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Proms broadcast of Mahler's youthful tragedy,
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This review is from: Mahler: Das Klagende Lied (The Fiddlers Child) (Teresa Cahill/ Janet Baker/ Robert Tear/ BBC Singers/ BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/ Gennadi Rozhdestvensky) (ICA Classics: ICAC 5080) (Audio CD)
Janet Baker makes a thrilling contribution to this performance of Das Klagende Lied, well recorded at the Proms but with the soloists a little too forward for my taste. Rozhdestvensky really opens up the score (or is it the acoustic?) and I was surprised to find his timings were not significantly longer than others. Overall, I was unable to believe that Das Klagende Lied isn't a bit long-winded; actually, it got me thinking of Bartok's The Wooden Prince - a simple fairy tale but one where the composer found it necessary to use the orchestra as battering ram. There must be a simpler and more affecting way of presenting this folk tale of fratricide and a singing bone...
And that, once the Prommers had died down, was where Janacek's 15min tone poem came in. The Fiddler's Child. I already had a recording but had never noticed it much. Rozhdestvensky's performance is totally captivating, more ingratiating than the Mahler on this occasion.
So, for a library version of the Mahler you could hardly do better, but the absence of texts and translations in the booklet is a big letdown. The Janacek, despite its brevity, upstages the bigger piece.