This is the last song in "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen" by Mahler. Mahler has composed not only the music but also the words. The theme is a heartrending lost love, which he has experienced by himself.
I used to play this music as a member of orchestra twice. Firstly, at the med school orchestra. It was a very tough music for a beginner cellist due to the changing tonality as well as the swinging rhythm. The next chance came to me when I came back with cello in my early fifties. I have enjoyed the music as well as the words very much.
This last music was especially impressive to me. It seems Mahler has compromised with his fortune in this music. In the middle portion, the music sounds bright and warm in major tonality. Basically, however, it is a funeral march. In the very end, there sounds a deeply dark and pessimistic chord. The basic motif slowed down as if the travellor had breathed the last.
Dieskau in his young days sings dramatically in this recording. One of the best performances for this music.