For her first solo recital on harmonia mundi, Christiane Karg, alongside her faithful partner Malcolm Martineau, presents an incursion into the most intimate aspect of Mahler’s music: the songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn take us to the heart of the composer’s creative process, as do the songs from his youth and the later Rückert-Lieder.
In a discographic premiere, the soprano sings two of the Lieder (Ich ging mit Lust and Das himmlische Leben) to the accompaniment performed by the composer himself, thanks to the existence of piano rolls he had recorded in 1905 on the Welte-Mignon. Mahler had in fact committed several of his compositions to posterity that year, using the highly intricate mechanism of this player piano, which preserved his interpretations on large rolls made of cardboard. Captured in this fashion, Mahler’s playing (beyond the powerful emotional charge these performances deliver when we hear them now), gives us direct access to his conception of how he intended his music to be interpreted.
Mahler: Lieder aus des Knaben Wunderhorn
Mahler: Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit
Christiane Karg, soprano
Malcolm Martineau, piano
Label: Harmonia Mundi HMM905338
International Release: 16. October 2020