Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde

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Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde


Presto Disc of the Week

7th April 2017



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Release date:

7th April 2017




61 minutes


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Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde



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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

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

Sunday Times

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.”

Financial Times


“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.”

Presto Classical

Katherine Cooper

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.”

Limelight Magazine

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.”

Gramophone Magazine

May 2017

“Kaufmann is dream casting for the tenor songs, rising terrifically to the heroics and darker hues of the opening song but equally identifying the sparkle and piquancy in ‘Von der Jugend’ and the contrasting rapture at the heart of ‘Der Trunkene im Frühling’”

BBC Music Magazine

June 2017


“I think [Mahler] would have approved of Jonas Kaufmann’s ground-breaking decision to take the solo part throughout. It’s not much of a stretch for him – a few low notes apart, the lower register suits this baritenor well enough, and the sensitivity to the quieter settings is undoubted in ‘The Lonely Man in Autumn’…and the desolate narratives of farewell before the earth’s resurgence sweeps all frozen grief aside…it’s certainly worth hearing”

Opera Now

June 2017


“Kaufmann tackles Mahler with complete assurance...he has no trouble with the lower-lying songs. He doesn't artificially darken or inflate the tone to cope with the tessitura, so the performances flows naturally...Kaufmann certainly has the tenorial reserves to sail through the high-lying outbursts over thick orchestration as well as colouring his voice differently for each song...Nott's conducting is controlled and precise.”

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