Robert Dean Smith, Sarah Connolly, Vladimir Jurowski, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin – Mahler – Das Lied von der Erde (Live) (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:00:27 minutes | 0,98 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © PentaTone
Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin continue their exploration of Mahler with a new recording of Das Lied von der Erde, on which Dame Sarah Connolly and Robert Dean Smith provide the vocal contributions. Residing somewhere between symphony and song cycle, Das Lied is one of Mahler’s most profound and loved works, marking an important step in the composer’s career, as well as in his private life. Jurowski approaches the piece as Mahler’s deliberate move from a “heroic” Beethovenian model towards a more “lyrical”, Schubertian attitude. Throughout Das Lied, and particularly in the contemplative last movement, “Der Abschied (The Goodbye)”, Mahler seems to come to terms with the mortality of man while celebrating the immortal nature of Life.
The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin has a vast PENTATONE discography. Together with their chief conductor and artistic director Vladimir Jurowski, they have recorded symphonic works from Mahler and Strauss (2017), violin concertos by Britten and Hindemith together with Arabella Steinbacher (2017), and Schnittke’s Third Symphony (2015). Robert Dean Smith featured on PENTATONE recordings of Tannhäuser (title role, 2013), Die Walküre (Siegmund, 2013), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Stolzing, 2011), and Der Fliegende Holländer (Erik, 2011). Dame Sarah Connolly makes her PENTATONE debut.
Some divide recordings of Mahler’s symphonic song cycle Das Lied von der Erde into “subjective” (Leonard Bernstein, and more recently, Simon Rattle) and “objective” (Pierre Boulez) readings. Perhaps conductor Vladimir Jurowski finds a middle road in this version, recorded live with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin at the Philharmonie in 2018. Jurowski contributes an extended note in which he argues that Mahler found a new “lyrical” mode in Das Lied von der Erde, in contradistinction to a “heroic” Beethovenian mode, and his reading broadly reflects this view. Many fine points emerge in the score, but this is due to a relaxed mood and space for details rather than to any attempt to be microscopic about the work. In Jurowski’s hands, Das Lied von der Erde is more an orchestral song cycle than a symphony, with each of the five movements taking on its own flavor. There’s much more to be said about Jurowski, and much to be said in favor of tenor Robert Dean Smith, who confidently takes on the borderline singable first movement. The best of all here is Sarah Connolly’s run in the epic “Der Abschied,” which in its deliberate long line both fits well with Jurowski’s overall concept and is just sensuously, tragically gorgeous on its own, likely destined to become one of the highlights of her later career. PentaTone’s superbly clear live sound seals the deal on a very fine Das Lied von der Erde.
1. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin & Vladimir Jurowski – Das Lied von der Erde: I. Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde (Live)
2. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin & Vladimir Jurowski – Das Lied von der Erde: II. Der Einsame im Herbst (Live)
3. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin & Vladimir Jurowski – Das Lied von der Erde: III. Von der Jugend (Live)
4. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin & Vladimir Jurowski – Das Lied von der Erde: IV. Von der Schönheit (Live)
5. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin & Vladimir Jurowski – Das Lied von der Erde: V. Der Trunkene im Frühling (Live)
6. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin & Vladimir Jurowski – Das Lied von der Erde: VI. Der Abschied (Live)