"I feel very close to Gustav Mahler," says Iván Fischer. We have musical proof of the Hungarian conductor's affinity to that composer this hour.
The two composers on our program were both born in 1860 and grew up in the outlying regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But that's where the similarities end. The majesty of Mahler's Seventh Symphony, for example, stands in stark contrast to Hugo Wolf's intimate song settings.
Mahler's Seventh has somehow stood in the shadow of his other symphonies. Music authors and scholars have especially questioned the last movement, as Iván Fischer related in an interview with DW: "They think that when Mahler is as happy as he is here, there is something suspicious about that - because he's usually gloomy and depressed. But I utterly disagree."
"That movement is not only joyous but also extremely imaginative, with references to everything from Wagner's 'Mastersingers' to Yiddish dances and folklore that's very Austrian. In other words, it's full of the typical Mahler arsenal," Fischer explained.
Six songs to texts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Eduard Mörike
· Anakreon's Grave
· Think of it, soul
· Weyla's Song
· Harpist No. 1
· Heart, do not despair
Symphony No. 7 in E Minor: 3rd and 4th movements
Roman Trekel, baritone
Budapest Festival Orchestra
Iván Fischer, conductor
Recorded by Deutsche Welle, Bonn (DW) in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn on September 18, 2015