MAHLER: Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen. Rückert-Lieder.
Des Knaben Wunderhorn
MAHLER: Des Knaben Wunderhorn
RIISAGER: Slaraffenland Suites 1 and 2, Op. 33. Tolv med
37. Concertino for Trumpet and Strings, Op. 29. Darduse, Op. 32
With this issue, the twelfth and final disk in the series, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony conclude their Mahler project. Actually it is not "complete." For whatever reason, it was decided to include only five of the fourteen songs of Des Knaben Wunderhorn, all sung by baritone Thomas Hampson includingUrlight which usually is sung by a mezzo. Susan Graham's rich sound is appropriate for the Rückert songs, but Hampson's voice has not aged gracefully, with rough edges not heard in his Vienna recording of this music with Leonard Bernstein made more than two decades ago. Tilson's Mahler series is generally commendable ; many of these were mentioned on this site when originally issued. The SFSO has announced a special limited edition of the entire series on 22 LPs, with extensive program notes and deluxe packaging, all remastered for stereo at 98k/24 bit. The price is hefty: $749, and the first 250 sets are signed by MTT. For more information about this, check the SFS WEBSITE.
There are over two dozen recordings of the complete Des Knaben Wunderhorn,
and this new one from Cologne is among the finest, the only version
available in surround sound. Both singers are exemplary, particularly
Michael Volle, a leading baritone of our time who had the misfortune
of being cast as Jokanaan in David McVicar's Royal Opera production of
Salome (REVIEW). His voice is thrilling throughout the entire
range. Audio is exemplary, although both singers are recorded
rather close-up. It seems odd that texts are
provided only in German.
R.E.B. (November 2010)