Leonard Bernstein was the first conductor ever to record all of Mahler's symphonies not only on disk, but also on video. The leading Mahler interpreter of the time, Bernstein recorded all of Mahler's symphonies between 1971 and 1985, producing a unique musical document and triggering a major reappreciation of Mahler's works. "Das Lied von der Erde" (The Song of the Earth) was one of Mahler's later symphonic works, written in 1908. Mahler often used the human voice as an adjunct to the orchestra in his symphonic writing. "Das Lied von der Erde" borrowed as a framework Hans Bethge's German translation of six poems by the 18th-century Chinese poet Li-Tai-Po. The songs have been described as "the valedictory of a man who loved life and nature and who knew the bittersweet nostalgia of passing youth and beauty." The work was recorded at the Frederick Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein. The soloists are Christa Ludwig, alto, and René Kollo, tenor.


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