Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Schoenberg, Lakes, Marton|
A "Gurrelieder" For The Ages
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 12/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unquestionably one of the greatest works, choral or otherwise, of the 20th century is Arnold Schoenberg's massive 1913 oratorio "Gurrelieder." Based on poem texts by the Danish novelist Jens Peter Jacobsen that were later translated into Schoenberg's native German, "Gurrelieder" was a work thirteen years in gestating, and it was a work that, like many of Schoenberg's greatest works, pushed the boundaries of music that giants like Wagner, Mahler, and Richard Strauss would have found incredible. To say that the forces required for this work would be large would be kind of understating things: four vocal soloists; a narrator; three 4-part male choruses; an 8-part mixed choir; and an orchestral battery that includes exotic instruments like the glockenspiel, the celesta, and the harmonium--not to mention a very large brass section as well.
Such a big work (which was premiered in America by none other than Leopold Stokowski in 1932 with his beloved Philadelphia Orchestra) requires a sure-footed conductor and a world-class orchestra to match. And that is what is on display here on this 1991 recording with Zubin Mehta leading the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Choral Artists, and vocal soloists Hans Hotter (spoken vocals), Florence Quivar, Eva Marton, Gary Lakes, John Cheek, and John Garrison. The enormity of this work, and this very performance, is likely to stagger even the most battle-tested survivors of Wagner's "Ring" cycle or Mahler's gigantic symphonies, but the experience is well worth it. Vigorously recommended for anyone with a taste for 20th century classical music in general, and large-scale choral music in particular."