WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn / Abbado, Von Otter, Quasthoff

Release Date: 06/15/1999 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 459646   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas QuasthoffAnne Sofie von Otter
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is Anne Sofie von Otter at her most hallowed, and Quasthoff is as quietly witty in the fables as he is harrowing in the military doom-songs. Unsurpassable.

Even without the enticement of two of the world’s most perceptive Lieder singers and the razor-sharp support of Abbado, there would be one very compelling reason for choosing this collection of songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth’s Magic Horn) even above the intriguingly matched team of Norman, Shirley-Quirk and Haitink. Mahler selected texts from the polished-up folk anthology which mostly deal with the here-and-now tragicomedies of soldiers and country girls, reserving the collection’s rare moments of religious balm to light the way in the Second,
Read more Third and Fourth Symphonies. By ending with ‘Urlicht’ out of the context of the Resurrection Symphony, Abbado’s sequence suggests that something lies beyond the temporary consolations of soldier-spectres and the terror of death. And this is, after all, Anne Sofie von Otter at her most hallowed, following Quasthoff in burnished tragic-heroic mode, sounding for all the world like a young Norman Bailey in the focused despair he shares so well with Abbado.

From the first, rhythmically crisp trumpet fanfares, so skilfully imitated by Berlin woodwind later on, you know you are in the most vivid of hands. Abbado is right to trust the varied tone colours of his two singers to carry the many boy-girl dialogues single-handedly in each song, as Mahler always intended (and contrary to the practice of most other contenders). Von Otter plays the wench with just a hint of Strauss’s Octavian disguised as Mariandel, and none of the archness of a Schwarzkopf, while the desperation of ‘Das irdische Leben’ is carefully graded. And Quasthoff is as quietly witty in pointing up the rhythms and phrases of the fables as he is harrowing in the military doom-songs. Unsurpassable.

Sound: 5 (Out of 5); Performance: 5 (Out of 5)

-- BBC Music Magazine
Read less

Works on This Recording

Des Knaben Wunderhorn by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Quasthoff (Baritone), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1898; Hamburg, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  Great Hall, Philharmonie, Berlin 
Length: 57 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Revelge
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Rheinlegendchen
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Trost im Unglück
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Verlor'ne Müh
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Der Schildwache Nachtlied
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Das irdische Leben
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Lied des Verfolgten im Turm
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Lob des hohen Verstandes
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Der Tamboursg'sell
Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn": Urlicht

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title