Szell: Mahler - Des Knaben Wunderhorn (FLAC)
Szell: Mahler - Des Knaben Wunderhorn (FLAC)

Composer: Gustav Mahler
Performer: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: George Szell
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: EMI Classics
Size: 240 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Des Knaben Wunderhorn, songs (12) for voice & piano (or orchestra)
Composed by Gustav Mahler
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Conducted by George Szell

01. Revelge
02. Das irdische Leben
03. Verlor’ne Muh
04. Rheinlegendschen
05. Der Tamboursg’sell
06. Der Schildwache Nachtlied
07. Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?
08. Lob des hohen Verstandes
09. Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt
10. Lied des Verfolgten im Turm
11. Trost im Ungluck
12. Wo die schonen Trompeten blasen

The Definitive Recording

You recall the fine old recordings with Erich Kunz, that phenomenal bass-baritone, of German university songs? These are not those. Mahler certainly did not have in mind a sentimental re-visit of these tunes. These are not analogous to Britten’s English folk songs. You could say these are a hybridization by Mahler of a genre of folk music, his vision of them. As one reviewer complains of the exaggeration of the singers – well, understand Mahler. I’ll grant you there are moments when demands are made of Fisher-Dieskau to match the melodic range of Madame Schwarzkopf. Don’t blame that on Fidi! Blame it on Mahler and his demands on vocalists. For that matter, who could have recorded it better? Can anyone remember a baritone with Fidi’s range? It’s only too bad that Szell is not conducting his Cleveland Orchestra in this recording. True, the London Symphony was a fine pick-up orchestra. They did more than all right. But the focus was on the soloists, with Szell as an inimicable compatriot. Anyhow, have you heard any better recording lately of this work?

5 Comments

Leave a Reply