She has the esteemed title of Chamber Singer at two renowned opera companies: the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Vienna State Opera. We'll hear Waltraud Meier in a recital of art song by Mahler and Wagner.
Considered one of the great Wagnerian singers of our time, Meier has set standards in her rendition of the roles of Kundry, Isolde and Ortrud. This recital includes Wagner's Wesendonck Songs, which originated in 1857 and 1858 when the composer was also at work on his opera "Tristan and Isolde." Mathilde Wesendonck was his muse at the time; the two were married, but not to each other. It was the stuff of conflict - and the inspiration for some highly beautiful music.
Gustav Mahler worked on his five songs set to texts by German poet Friedrich Rückert from 1901-1905. He penned them - and his Fifth Symphony - in daily stints in a little composing cabin at his summer home on Lake Wörther in Austria. The best-known of the five is Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, and the text runs: "I am lost to the world / Where I have lost much time / It has long heard nothing from me / It may think I have died." Death is not the issue here however, but rather the spiritual retreat the composer felt when he was busy at work, undisturbed. As Mahler said to a friend, "That is me myself. I live alone in my heaven, in my life, in my song."
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Wenn dein Mutterlein (When your mother steps into the doorway)
Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Five Lieder on texts by Mathilde Wesendonck
• Der Engel (The Angel)
• Stehe still! (Stand Still!)
• Im Treibhaus (In the Greenhouse)
• Schmerzen (Pains)
• Träume (Dreams)
Five Lieder on texts by Friedrich Rückert:
• Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder! (Look Not Into My Songs!)
• Ich atmet' einen linden Duft (I Breathed a Gentle Fragrance)
• Um Mitternacht (At Midnight)
• Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (I Am Lost to the World)
• Liebst du um Schönheit (If You Love for Beauty)
Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt (St. Anthony's Sermon to the Fishes)
Waltraud Meier, mezzo-soprano
Joseph Breinl, piano
Recorded by Deutsche Welle, Bonn (DW) in the Bonn Opera House on September 27, 2014
Recorded by Deutsche Welle, Bonn (DW) in St. Evergislus’ Church, Bornheim on September 21, 2014
Rebroadcasting rights: one broadcast before February 22, 2016