- Stig Andersen (Tenor)
- Mihoko Fujimura (Mezzo Soprano)
- Herwig Pecoraro (Tenor)
- Deborah Voigt (Soprano)
- Michael Volle (Baritone)
Notes & Reviews:
Schoenberg's mammoth opus proved a great public success at its 1913 premiere, and was again met with critical acclaim at this 60th anniversary concert of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. To this day, the late romanticism of this early work stands in stark contrast to the twelve-tone technique with which Schoenberg is closely associated; indeed, anyone who loves Strauss and Mahler should not miss out on the Gurrelieder. In addition to the concert recording, this DVD contains documentary footage, interviews and other bonus material, and is the only available DVD of the Gurrelieder.
"This live performance of Schönberg’s massive Gurrelieder gives us the opportunity to view the huge forces involved, which include 10 horns, 6 trumpets, 7 trombones, 4 harps, a huge complement of percussion with 6 timpani and “large iron chains,” more than 80 strings, 5 vocal soloists and several choruses. This is the only DVD currently available taped during concerts that took place October 22/23, 2009 in Munich. Along with his other major position of music director of the Royal Concertgebouw Orcherstra, since 2003 Mariss Jansons has been chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. His rapport with them is obvious in this splendid performance of Schönberg’s gargantuan cantata. All of the soloists are first-rate, particularly Michael Volle’s impassioned Speaker. Video is excellent and engineers have provided a rich sonic tapestry of remarkable clarity considering the vast army of performers. Vocal soloists are a bit too prominent. Text is provided in German and English, but, a major debit, there are no subtitles. The dubious “bonus,” an introduction by Michael Beyer, is in German with no translation." -ClassicalCDReview.com
A brilliant performance, then. But do we want to see as well as hear it? Brian Large's vast experience with tele-filming concerts pays off in that viewers should never feel DVD & Blu-ray reviews nudged into noticing things which might better pass them by. At the same time, we're given vivid evidence of the large forces involved - four harps, four piccolos, two double bassoons, drums galore, chains to be rattled. The choruses of Munich and Leipzig are also out in force, rather staid in demeanour given their material but effective agents of the musical drama in Jansons's supremely eloquent hands. We're given a brief glimpse of Christian Thielemann and Anne-Sophie Mutter in the applauding audience at the end: it was one of those occasions, memorable enough musically, to merit preservation.
Director Brian Large and his crew deserve kudos for the excellent camerawork and editing of this performance. The DVD includes a seven-minute documentary about Gurrelieder and its creation, but alas it lacks subtitles. Those viewers who are not versed in German will still enjoy some of the segment's rare photos.
Run Time: 125 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM 2.0, DTS 5.0 Surround
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Works DetailsSchoenberg, Arnold : Gurrelieder
- Performers: Stig Andersen (Tenor); Mihoko Fujimura (Mezzo Soprano); Herwig Pecoraro (Tenor); Deborah Voigt (Soprano); Michael Volle (Baritone)
- Conductor: Mariss Jansons
- Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Form: Cantata/Oratorio
- Written: 1900-1911