Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gustav Mahler, Claudio Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker|
Mahler - Des Knaben Wunderhorn / von Otter, Quasthoff, Berlin Phil., Abbado
Genres: Pop, Classical
Des Knaben Wunderhorn ("The Youth's Magic Horn") is an anthology of old German poems and folk songs published in the early 1800s, a product of the Romantic yearning for the simple days of the past. By the time Mahler set a... more »
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Des Knaben Wunderhorn ("The Youth's Magic Horn") is an anthology of old German poems and folk songs published in the early 1800s, a product of the Romantic yearning for the simple days of the past. By the time Mahler set a number of them to music (between 1892 and 1901), the Zeitgeist had changed, and his approach is almost antiromantic in feeling. He used eight of them in his symphonies, and chose 13 (often changing the text for his own purposes) for this collection. These elaborately orchestrated songs speak of love, life in the military, comedic episodes, mysticism, and sometimes several of these at once. The recording by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf has set the standard for many years, but this new version is just about as good. Both singers have fine voices, intelligence and understanding, and good technique and diction, and they express the changing moods of the songs very effectively. Thomas Quasthoff doesn't quite have Fischer-Dieskau's security and pointed phrasing, but he comes close, and Anne Sophie von Otter sings with a subtlety that rivals Schwarzkopf and with greater beauty and radiance. The accompaniment by Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic is crisp and idiomatic, and the sound is excellent. Highly recommended. --Alex Morin
A TRUE LANDMARK IN LIEDER RECORDING
J. C. Bailey | East Sussex United Kingdom | 09/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I received this album by accident, as a record club recording of the month that I had neglected to cancel. I could have returned it to the club, but decided to keep it because of the connections between "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" and Mahler's astonishing second symphony which I have loved for many years.It turned out to be a lucky accident. These are flawless songs, perfectly exhibiting the craft of the second-greatest orchestrator in history. This new recording combines the talents of two of the greatest living lieder-singers with one of the few truly world-class teamings of orchestra and conductor. The sound quality is outstanding even by the best modern digital standards.In historic terms also, this is a significant milestone. To my ears, certainly, no one is ever likely to match Fischer-Dieskau's iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove combination of power and smoothness, or his dramatic flexibility. However, Quasthoff's own experience of triumph over adversity does seem to give his reading a special value in these lyrics that are so trifling on the surface and yet have such profound depths of insight into the human soul. Von Otter in the songs for female voice gives what is perhaps the new definitive performance. And ultimately in terms of overall listening enjoyment, no other version (not even the Fischer-Dieskau/Schwarzkopf set) can compare. This is beautiful music, wonderfully performed, expertly engineered, and unreservedly recommended."
A Small Reservation/Complaint
J. M. Way | CA, USA | 04/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps it should be mentioned that 5 of the songs in Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn are set as dialogues between a soldier and a girl. In both the Baker/Evans and Schwartzkopf/Fischer-Dieskau recordings, both singers participate in those songs. In this recording, these songs are performed by one or the other of the two vocalists;not both."
Grady Harp | 06/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful album. I have the other versions, and I must agree with the listener from Raleigh--I was blown away. The singing is great, with the lines shaded subtly to perfection. I had never heard Thomas Quasthoff before, but he is perfect for this music. Anne Sofie von Otter is as fantastic as usual in her recent albums--she always finds something new and interesting and enlightening to do with whatever she sings. Abbado's, and Berlin's, accompaniment is outstanding--they find just the right turns of phrase to convey this quirky music. This is an album you will treasure for years, returning to again and again (on the assumption that you like Mahler). The recorded sound is as good as it gets."