Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gustav Mahler, Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orchestra|
Mahler: The Song of the Earth [Hybrid SACD]
Listen to Samples
Mahler from a Master Conductor
Virginia Opera Fan | Falls Church, VA USA | 08/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, Amazon's headnote on this new issue is incorrect. The tenor is the late Richard Lewis, not William Lewis. OK - Reiner was not a Mahler acolyte, in contrast to his near contemporaries Walter and Klemperer, and Mahler does not constitute a large portion of his discography. In common with his Chicago recording of Symphony No. 4, his Lied is objective and finely detailed. He allows the music to speak for itself and the Chicago Symphony of 1959 is in great form. If you like Klemperer's austere EMI version with Ludwig and Wunderlich, I think you will like this one as well.
Based on a couple of listenings, I think this recording takes a backseat Klemperer's rare combination of interpretation, orchestral excellence and not least, unbeatable soloists in Ludwig and Wunderlich. Having said that, the re-issued RCA is a wonderful memento of the artisty of Maureen Forrester and her many decades service to this music. Richard Lewis is also outstanding, with something of an edge in the two drinking songs. No texts or translations are provided."
A Gripping Performance, But...
David Schwan | Chicago, IL United States | 08/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I gave this new SACD version a five-star rating, but would really like to give it something like four-and-a-half. The only reason is no text is included. Louis Biancolli's notes, apparently from the original issue are here, but it would have been wonderful to have had the poems Mahler used as the basis for this extraordinary music. If that would have ended up making the CD booklet too thick, why didn't RCA/BMG set up a Website to download the text, like they did with their SACD opera reiusses? This is my only reservation about this recording, however. I found it to be absolutely riveting and the DSD/SACD remastering is superb. In fact, you can almost feel the presence of the performers, especially in the final section, "Der Abschied".
While Fritz Reiner isn't generally recognized as one who tirelessly promoted Mahler's music, he had a perfect feel for it and performed it throughout his career. His Mahler 4th (also on SACD) with the Chicagoans and Lisa Della Casa as soloist is marvelous. There are also stories circulating that Reiner almost recorded the Mahler 1st in Chicago, but the plans were scrapped for some reason. Back in his days in Pittsburgh he recorded the "Songs of a Wayfarer" in the 78rpm era. I don't think Reiner ever did a "bad" recording in his life. Every one I've heard has never been less than excellent and some are definitive. So, despite my disappointment that there's no text in this latest from RCA's great SACD series, I do highly recommend this CD."
A first-time CD release ON THE LIVING STEREO SERIES, not on
Sam | 10/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"May I first correct what previous reviewers have understood from the front cover - this is the first time this recording appears on the Living Stereo series, but it had been available on CD from the late 1980s on the RCA Fritz Reiner Edition (and had never been deleted!). It was probably the only one Reiner recording in this case - for instance when making it to CD, his Mahler 4th was immediately released on Living Stereo without going through the Reiner Edition first. And all of the Reiner Edition titles (Alexander Nevsky, Bartok, Johann and Richard Strauss...) had since been rereleased on Living Stereo... except this one.
This is an austere performance, almost desertic in its desolation. But what is missing here is some flame and wit that is unmistakably Mahlerian and that you recognize at once - the same could be said about Reiner's Mahler 4.
The soloists are nothing to write home about either: Maureen Forrester had usually a better voice, and as to Richard Lewis... he is one of these harsh tenors that have unexplainably been systematically chosen in recordings of Das Lied von der Erde (with Fritz Wunderlich in Klemperer's recording an obvious exception) - maybe to provide a stronger contrast between these drunkard's songs and the more lyrical movements sung by the contralto?
Even after the remastering the sound is still much drier than in Mahler's 4th, though Das Lied was recorded one year later.
So, despite of its historic significance, this recording is hardly a primary recommendation for Das Lied - Walter, Klemperer and Bernstein have a much more natural Mahlerian feeling."