Music and Vision homepage Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller


<<  -- 3 --  David Wilkins    BITTER TEARS


From the first strike of the tam-tam and the insinuating Viennese oboe, Walter knows that he is taking the listener on a journey through pain and despair towards a heartbreaking resignation and acceptance. He knows, too, that his soloist can carry all the weight of the tear-laden and the visionary seeking that the words and the music require [listen -- track 9, 10:55-11:54] ('I long, Oh my friend, to be by your side. To enjoy the beauty of this evening. Where are you lingering? You leave me long alone!')

Mahler wondered how anybody would ever be able to conduct Das Lied. Jascha Horenstein said that what he most hated about the prospect of death was never being able to hear this work again. It's that sort of piece: one that resides in the central places of those who love it. Many will, therefore, have their 'desert-island' performance choice already made. I wouldn't be without either the Wunderlich/Ludwig/Klemperer or the King/Fischer-Dieskau/Bernstein recordings and nor could I be long separated from this testament.

Three of the Rückert songs are a blessedly welcome bonus. They are, however, wisely placed at the beginning of the disc. For, surely, nobody would want any interruption to follow Das Lied von der Erde's ineffable conclusion [listen -- track 9, 27:04-28:20].

Copyright © 14 May 2003 David Wilkins, Eastbourne, UK


Kathleen Ferrier - Das Lied von der Erde

8.110871 ADD Mono REISSUE 75'30" 2003 HNH International Ltd

Kathleen Ferrier, contralto; Julius Patzak, tenor; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Bruno Walter, conductor

Gustav Mahler: Three Rückert-Lieder (Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen; Ich atmet' einen linden Duft; Um Mitternacht); Das Lied von der Erde (Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde; Der Einsame im Herbst; Von der Jugend; Von der Schönheit; Der Trunkene im Frühling; Der Abschied)


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