Meine Seele: The Songs of Alma Mahler

Saturday, March 11, 2023

  • Elise Caluwaerts, Soprano
  • Marianna Shirinyan, Pianist

Alma Maria Schindler grew up among the artistic elite in late 19th-century Vienna. Her father was a famous painter, her mother a singer. The leading lights of the Secession, theater directors, composers, writers – the list goes on – were constant guests of the household, art ever-present. That Alma should feel herself inspired to become an artist seemed self-evident.

Throughout her teens she pursued her aspirations, especially in her passion for music. She eventually took composition lessons, honing her craft, dreaming of a creative future. But life was less kind to this highly intelligent and talented young woman. Societal expectations and biographical circumstances thwarted any hope of growing into this role. Her place would be at the side of genius, not in striving to be one.

The only remnants we have of Alma’s musical output are seventeen songs: fourteen published during her lifetime, three published posthumously. They offer us the opportunity of exploring what she accomplished and perhaps what might have been, providing a unique perspective on this most intriguing individual.

Soprano Elise Caluwaerts and pianist Marianna Shirinyan have completed the first recording of all of these works. On this show, they tell us about the making of their upcoming release and their fascination with the artistic production of a woman too often regarded as merely a muse.

Play now, and explore Alma Mahler, the composer: her challenges, her development, her accomplishment.

Hosted by Morten Solvik

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