Related Links

Recommended Links

Give the Composers Timeline Poster



Site News

What's New for
November 2014?

Site Search

Follow us on
Facebook    Twitter

Affiliates

In association with
Amazon
Amazon UKAmazon GermanyAmazon CanadaAmazon FranceAmazon Japan

ArkivMusic
CD Universe

HBDirect

JPC

ArkivMusic

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

CD Review

Mahler / Wagner

Decca 468486

Lieder

  • Gustav Mahler:
  • Kindertotenlieder
  • Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
  • Richard Wagner:
  • Wesendonk Lieder
  • Excerpts from "Lohengrin", "Parsifal" and "Die Walküre"
Kirsten Flagstad
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Adrian Boult
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Hans Knappertsbusch
Decca 468486-2 80m ADD Rec 1956/57
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon Japan

This is one of those classic discs that will never go out of fashion, on the contrary we are left to lament a tradition that will probably never be experienced again in this repertoire.

Flagstad's magnificent voice is heard in its full power and subtlety here, especially in the poignant "Kindertotenlieder" with Sir Adrian Boult the charismatic accompanist and the old warhorse VPO providing the ideal accompaniment. The voice is marvelous throughout and in "Songs of a Wayfarer", the sense of loneliness and utter misery is bleakly caught, especially in the final wistful melody. I doubt if there have been better recordings of these two cycles, both masterful Culshaw productions recorded in the now sadly defunct Sofiensaal.

Wagner's "Wesndonk Lieder" are on a smaller scale but Flagstad is no less determined to characterize the passion and lustful intimacy that lies beneath this music. Hans Knappertsbuch is a genial accompanist, bringing all his knowledge of Wagnerian singing to these delicate truffles that are occasionally overlooked. Decca have also spoiled us with three samples of Flagstad's unique singing in "Lohengrin" (a marvelous, Einsam in truben Tagen), "Parsifal" and the classic "Du bist der Lenz" from "Die Walküre".

These recordings have been available in various issues for quite some time but the arias make their first appearances on CD. At 80 minutes, this is definitely one of the historical reissues of the year.

Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet