As Gustav Mahler contemplated his own mortality, he drew consolation and strength from the poetry of ancient China. 'Das Lied von der Erde' is the result: a symphony in all but name that distils every last drop of life’s sorrow and sweetness into six heartrending songs. Toru Takemitsu, meanwhile, looked west: charting a very personal musical path between western classical music and the philosophy and art of his native Japan to create soundscapes of unique, and haunting, beauty. Glowing autumn colours mingle with cries of longing in this wonderfully conceived programme from the BBC SSO’s hugely respected Conductor Emeritus Donald Runnicles, plus two singers whose unflinching emotional commitment has won international acclaim.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room
Dr Sabine Wieber, from the University of Glasgow, explores the cultural context around 'Das Lied von der Erde', with reference to the fashion for Chinese culture in Mahler’s time (free to ticket-holders, subject to seating availability).
The concert is scheduled to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 - presented by Tom Redmond.