We who can look back on centuries of music history, and listen to the development of music over the same period of time, do not regard Mozart as the ultimate source of music. He was, to be sure, one of the greatest musical geniuses the world has ever known; yet he was, at the same time, but one of a number of musicians and composers whose impact over the course of history has made music what it is today.
When we consider the development of classical song as an art form, however, Mozart must be seen as one of the pioneers. It was he who elevated the song from domestic and traditional music to the realm of serious music. And with Mozart we have the entire spectrum of what a song can be. Many are in simple verse form — such as the very familiar “Im Frühlingsanfang” — and can be sung by just about anyone. But Mozart developed the song into something larger and more complex, with greater technical challenges and more innovative musical progression. “Abendempfindung” and, especially, “Eine kleine deutsche Kantate” represent the apex of Mozart’s achievement in this regard.
To do the songs of Mozart is indeed something of a challenge, precisely because they are so simple. Excessive pathos or outpouring of feeling is unsuitable . Emotion is to be expressed, of course, but it must be confined to the delicate and simpler limits that Mozart has established. I have chosen, therefore, to call the album “Whispering Mozart”, for that is how it feels to sing this material: as though you are whispering the words and melodies to the few who have gathered in your living room to listen …
— Marianne Beate Kielland