Monday, 16 May 2011

Live, Abbado, Mahler Das Lied von der Erde Berlin

Live on Wednesday 18th May, the anniversary of Mahler's death one hundred years ago. Claudio Abbado conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, paired with the Adagio from what would have been Mahler's Tenth Symphony. LINK HERE.

This anniversary year has been marred  by too many jumping on the bandwagon. Abbado and the Berliners will, however, do the composer justice. This could be a concert to remember for a long time. Soloists are Anne Sofie von Otter and Jonas Kaufmann. I first encountered Kaufmann singing this at Edinburgh, years ago, when he'd just moved out of the Munich training system.  It was a disaster. As someone said at the time "But isn't Das Lied von der Erde a set of drinking songs?"  which kind of summed it up. "No, it's not", I wept.  Fortunately for all of us, Kaufmann has matured tremendously. Years ago I used to think he'd be best in repertoire that suits the soft focus of his voice - ideal in Strauss, Rossini etc - but his Lohengrin and Siegmund show he's developed. Anne Sofie von Otter's voice has become richer and deeper too, "warmed by life" which does count for something. There's more to Mahler than surface magnificence. What makes him what he is is, I think, emotional complexity, which comes from within.

I will be writing a full commenatry about this AMAZING performance later, but for the time being here arev two other posts on Das Lied von der Erde, one about the Chinese imagery and the other about more personal experiences.  Please come back, there's lots on Mahler on this site and original stuff you won't find elsewhere !

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