An early precursor of his 2nd Symphony, which featured reworked material from it, the symphonic poem Totenfeier ("Funeral Rites") is an odd item in Mahler's oeuvre.
For funeral music it's surprisingly light, even pastoral in places, the vacillating moods perhaps reflecting the conflicting tropes of melancholy and transcendence attendant upon death's embrace. There's even a surging optimism about the third section, before it ultimately founders on Wagnerian portents. But it's an intriguing piece, rendered here with typical panache by the Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, and accompanied by Sarah Connolly's poised delivery of Mahler's four "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen".
Download: Totenfeier; Lieder eines fahrenden GesellenReuse content