven ancient Chinese poems for alternating solo singers and large orchestra reveal a universe of experience within an individual, our relationship to nature, and the sometimes cruel, sometimes beautiful cycle of life. Composed after the most painful period in Mahler’s life, the songs take us on a journey defined with such titles as “The Drinking Song of Earth’s Sorrow,” “The Solitary One in Autumn,” and “Youth.”

The final movement, combining two poems and sung by the mezzo-soprano, is “The Farewell,” which is nearly as long as all the previous songs combined. It breathes a remarkable air of bittersweet leave-taking, smitten with nature’s beauty as evening approaches, but cognizant of loss and loneliness, eventually arriving at peace and acceptance. The end is delicately quiet, fading imperceptibly into complete silence. We hold our collective breath in awe and contemplation.

These performances are made possible by generous support from the Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation.

Programs, artists, dates, prices and availability subject to change.