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Songs of Wayfarer/Sym 1

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 8 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000BFH278
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #101,359 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. l. Wenn Mein Schatz Hochzeit Macht - Christopher Maltman
2. ll. Ging Heut' Morgen Uber's Feld - Christopher Maltman
3. lll. Ich Hab' Ein Gluhend Messer - Christopher Maltman
4. lV. Die Zwei Blauen Augen - Christopher Maltman
5. l. Langsam. Schleppend - Christopher Maltman
6. ll. Kraftig Bewegt - Christopher Maltman
7. lll. Feierlich Und Gemessen, Ohne Zu Schleppen - Christopher Maltman
8. lV. Stumisch Bewegt - Christopher Maltman
Disc: 2
1. Discusses Mahler's Songs Of A Wayfarer And Symphony No. 1 - Benjamin Zander
2. Discusses Mahler's Songs Of A Wayfarer And Symphony No. 1 - Benjamin Zander
3. Discusses Mahler's Songs Of A Wayfarer And Symphony No. 1 - Benjamin Zander
4. Discusses Mahler's Songs Of A Wayfarer And Symphony No. 1 - Benjamin Zander
5. Discusses Mahler's Songs Of A Wayfarer And Symphony No. 1 - Benjamin Zander
6. Discusses Mahler's Songs Of A Wayfarer And Symphony No. 1 - Benjamin Zander
7. Discusses Mahler's Songs Of A Wayfarer And Symphony No. 1 - Benjamin Zander
8. Discusses Mahler's Songs Of A Wayfarer And Symphony No. 1 - Benjamin Zander
9. Discusses Mahler's Songs Of A Wayfarer And Symphony No. 1 - Benjamin Zander

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0e868b8) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa12b25f0) out of 5 stars A Mahleresque Mahler First! Feb. 5 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Benjamin Zander continues his survey of the symphonies of Gustav Mahler with an all stops out performance of the 'Titan', Mahler's great first symphony, which has been less recorded in the past decade than most of his other symphonies. Zander obeys all of Mahler's score markings, which means that when Mahler calls for extremes in dynamics or manipulation of phrasing, Zander is right there with him. For some this may feel excessive and too blatantly showy, but then consider the fact that this was indeed the first work of a composer who dwelled on passion and eruptive emotions and the concept makes great sense. The Philharmonia Orchestra plays its heart out for him and the recorded sound displays this highly theatrical, and for this listener, successful approach.

Zander couples this performance of the Titan with the 'Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen', beautifully sung by Christopher Maltman. Again, Zander goes for the angst and the drama and at times the emotion seem overstated, but just examine Mahler's notes on his score and realize this is the way the master instructed the work to be performed.

For a Mahler version of Mahler works, this CD is a breath of fresh air form the more transparent, underplayed, dignified approaches of some of the other fairly recent recordings. It is a pleasure to the senses. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, February 06
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0d80180) out of 5 stars Music-making of the highest caliber March 29 2006
By Mike G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ironically, it takes a very mature musician/conductor to pull off a convincing performance of Mahler's most youthful symphony. When compared to later symphonies, the first has quite a large scope of musical material presented in such a short amount of space (Mahler tends to develop the same material more thoroughly in later works). The sheer amount of colors, styles and moods presented in this symphony may be daunting to even a trained professional. Most performances fall apart musically because conductors either fail to highlight details, lose scope of larger structures, or both. I think Zander strikes a perfect balance between details and structure. His interpretation, more so than others', successfully integrates all of Mahler's singular ideas into a whole, making complete sense from start to finish. There is a very clear sense of flow, of one idea generating - and leading into - the next. After listening to this recording, I finally felt that Mahler's idea had come across convincingly - that I had been given the correct information, in a sense, or at least one version of the correct information.
Zander doesn't contrive anything in order to sell the emotional content of the symphony. Instead, he opts, as said before, to bring out the details written in the score, either by amplifying what is commonly observed, or by observing in the first place what usually isn't. Dynamic contrasts are much larger, for example. Zander observes oft-ignored distinctions between pp and ppp. Crescendos and decrescendos are more severe. Accents are more calculated. This observation of correct dynamics allows for even the densest of Mahler's polyphonic textures to be clarified. As usual, Zander has the violins sit across from one another, allowing for Mahler's antiphonal effects to come across, and also bringing the harmonies more to the fore. Mahler's metronome markings have often been subjected to severe distortions, something that always hastens a structural collapse. This is especially true for the first movement, which contains 8 of the 12 markings. Zander doesn't follow them exactly, but he adheres to them more closely than other conductors do, taking care to keep their proportions intact. Finally, Zander excels in bringing across Mahler's coloristic touches. The best examples of this are the middle sections of the second and third movements (the Klezmer band is especially rustic), both of which are aided by Zander's masterly application of rubato and flexibility of tempo.
Of course, the technical and musical prowess required of an orchestra to pull off this symphony is daunting, but the Philharmonia Orchestra pulls off another flawless performance. The solo work is among the best I've ever heard, and their brass section could beat the pants off of Berlin's or Chicago's, any day. In no way am I exaggerating this fact. The closing horn fanfare had me sweating with disbelief.
I apologize for only touching briefly on the Songs of a Wayfarer. Christopher Maltman turns in a fine and bracing rendition, comparable to classic accounts from Fischer-Dieskau and others, as well as any modern renditions. Zander provides a balanced and colorful accompaniment, and he is very successful in presenting the symphony and the song cycle as kin, the way they should be.
Telarc provides excellent clear sound and balance, and the normally priced CD is well worth the money. I recommend this recording without hesitation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0ee0330) out of 5 stars Changes in Social History April 14 2014
By Richard Gollin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was in my local mall in Florida a few weeks ago. Not only have all the record and book shops gone but, one gathers that all across America the mall is going as well! Anyway, the Gaming shop (!) had a classical CD section with 2 CDs in it. The first was Zandler's Mahler 3 and the second was.....Dolly Parton! Already having Dolly's hits , I bought the Mahler having previously had Kubelik and,a huge favourite, Bernstein. To finally bring this long story to a close, I was so amazed at the Mahler that I immediately ordered the same conductor's Mahler 1.

I am always a bit worried about conductors largely associated with one composer. I remember the US business man, Gilbert Kaplan, obsessed with Mahler 2. I still have the cassette and like his version, but I also remember him storming out of an interview when William Rushton told him he must have a very small willie to be obsessed with Mahler 2 rather than, say, a piece by Mozart or Bach..

Anyway I like the talk and details given by Zandler and found his Mahler 1 very exhilarating with outstanding playing by the orchestra. I still worry about the use of the Frere Jacque theme but where some conductors suggest this piece as a fairly light Viennese first symphony, Zandler shows it as a truly great first from a young composer. Incidentally, what sent me back to listening to some Mahler with its huge scope was being given a copy of Les Elemens by Rebel which shows the same scope and daring a mere hundred years earlier.

Finally, and apologies for being a philistine, I am sorry to say that despite repeated tries in 50 years , I still do not enjoy the Wayfarer songs.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1566ac8) out of 5 stars mostly wonderful March 9 2011
By Ray Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The most distinctive feature of this recording, IMHO, is the 79 minute supplementary discussion of both works. Maestro Zander gives a thorough explanation of their gestation, including discussion of the composer's failed relationship, and how the compositions have much in common. He makes a strong argument for the originality of Mahler's orchestration in the Lieder, and how it supports the narrative. He then goes on to assert that the Titan is the greatest first symphony by any composer, and how the funeral march is one of the most original movements he ever wrote. I have to admit that until now I have never been a big fan of this symphony, having considered it a bit contrived. Zander makes a strong case for the work's structure. He also delights in explaining the unusual scoring, such as the solo double bass in the funeral march, and when the violins play with the bows "turned upside down". It is a very effective presentation and the album is worth acquiring for this discussion alone. Maestro Zander's exposition skills are impeccable. If there is only one quibble about the discussion, I found its conclusion a bit abrupt - but perhaps there was little room for further discussion to fit on 1 CD.

My only reservation is regarding the baritone Christopher Mallman in the Lieder. I found his tone to be somewhat gritty, and the consonants were emphasized almost to the point of declamation. In my view he was not the equal of Thomas Hampson in his recording with the VPO under Bernstein, nor for that matter Dame Janet Baker. The support of the Philharmonia under Zander was delightful, with the music having lift and sparkle, in spite of the at times rough vocalization.

The Symphony was exciting from start to finish, with excellent playing and high dynamic contrasts. The coda of the final movement was very well done. The sound quality was in my view a little better here than on the more recently released Bruckner 5 with the same conductor and ensemble (different venue). The notes are well written too.

Overall, strongly recommended. It offers excellent value for money.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f420cc) out of 5 stars It doesn't displace my favorites, but it works well enough March 12 2013
By John J. Puccio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
One can hardly complain about the dollar value involved here: You not only get two discs for the price of one, you get Mahler's Symphony No. 1, his Songs of a Wayfarer, and a lengthy talk by the conductor, Benjamin Zander. Still, it's a trifle foursquare compared to other interpretations.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor