In Das Lied von der Erde Mahler set a collection of Chinese poems to music. It is a declaration of love to the earth, to nature. But it is also Mahlers therapy to get himself to grips with his broken body. When he wrote it, in 1907, he just heard his doctor say he had some kind of heart deformity, and he shouldn’t exert himself. So he couldn’t do what he liked best.
So Mahler buried himself in work, to forget his body. It made him agitated with any distraction, because that brought him crashing down to the earth. He wanted to forget about the physical discomfort of his own existence. It leads to a work of terrifying beauty, where Mahler laments mankind tragic destiny.
I think this was the first I got from Georg Solti, and I have been a fan of his work ever since. He used to do a lot of opera for Decca, so that is why he was perfect for this as well. And the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is a good match for this. a superb recording and good quality vinyl finishes it.