“…I believe it may well be the most personal of my works so far.” Gustav Mahler to Bruno Walter (1908). - The collaboration between the Bamberger Symphoniker, Jonathan Nott and Tudor began in 2003 with music of farewell, Schubert’s “Unfinished”. With the “Song of the Earth”, the British conductor now says goodbye to his German orchestra, having made history with the recording of Franz Schubert and Gustav Mahler’s symphonies.
Mahler’s “Symphony in songs, in six movements for large orchestra, tenor and baritone solo”, in fact his Ninth Symphony - related to Beethoven: ”Do you know the Creator, world?” - is the most moving music of hope and farewell in all of symphonic literature. The encounter with the “Song of the Earth” gives us “heavenly pleasures” while still on earth, in the “Drinking Song of Earth’s Misery”, in the hymns to “Spring, to Autumn, to Youth and Beauty” and in the “Farewell” that leads to a promise: “Everywhere and forever blue is the horizon, forever… forever… forever!” This was best expressed by Hans Werner Henze: “This music speaks as if in a thousand human voices, offering the simplest expressions for the most difficult conditions… While it contains much loss-induced sorrow, it also has messages for the future of mankind: one of these is hope, another - aimed at the very essence of music - is love.”