Mahler’s masterpiece is subtitled as - A Symphony for Tenor and Alto (or Baritone) – and therefore traditionally two voices have sung the six movements of the work. However Jonas Kaufmann feels differently about this and wanted to sing both parts himself. In June this year he joined the Wiener Philharmoniker and conductor Jonathan Nott in a special concert in the Goldener Saal at the Musikverein in Vienna whereby he sang the entire work himself.
Gustav Mahler: Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
I. Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde
II. Der Einsame im Herbst
III. Von der Jugend
IV. Von der Schönheit
V. Der Trunkene im Frühling
VI. Der Abschied
3rd April 2017
“Kaufmann certainly has the “baritonal” low notes to justify his decision, and the ringing tenorial top...Kaufmann is more rewarding in the “baritone” songs, his eloquent diction always a pleasure, and with the nuance and sensibility of a great lieder singer...Not perfection, but this is a must-hear for Mahlerians.”
“played with shimmering detail by the Vienna Philharmonic...As expected, Kaufmann is glorious in the tenor songs. In those for lower voice he sings with the same, unaffected sensitivity...An interesting, one-off experiment.”
7th April 2017
“It’s actually the songs usually assigned to the contralto/baritone that come off best. Once I’d got my initial inevitable ‘Can he?’s and ‘Should he?’s out of the way, though, vocal technicalities weren’t really at the forefront of my mind: my overwhelming impression is of how well the orchestration and the texts suit Kaufmann, who's always at his best when pouring out angry frustration at full throttle, or ruminating on dark nights of the soul.”
7th April 2017
“his beautifully recorded version taken from live performances at Vienna’s Musikverein has a great deal to offer, not least of which are Kaufmann’s textual insights, and the revelatory qualities of Jonathan Nott’s interrogation of Mahler’s orchestrations...Kaufmann is able to caress and float phrases at will, and enter into the composer’s more melancholy reflections at his leisure.”
Click here for alternative recordings of this work.