Curami coi sogni che hai saputo darmi, toglimi dai drammi, dammi solo quanto basta e su ogni cassa squarterò gli affanni. Passa gli anni accanto a me che invecchieremo insieme come pelle sul mio corpo, sangue nelle vene.
One of Mahler’s later song cycles was based on a set of poems by Friederich Rückert, the same poet had inspired Mahler to write his equally famous Kindertotenlieder. Of all of Mahler’s song cycles, this was the last one I’d come across, and coming to it, I had gotten exactly what I expected: beautiful melodies, fantastic orchestration, and unique harmonies, all sprinkled with Mahler’s personal touch to make them a set of gorgeous songs. However, unlike typical song cycles, this collection doesn’t “have” to be performed together, the only thing connecting the songs are the poem’s themes. But it would be silly to perform any by themselves instead of the entire set [maybe the wonderful and introspective Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen could be performed as a stand alone, but why do that and ignore the rest of the poems?]. Because there is less cohesion to this cycle than others, there is no set order for the songs to be performed. That is left to the conductor’s artistic interpretation. Here I am, after dinner, drunk and feeling lonely, listening to the type of music that makes me feel connected to everyone. If that makes any sense. As in, whatever negative thoughts I have, whatever dark emotions, I can at least empathize with or sympathize with others who have felt similar emotions before and who do so today. That’s why Mahler is so consistently relevant, to me.