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Mahler - 2010 - Das Lied von der Erde (Giulini)

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Mahler - 2010 - Das Lied von der Erde (Giulini)

01. Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde
02. Der Einsame Herbst
03. Von der Jugend
04. Von der Schönheit
05. Der Trunkene im Frühling
06. Der Abschied

Brigitte Fassbaender - mezzo-soprano
Francicso Araiza - tenor

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Carlo Maria Giulini – conductor


Finely graded textures are one of the hallmarks of Giulini's Das Lied von der Erde, his first recording with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The maestro draws marvellous playing from the Berliners, and on compact disc the recording is equally lucid.

Intensity is in abundance in the final Abschied. Brigitte Fassbaender is a highly persuasive soloist here, cool-toned yet phrasing with intelligence and demonstrating an acute sense of what she is actually singing about, while Giulini treats the orchestral interpolations as miniature tone-poems, etched in vivid detail without any necessity for superficial rhetoric. The earlier contralto songs go almost equally well.

Perhaps there has never been an entirely successful version of the tenor songs since Fritz Wunderlich recorded them for Klemperer; the reconciling of the vocal demands of a Heldentenor with something much nearer lieder singing is hard to achieve. The Mexican tenor Francisco Araiza copes well, however. Connoisseurs of Das Lied will need to hear this recording: in this of all Mahler scores duplications are almost essential. --- Record Collector (Mons, Belgium)


Taken from concerts in February 1984, this is part of a whole clutch of Carlo Maria Giulini's performances with the Berlin Philharmonic that have been released for the first time on the Testament label. Shortly after these Berlin concerts, the same team made a studio recording of Das Lied von der Erde for Deutsche Grammophon, a version that often seems to be overlooked when classic versions of Mahler's song-symphony are discussed. In fact, this is a reminder that not only was Giulini underrated as a Mahler conductor (his rather fine studio account of the Ninth Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has just been reissued by DG, too), but that his soloists, Brigitte Fassbaender and Francesco Araiza, stand comparison with any who have recorded the work in the last 30 years. Fassbaender's sound may not be the most beautiful mezzo, but the way she invests every phrase with point and purpose is remarkable, while Araiza's lyrical, almost bel canto sound is worlds away from the heavier, Heldentenor approach usually thought essential in this work, but somehow he holds his own against the orchestral tumult. --- Andrew Clements, guardian.co.uk




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