Gustav Mahler (1860–1911)
14 Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit (1880/91, arranged by Pierre Hoppé)
BARITONE Ludwig Mittelhammer
Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich
CONDUCTOR AND MODERATOR Daniel Grossmann
In Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg there are many synagogues that survived World War II. They are mostly in smaller cities like Ansbach, Hainsfarth or Kitzingen, where small houses of prayer now serve as cultural spaces. With this concert tour through these synagogues, Jewish culture will be experienced there and brought back to places where it was destroyed in the Holocaust.
In the centre stands the probably most famous Jewish Catholic, Gustav Mahler. In a letter to his friend, the archaeologist Friedrich Löhr, in 1894/95 he wrote, “My being Jewish prevents me, as the matter now stands in the world, from entering any court theatre. Not Vienna, not Berlin, not Dresden, not Munich is open to me. Everywhere the same wind is blowing.” On 23 February 1897, Mahler converted to Catholicism.
In the beginning Daniel Grossmann discusses the early life of the composer who later became world-famous. He talks about Mahler’s Bohemian roots, his Jewish parents’ home, und his musical education, which started with music in the synagogue. Between the songs texts describe Gustav Mahler’s relationship to the Jewish world and his not-exactly-voluntary departure from the religion of his ancestors.