Empty your golden glasses to the
Life is dark, so is death.
The words of 8th century Chinese Poet Li T'ai-Po had special poignance for Gustav Mahler in 1907. Aware that he was dying of a heart ailment, the composer felt a heightened awareness of worldly joys and beauties, and a piercing melancholy over losing them. He took six verses by Li T'ai-Po and other Chinese poets as texts for tenor, contralto and orchestra, and wrote his farewell in Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), his most personal and by all odds his best work. Scored...