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Only the most eminent and respected Russian musicians were allowed extensive foreign tours in the early 1960s, and Gennadi Rozhdestvensky was awarded this status. He appeared several times in Britain, mainly with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and at Covent Garden. In 1971, he conducted the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra at the Proms. Rozhdestvensky became Artistic Director of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (1974–77 & 1991–95), and principal conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1978–81) and Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1980–82). He worked with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chicago and Cleveland orchestras. He also is the honorary conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
Rozhdestvensky was the first Russian-born conductor to perform and record all Mahler’s symphonies in his country.
Mahler’s Das klagende Lied is a rarity and here is performed live, complete in the original three-part edition The performance was reviewed by Gramophone magazine as follows: ‘Rozhdestvensky’s highly dramatic account of Mahler’s three-movement drama’.
The recording was first issued in 1995 but deleted shortly afterwards with the demise of BBC Radio Classics. The ICA version has been completely remastered, restoring the wide dynamics of Rozhdestvensky’s magnificent performance. The distinguished soloists feature Dame Janet Baker, one of the greatest Mahler interpreters of the twentieth century.
The CD also features another rarity – Janácˇek’s The Fiddler’s Child – from the 1979 Prague Festival. This live recording has never been issued before and is Rozdestvensky’s only taping of the work. Rozhdestvensky’s recordings of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.4 (ICAC5035) and Holst’s The Planets (ICAC5053) have received great critical acclaim.
Das klagende Lied
Part I: Waldmachen (Forest Legend)
Part II: Der Spielmann (The Minstrel)
Part III: Hochzeitsstuck (Wedding Piece)
Leos Janacek: Sumarovo dite (The Fiddler's Child), JW VI/14