- Audio CD (Jan 12 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: EMI Classics
- ASIN: B00000GCAH
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
|1. Das Trinklied Vom Jammer Der Erde|
|2. Der Einsame Im Herbst|
|3. Von Der Jugend|
|4. Von Der Schonheit|
|5. Der Trunkene Im Fruhling|
|6. Der Abschied|
Is there a "definitive" recording? I don't feel that any one recording says it all in this extraordinary music. I grew up with the old Walter/Vienna recording with Kathleen Ferrier & Julius Patzak - the original London LPs still sound far sweeter and more natural than any of the later CD transfers. The problem there, for me, was the playing of the Vienna Philharmonic - the ensemble was at times distressingly poor. Walter's first one with Thorborg & Kullman was in some ways even better: both are preferable to the stereo version with Haefliger (very fine) and Mildred Miller (not so fine).
If I had to pick just three recordings for Ye Olde Desert Island, I would probably opt for the following:
1. Ferrier & Set Svanholm with Walter and the NY Phil. (1948), which is available in that orchestra's 10-disc CD set "The Mahler Broadcasts." This was, along with Mitropoulos's searing Mahler 6th, the best item in that set. Ferrier is even better than in her Vienna account - and Svanholm did the best singing I have ever heard from him.
2. The live 1939 recording with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (Mengelberg's orchestra), conducted by Carl Schuricht. Kerstin Thorborg was the alto, even better here than she was in 1936 with Walter. Carl Martin Ohman was a true Heldentenor - I think his is the most masterly tenor account of all. The sound is rather antiquarian but adequate - mine is on a Minerva CD.
3. The Horenstein was recorded in concert (1972) with the BBC Northern Symphony. It features Alfreda Hodgson and John Mitchinson. Both singers do a wonderful job, but the real star is Horenstein - his is the most eloquent exposition of the orchestral part I have ever heard. Late in life, Horenstein remarked that his greatest regret about dying was that he would never be able to hear "Das Lied von der Erde" again. This is a very special, tremendously moving account. It is the one stereo version that I would recommend without qualification.
I've heard many recordings of this moving work over the years but I find I keep coming back to Klemperer. The Klemperer recording is rich, broad and expansive. The remastered sound is fresh and clear. The VPO is marvelous. Klemperer balances the orchestral forces and the vocalists admirably. Wunderlich and Ludwig pour their soul into the libretto. The music envelopes the listener. This is a transcendant experience.
A great recording of the century indeed. Mahler at his finest. Most highly recommended.
Klemperer as always conducts with slow, deeply profound and expressive tempi and manages to create an atmosphere of shadows in the darkest forest...
Fritz Wunderlich shines like a true gem of the lyrical tenor he was.
Christa Ludwig will indeed make you think you are listening to one of the most important Interpreters ever... Her voice reminds you of a Shining Crystal underneath of which lies Black Velvet. Her musicianship is UNSURPASSED, her feeling for the composer's style is unmistakable and her vocal colors are the darkest and subtlest ever. Indeed she makes an Unforgettable "duet" with Klemperer's orchestra and together they make one of the Best Recordings of the 20th century. In this kind of singing you do not need to understand the words at all. Ludwig is so expressive first in Einsam in Herbst (The Lonely one in Autumn) and then in Der Abschied (The Farewell).
The other definitive rcording is the legendary Kathleen Ferrier/Bruno Walter one which surely stands besides this one and together they comprise two of the best recordings ver.