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Mahler: Das Klagende Lied / Tilson Thomas, San Francisco SO

Album Summary

>Mahler, Gustav : Das klagende Lied, cantata for soloists, chorus & orchestra
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

For the benefit of the collectors and MTT fans everywhere, the San Francisco Symphony label is pleased to bring back this essential Mahler recording, now remastered for SACD. Recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall and produced by the same team responsible for the best selling Mahler symphonies, this riveting 1996 interpretation of 'Das klagende Lied' was praised for its "blazing conviction."

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
What a glorious prospect Mahler's first major work opens up for us - and how beautifully it is realised here. The original three-part version of this ambitious folkloric cantata is like a musical manifesto of pretty well all Mahler to come. Horn calls in the prelude to 'Waldmärchen' ('Forest Tale') awaken his unique nature-world; elfin woodwind fanfares intimate martial music as far as the Seventh and Eighth symphonies; the First Symphony (third movement) is germinating at the close of part 1, the opening of the Second is already in place with the first bars of 'Der Spielmann' ('The Wandering Musician'); and with 'Hochzeitsstück' ('Wedding Feast') Mahler seems to find himself in Act 2 of Wagner's Götterdämmerung contemplating the opera he never wrote. But more startling than anything in Das Klagende Lied is Mahler's feeling for, and command of, the orchestra - and this from a composer who'd never heard a note of his own orchestration.

Recorded in 1996 (and originally released by RCA), the subtle detailing and nuancing of this performance indicates painstaking preparation but arrives in our living rooms sounding as if the ink is still wet on the page. Each repetition of that madrigal-like choral ritornello intensifies the lamentation of the title until release is found in the anguish of the wronged queen and soprano Marina Shaguch hurls out her leaping vocal line to bring down the walls of the castle. That's Mahler's innate theatricality for you. Quite a piece, and quite a performance.

San Francisco Chronicle
There are conductors who perform Mahler, and then there are Mahlerians - the ones who can understand and convey the composer's distinctive blend of extravagant sentiment and sardonic, excoriating wit. Michael Tilson Thomas is a true Mahlerian, one of those conductors for whom this composer's symphonies and songs are central texts, and for whom Mahler's music forms an essential link between the past century and our own... likely to become the standard recording of this little-known score.


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Works Details

>Mahler, Gustav : Das klagende Lied, cantata for soloists, chorus & orchestra
  • Performers: Michelle DeYoung (Mezzo-Soprano); Sergei Leiferkus; Thomas Moser (Tenor); Marina Shaguch (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Michael Thomas
  • Ensemble: San Francisco Symphony Chorus
  • Notes: Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA (05/19/1996-06/01/1996)
  • Running Time: 66 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1878-1880
  • Studio/Live: Live