Gerhaher Mahler biography in the first recital of Lied XXVI at the Teatro de la Zarzuela

Mahler He had said "I statelessness in triplicate: native of Bohemia in Austria, Austrian among Germans and Jews worldwide. Always an intruder, never welcome ", he was a prisoner of the time he lived. Viennese decadence and imperialism entered step opened new artistic currents, intellectual and philosophical, encabezas by Klimt, Olbrich, Hoffmann steel or Freud, his personal friend.

It took to reach him recognition. The originality of the compositions, on the one hand, and the rise of Nazism in Germany and Austria on the other, They made their work was classified as "degenerate". Add to that the anti-Semitic atmosphere joined the Viennese society of the time that, after a press campaign aimed at their expulsion from the Vienna State Opera, He succeeded in making 1907 Marler moved to New York, where he led the Metropolitan Opera between 1908 Y 1910. The following year return to Vienna where he died 18 of May, suffering from a serious illness.

After World War II, two of their brightest students, Bruno Waltter y Otto Klemperer, They began distributing his work, after more than 50 years of indifference.

Great admirer of Wagner, He had tried unsuccessfully to compose opera, but if he developed a brilliant career as a composer of symphonies and orchestral lieder. Although it is two different genres, Mahler is not understood without each other. Throughout his compositional career, both genders fed off. From 1890, Mahler orchestrated all songs, providing them with a symphonic entity notably enriched his vocal music.

The Teatro de la Zarzuela dedicated XXVI Lied two complete series of works by Gustav Mahler Lied. In this first installment are interpreted Llieder a moving join (1884-1885), Wayfarer songs. This was the first song cycle as such, he composed at the end of his stormy affair with the soprano Johanna Richter, while he was director of the opera house in Kassel, Germany.

Lieder accompanied by piano should not be considered minor work. Mahler was an extraordinary pianist and is the absolute knowledge of the instrument, with clarity and perfection he sought in his compositions, which they make these voice and piano versions are treated as an orchestrated version, full of nuances and symphonic textures.

Christian Gerhaher y Gerold Huber raise its peak the term interpenetration. Both were students of the great Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, note what, among other things, in faithful interpretation made. Dieskau thought that Mahler not have to read between the lines, "Observing only his instructions exactly can be demonstrated fully the art of Mahler".

Gerhaher modulated his voice to provide a clearer record, closer to its natural tenor baritone. He demonstrated once again its ability to articulate, to say the outline and exact verse with a refined and smooth voice. As usual, without stylistic ornaments. Done accurately the journey to the depths in the interpretation of lieder. No one as he goes through the different characters and demands that contain these song cycles. Dota expressive of deep intimacy Songs of Wayfarer, where nothing is accessory. then flows into Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The wonderful horn Boy) and voice rises with roundness conclusive.

The grand finale came with a deep understanding of Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children). Not abandon elegance never, or is carried away by the drama, but it gives each one of these songs an abyssal intensity and always sober.

A great start to this traditional Lied CNDM and Teatro de la Zarzuela. Definitely, the quality of this cycle is already a very important cultural heritage for Madrid. It sets an example.

Photograph: Elvira Megías