mütterliederlullabies (mahler revisted)

bertl mütter (trombone, free adaptation)

when my heart speaks from my breast
i sing out loud and laughing
wilhelm müller

as far as the greatest of the great are concerned, it’s not any specific detail in their work that first comes to mind, but rather a densely woven whole (was it canetti who called it a mass crystal?) that appears before my inner eye.

since i’m in no position to put on any kind of recital that would do justice to the form, nor to play a constitutive part in a great symphony while sitting at the center of an orchestra (nothing like personal inadequacy), i make my music in a single brushstroke. mahler follows schubert and schumann while wagner (and others) wait in the wings.

pure mahler, that is, mahler per se. his music is painful, especially when it lulls us innocuously, leading us to believe it’s not that bad after all. (we know this as schubert’s schtick). in my mütterkinderlieder, i counter the lamentations with an ostensible lightness, carried by the carefree (?) caprice of a kid’s playgroundworld encountered in the wunderhornlieder. but i never know in advance what is going to come out in these intermezzi. not anymore than we can ever be entirely clear about whether we’ve lost touch with the world in the end (if not long before).

but, not to worry: i’m just playin’, there’s no pain. it only hurts where it has to. and the sound of my mut!horn can be very warm, heartwarming: healing, even.

bertl mütter (translated by lilian friedberg)

 

cd rk 3009 (2011) | raumklang edition modern

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