Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gustav Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde - Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra







Mahler considered The Song of the Earth his most personal work, and indeed it is one of his greatest and most moving. Its six sections, sung alternately by the mezzo-soprano and tenor, are set to seven poems from The Chinese Flute, a collection of Chinese lyrics translated into German by Hans Bethge, which echo Mahler's love of nature and contrast the earth's renewal each spring with theDas Lied von der Erde: Der Abschied. transience of human life. Composed after he lost his beloved 4-year-old daughter and was diagnosed with a serious heart ailment, the music encompasses heart-rending anguish and sublime ecstasy; conceived in the shadow of death, it is suffused with a sense of sorrowful, reluctant leave-taking finally transformed into resigned renunciation. The scoring for a large orchestra is masterful and includes many solo passages; melodic, harmonic, and instrumental devices at times create an oriental flavor. Among the work's many recordings, this is certainly one of the best. The orchestra is splendid; its wonderfully transparent sound, together with Klemperer's extremely leisurely, deliberate tempi, allows many apparently brand-new lines and details to come out and gives the second tenor solo a strikingly Chinese character. Moreover, the singers can be clearly heard, and they are incomparable: vocally glorious, musically deeply involved, sensitive to every expressive nuance and subtlety of words and music, they follow Mahler to the heights and depths of emotion, making the performance an overwhelming, unforgettable experience. --Edith Eisler




  1. Hi, I have the pleasure to make you a great Mahler-present. And here infos about the soloist. Enjoy it! And thanks ofr the music.

  2. Dear Otto, thanks for the wonderful posts. As regards Das Lied von der Erde/Klemperer, parts 2 and 4 appear to be missing on the Filefactory site. Could you please reupload them? Thank you very much.



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