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Das Lied Von Der Erde/Barenboim

Gustav Mahler Audio CD

Price: £19.95
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mahlerian Wonder with Barenboim's Genius 10 Jan 2009
By The Cultural Observer - Published on Amazon.com
For the longest time, Daniel Barenboim was hesistant to conduct the music of Gustav Mahler due to his aversion to the brand of faux folkish sentimentality that sometimes characterizes many of the composer's symphonies. It would take a trip to Vienna and an epiphany drawn from seeing Mahler's precious and marked score of Wagner's Tristan that Barenboim was able to begin seeing the subtleties of the composer's mastery of the orchestral medium. And thus began a journey with the composer's music that continues to deliver strength after strength with the inclusion of his 5th, 7th, and 9th symphonies to the discography.

This Das Lied von der Erde was taken from an earlier phase in Barenboim's association with this music. The singers he has contracted for the solo parts are Waltraud Meier and Siegfried Jerusalem, two musicians who are able to stay in line with their conductor's vision of Wagner's operas. Outside the operatic medium, they are able to deliver the mysterious, mystical, and serene poetry that Mahler used in his text with aplomb and sensitivity. It helps that both soloists are of healthy voice too, especially Jerusalem since most tenors who take on these massive songs forget that Mahler's songs are all about subtlety and care. Jerusalem had a lovely voice that when not put under stress gives one of the most splendid and mellifluous sounds ever produced by a tenor's throat. He was ideal in the parts that Barenboim assigned to him in his Ring, Tristan, and Parsifal, and he expresses a similarly able musicianship here in the Lied. No, he is no Wunderlich, but what abandon and intelligence he imbues his songs with (like the drunken song).

I suppose that another reason for pouring out superlatives for this recording is Waltraud Meier's altsolo. She is an unconventional singer who understood not only what she was asked to sing but why she sang them and how she is in relation to the text as an artist. Meier is without any doubt one of the finest artists of our time, her Isolde and her Kundry being her finest work. She is also exemplary as a lieder singer and this recording shows evidence of an artist who shaded her colorful voice to the bend and the curve of the music well. Her Abschied is heartbreaking as no other.

Barenboim, of course, is the main draw here. He is an extremely insightful artist who works with a broad range of colors, and his musicianship is exemplary when it comes to an orchestra of the CSO's distinction. He is able to gear the orchestra towards producing some of the most exuberant and subdued sounds and chooses the right color and dynamic for each phrase. Recently, his Mahler has become one of the high points of the discography, and I dare say that this Lied should be placed among that highly praised echelon of recordings.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in every respect, inspiring in none 24 Sep 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Barenboim can't hope to compete as a conductor with the likes of Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, or even Esa-Pekka Salonen, all of whom have made inspiring Das Lieds. He has good soloists--this is Meier's best outing on disc in the mezzo part--and of course a virtuoso orchestra. It adds up to a good performance that fails to scale any heights.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner 12 Jan 2011
By David Thierry - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
There are 35 possible recordings of this work for download but I bought this as a used cd. Barenboim isn't going to curl your toes. He always stands back with a little more reserve for those who don't like their Mahler so in your face with extremes of emotion and feeling but let's face it, he's conducting from the same score as everyone else so I like to call his efforts more subtle, rather than failing to be sensational. If you want sensational go to the standby Bernstein with King and DFD. Siegfried Jerusalem recorded this work twice, once with Jesse Norman and James Levine, and here with the phenomenal Waltraud Meir. Every note pouring out of her mouth is gorgeous so one may have to dig deeper for interpretation. She holds her own against all the other phenomenal ladies who have sung this role. I enjoy them all. Siegfried seems a bit more intimate than the recording under Levine where he is more like the bull in the china shop but hitting every note with gusto. Barenboim is not Mr. Excitement, he does not dazzle. He conducts Mahler the same way he plays Bach on the piano. You like what he does or you don't but he is not dull. Look at the almost 40 pages of recordings he has on Amazon and realize this is a very mature musician and he is very Apolloinan not Dyonisian.
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