Mahler's songs are a mainstay of classical repertoire, to test or demonstrate singers' interpretative powers. All the songs in this collection also exist in arrangements with orchestral accompaniment. This collection is mostly brooding, slow-moving melodies; it may help listeners to read them English translations. Up to 10 sec of quiet at the end of tracks.|
"Songs of a wayfarer", on poetry selections "From youth's magic horn", thematic material to which Mahler returned many time in his compositions, especially his First Symphony.
1. Mournful, with gypsy flavor.
+2. Starts optimistically, ends with a sob.
+3. Despair, and a knife.
4. A farewell to life, like a funeral procession.
Songs on texts of Friedrich Rueckert.
5. Accompaniment emulates busy, industrious bees.
7. Metaphors for reasons to love.
++8. Calm, transcendant, reposeful.
+9. Despair, then triumph.
Songs on the death of children; texts also by Rueckert.
10. Gentle dissonance and chromaticism.
+12. Good color from Haselböck's lower register.
++14. Stormy beginning, calm resolution.
Bridge's blurb: "The Austrian mezzo-soprano, Hermine Haselböck, winner of the Vienna Musikverein's Alexander Zemlinsky Prize, sings three of Gustav Mahler's great song cycles, accompanied by pianist Russell Ryan." Haselböck shows herself capable, though this is not always sympathetic repertoire for her instrument; her top notes can have a hard reediness that doesn't serve the songs well. Also, either the acoustic or mic technique makes Haselböck's diction often seem over-enunciated. Otherwise, Haselböck and Ryan deliver a solid, intelligent interpretation of the songs. More pace-setting performances can be heard from from Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Christa Ludwig, or the historic recordings by Kathleen Ferrier.