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A beautifully sung, elegantly played performance,
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This review is from: Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (Audio CD)
There is every reason to celebrate the LPO as perhaps the best orchestra in London these days; I hear them regularly in the renovated Royal Festival Hall and can attest to their form under Leader Pieter Schoeman and certainly to my ears they are getting better and better. The same may be said of their conductor here, for whom I have not always had unqualified praise but, following his stupendous concert-performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony recently, I have increasing admiration.
It is also good to hear the elegant British tenor Toby Spence a year before he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer from which he has now thankfully staged a recovery. He has an intrinsically beautiful voice and even if he is pushed to his limits in this music, it is a pleasure to hear him singing so well rather than having to endure another wobbly Heledentenor barking his way in ungainly fashion hrough "Das Trinklied". He is more in the Wunderlich mode than the syle of James King or Kaufmann; a lighter, more youthful sound but wih just enough heft to cope and no throatiness. He is matched by the equally lovely full and rich voice of Sarah Connolly; she is of course more of a soprano than the usual mezzo and she does not perhaps probe the meaning of the texts as deeply as some predecessors but it is nonetheless a delight to hear such steady, pure-toned singing. She is rapturous in the "Der Abschied".
The live sound is excellent: very few coughs and the perfect balance between orchestra and voice. I find Nézet-Séguin's tempi and phrasing ideal. Some find this performance under-stated; I must say that I really enjoy its fresh, unpretentious directness.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Apr 2014 14:56:56 BDT
D. S. CROWE says:
I agree totally Ralph-especially about Sarah Connolly. The new Zinman /Elsner/Susah Graham recording is a wretchedly dull affair, and it is most dispiriting to hear Susan Graham in such poor voice for much of the time-though there are some lovely lyrical moments. Dispiriting indeed. For once I agree with the Gramophone!!
Posted on 3 Jul 2014 05:29:24 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jul 2014 05:30:57 BDT
Cornelis De Rooij says:
Again, thank you for the clear review. And I agree fully with you, the LPO is indeed a very fine orchestra, then and now; one of my favourite orchestras overall.
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