Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Murray, Allen|
Das Knaben Wunderhorn
Genres: Pop, Classical
The standout here is Thomas Allen
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There isn't much room in the catalog for a Knaben Wunderhorn cycle that's merely good, what with high-level competition from Bernstein, Szell, Abbado, and Chailly. The main detraction is that this performance sounds too English, lacking in the idiomatic touches that German singers bring to Mahler. But on its own terms, this account has some strengths. Charles Mackerras gets the London Phil. to play with excitement -- the French horns are really brace -- and his interpretative choices as to tempo and mood are interesting.
The real highlight is the singing from Thomas Allen, who brings enough vitality and sheer vocalism to rival Fischer-Dieskau and Walter Berry on the Szell and Bernstein recordings. I've come to feel that Alen is underrated, celebrated in his native England but not elsewhere. I've been catching up on his back catalog, and these Wunderhorn songs are first rate (much better than John Shirley-Quirk's on the more presstigious Philips set with Haitink and Jessye Norman). Ann Murray sings with professional confidence but is unmemorable -- she's too prim to plunge into the unbuttoned folk persona that Mahler demands here. You don't have to turn these portrayals into country bumpkins, but they can't be dropping in from central London, either.
There are multiple ways to get this out-of-print recording. The bargain ones are coupled with goodish Mahler symphonies from Andrew Litton or Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Another option is to download Allen's contributions only, as I did."