Composed in 1898 and premiered on January 14, 1900, Mahler’s setting of Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen forms part of his cycle of songs based on Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth’s Magic Horn), a collection of German folk poetry compiled by Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano in the early nineteenth century.
Though originally conceived for voice and orchestra, Mahler’s first step was to publish a playable voice-and-piano version of this work in 1899, as part of an anthology entitled Humoresken. The song is a dialogue between two characters – a solider and his sweetheart – whose mutual longing and devotion are deftly characterised by changes in tonality and texture, allowing the vocal line to soar yearningly over the tender piano accompaniment.
- Trumpet in C
- Trumpet in B-flat