Premiere of an ‘unknown’ Mahler song

The University of Tübinger musicologist, Professor Jörg Rothkamm, has presented what he claims to be the world premiere of an unpublished Lied, which is partly in the hand of Gustav Mahler.

The song was jointly written by Alma Mahler and her husband in 1910, to a text by Gustav Falke, at a time when the couple were trying to save their marriage. Rothkamm claims that Mahler’s contribution to the score is greater than previously suspected.

The song received its first public hearing yesterday in Tübingen from soprano Naomi Kautt, with pianist Dagmar Schmidt-Wehinger. Rothkamm maintains is has echoes of the tenth symphony.

We’d be curious to hear a recording.

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  • I wonder what the internal evidence is for determining Gustav’s contribution. Even if some of it is in his handwriting there is no guarantee that it stems from his imagination. Was it the impetus for the song or merely carrying out what she already had written. Besides the graphic evidence, so called “style analysis” is not very reliable. In any case, it would be really great if someone could post a performance of it somewhere so everyone could hear.

  • Just read the following article and you begin to understand. Jörg Rothkamm: Wer komponierte die unter Alma Mahlers Namen veröffentlichten Lieder? Unbekannte Briefe der Komponistin zur Revision ihrer Werke im Jahre 1910, in: Die Musikforschung, 53. Jahrg., H. 4 (Oktober–Dezember 2000), pp. 432-445.

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