These songs grab you by the throat.
Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn. This collection of songs has always been one of my favorites. Bernstein decided to program half of the songs on one of his New York Philharmonic concerts with the husband-and-wife team of mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig and baritone Walter Berry. The concert was magical, but it only included half of the material. I nudged and nagged Bernstein to invite Christa and Walter to give another concert with the remaining half of the songs. After Bernstein made it happen, we went into the recording studio and recorded all of them.