This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched.
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony present a newly re-mastered Hybrid SACD of Das klagende Lied, the ninth installment of their Grammy Award winning Mahler recording cycle. Employing Sony’s Super Audio 5.1 digital surround sound technology, this critically acclaimed performance of Mahler’s first large-scale orchestral work was recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco from May 29-31 and June 2, 1996 and first released on the RCA Red Seal label in 1997. Written when Mahler was an unknown twenty-year-old, the first performance of the three-movement version was a broadcast over Radio Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1934, twenty-three years after Mahler’s death.
“What a glorious prospect Mahler's first major work opens up for us – and how beautifully it is realised here. The original three-part version of this ambitious folkloric cantata is like a musical manifesto of pretty well all Mahler to come. Horn calls in the prelude to 'Waldmärchen' ('Forest Tale') awaken his unique nature-world; elfin woodwind fanfares intimate martial music as far as the Seventh and Eighth symphonies; the First Symphony (third movement) is germinating at the close of part 1, the opening of the Second is already in place with the first bars of 'Der Spielmann' ('The Wandering Musician'); and with 'Hochzeitsstück' ('Wedding Feast') Mahler seems to find himself in Act 2 of Wagner's Götterdämmerung contemplating the opera he never wrote. But more startling than anything in Das Klagende Lied is Mahler's feeling for, and command of, the orchestra – and this from a composer who'd never heard a note of his own orchestration. Recorded in 1996 (and originally released by RCA), the subtle detailing and nuancing of this performance indicates painstaking preparation but arrives in our living rooms sounding as if the ink is still wet on the page. Each repetition of that madrigal-like choral ritornello intensifies the lamentation of the title until release is found in the anguish of the wronged queen and soprano Marina Shaguch hurls out her leaping vocal line to bring down the walls of the castle. That's Mahler's innate theatricality for you. Quite a piece, and quite a performance.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“There are conductors who perform Mahler, and then there are Mahlerians – the ones who can understand and convey the composer’s distinctive blend of extravagant sentiment and sardonic, excoriating wit. Michael Tilson Thomas is a true Mahlerian, one of those conductors for whom this composer’s symphonies and songs are central texts, and for whom Mahler’s music forms an essential link between the past century and our own… likely to become the standard recording of this little-known score.”
Click here for alternative recordings of this work.