Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Lorin Maazel, Waltraud Meier|
Mahler: Kindertotenlieder, Ruckert-Lieder / Meier, Maazel
Genres: Pop, Classical
Given Mahler's status as a constructor of vast symphonies, the significance of Schubert and the art-song tradition within his musical formation tends to be overlooked. Certainly this strain of songwriting is present in man... more »
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Given Mahler's status as a constructor of vast symphonies, the significance of Schubert and the art-song tradition within his musical formation tends to be overlooked. Certainly this strain of songwriting is present in many of the symphonies--most overtly in the earlier ones. But it's particularly obvious in Mahler's settings of the German Romantic poet Friedrich Rückert, for whom Schubert himself showed an affinity in his own choice of lieder texts. This marvelous recording captures both the richly expressive detail and the structural mastery with which Mahler synthesized poetry and music in his two song cycles based on Rückert. Waltraud Meier's distinctive, dark-hued timbre underscores the sense of gravity and hard-won vision as the Kindertotenlieder attempt to come to terms with the loss of children. Well-known for her portrayal of Kundry in Parsifal, Meier's Wagnerian background ensures a sense of brooding drama--particularly in the implacable rhythm of "Wenn dein Mutterlein" and the anxious, metaphoric storm of "In diesem Wetter"--but she also sings with the moving intimacy that is essential for the world Mahler creates: the act of self-address here serves to intensify the experience of private grief. Meier blends her voice superbly with the plaintive, delicately scored wind lines. She and Lorin Maazel--his sense for the right tempo and textural balance unerring--together give shape to the cycle's emotional progression. At times there's a harshness to Meier's upper range, as well as an unwelcome heaviness (as in the last of the four Wunderhorn selections that fill out the disc). But her deep empathy with each song's meaning has tremendous payoff, above all in the sustained incandescence she brings to "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" from the Rückert-Lieder, perhaps the single most beautiful of all Mahler's songs. --Thomas May
M. Tietjen | Syracuse, NY, USA | 01/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My favorite female Wagnerian, Waltraud Meier's considerable strengths have never included pure vocal beauty. But she lends a different kind of beauty to these songs, altogether preferable to some nightingale cheerfully singing through the Songs on the Death of Children, or, worse, a soprano sobbing and choking her way through some of Mahler's finest songs. Meier's emotionalism runs much deeper. Lorin Maazel's conducting is superb; he and Meier have worked together often on recordings, and they seem to have built an artistic rapport with one another."
Karl W. Nehring | Ostrander, OH USA | 07/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Meier and Maazel turn in unfussy, straightforward performances of these works, and those adjectives pretty well some up the sonic quality, too. The liner notes contain the lyrics in both German and English. This is an excellent modern recording of these song cycles that would make a fine first choice for the collector new to this delightful repertoire."
Not the best, but fine
Diego Montanes | Buenos Aires, Argentina | 11/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In a few words: Maazel shows a personal idea of each work in this album, and that is commendable. The orchestra sounds pure and committed to the task. As for Mrs. Meier... well, her voice sounds bad; she tries to give emotion, though. If you are going to make a first approach to these works, move swiftly to another version. If this is going to be one among many others, go for it."