Mahler’s Way out of Tragedy

  1. Kleider machen Leute: Prelude and Intermezo, Act II
  2. Es war einmal: Prelude and Intermezzo
  3. Lieder
  4. Das Lied von der Erde
  1. Vasily Petrenko conductor
  2. Ruxandra Donose mezzo soprano
  3. Pavel Černoch tenor

The lyrics of Das Lied von der Erde span drinking songs, loneliness, beauty, and death.

Gustav Mahler (1860−1911) had recently lived through the worst days of his life when he wrote Das Lied von der Erde. In 1907 he had both lost his daughter to scarlet fever and been diagnosed with an incurable heart defect.

The same year, Hans Bethge’s book Die chinesische Flöte was published, with German translations of Chinese poetry. Mahler was deeply fascinated by the book and selected seven poems for Das Lied von der Erde. The themes range from drinking songs, via loneliness and beauty, to death in the last song, called Der Abschied – The Farewell.

In 1900, Gustav Mahler conducted the premiere of Alexander von Zemlinsky’s opera Es war einmal. That same year, Zemlinsky became Alma Mahler’s (née Schindler) teacher of composition, and they initiated a relationship before she later married Gustav Mahler. Here, we present a selection from Zemlinsky’s operas and from Alma Mahler’s songs.

This concert is sold out.


  • Adult: 150 - 540 NOK
  • Senior: 150 - 430 NOK
  • Student: 150 - 270 NOK
  • Child: 150 NOK