Author Topic: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!  (Read 5088 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8416
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2012, 09:10:10 AM »
Top performances of Das Lied von der Erde (of the 18 I know/have heard and have been listening to since last summer, on and off): Rosbaud, Reiner, Jochum.
I have yet to listen to the Giulini on Testament. Bruno Walter live with Forrester and Lewis was better than his studio efforts, but the sound is poor. I have never heard: Karajan, Giulini DG, Tennstedt - or several others of course.
I could wish the Rosbaud or Klemperers had Maureen Forrester (the best alto singer of all) or Nan Merriman - but I put the Rosbaud first because it is the one performance that brings all the orchestral voices and layers together in a completely transparent manner while phrasing each separate strand at the highest level of taut expressivity; the "soloists" are not so overbearingly important as in other performances. Rosbaud has a male soloist, Melchert, who avoids sounding merely nobly beautiful or poignant (Wunderlich - EMI) - apart from Patzak (Walter Decca), Dermota (Klemperer Vox)and Haefliger (Jochum, van Beinum) he is the only male soloist who achieves an idiomatic tone (several tenors, like the egregious Vickers, murder the fin-de-sičcle German language, which ought to sound a bit Viennese IMO), and he has a more heroic voice than they do (I have heard Haefliger and Jerusalem in concert, and they both got swallowed up by the orchestra in places).
 I can put up with the vocal inadequacy of Rosbaud's Grace Hoffmann, who is a superior diseuse (rather that than the bathtub of sentiment one is plunged into by Ferrier); Klemperer's Elsa Cavelti (Vox), however, puts my teeth on edge, as does the sound of that Vox recording - and Christa Ludwig (EMI) leaves me indifferent as usual. Chacun ŕ son goűt, I'm sure others react quite differently. I am in two minds about the Kubelik: it deliquesces rather too much for my taste, Janet Baker is just a tad too angelic (shades of Gerontius!) for me, while Kmentt, though idiomatic, is rather slapdash.
I mean to listen to the Sanderling again: listening to his Heldenleben recently with enthusiasm has made me want to revise my first rather underwhelmed reaction some years ago - and Schreier is very interesting.

Yes well thanks for drawing my attention to the Melchert, who I liked very much. And Rosbaud too. Where we disagree is over  Grace Hoffmann who I could barely bare, and I find Elsa Cavelti more acceptable, even though there are moments when I wince slightly with displeasure. It's all subjective when it comes to voices of course.

Completely randomly I've been enjoying quite a bit of Rosbaud recently, especially Bartok's 2 pianos and percussion music.

I saw Siegfried Jerusalem a couple of times, once in Parsifal with Goodall. And he didn't really seem to have a big penetrating voice like Vickers. So no surprises that his voice is sometimes drowned.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 09:14:43 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

eyeresist

  • Guest
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2012, 05:49:25 PM »
Top performances of Das Lied von der Erde (of the 18 I know/have heard and have been listening to since last summer, on and off): Rosbaud, Reiner, Jochum.
I have yet to listen to the Giulini on Testament. Bruno Walter live with Forrester and Lewis was better than his studio efforts, but the sound is poor. I have never heard: Karajan, Giulini DG, Tennstedt - or several others of course.
I was the one who mentioned Tennstedt earlier. I acquired it as part of the expanded/part-remastered Tennstedt box set. Apparently (though we know how unreliable such gossip can be), T wasn't happy with the recording. I honestly can't see why. The sound is acceptable, not terrific, but it's nice to have a DLvdE where you don't have to make allowance for one or other of the singers, or else a work-a-day accompaniment. I imagine there could be better, but this is really solid across the board, a great library choice.

Offline mjwal

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 521
  • Location: Lagorce/France - Berlin
  • Currently Listening to:
    Goehr, Beethoven, William Lawes, Giuffre Trio, Steve Lacy, Eisler
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2012, 03:09:07 AM »
Yes well thanks for drawing my attention to the Melchert, who I liked very much. And Rosbaud too. Where we disagree is over  Grace Hoffmann who I could barely bare, and I find Elsa Cavelti more acceptable, even though there are moments when I wince slightly with displeasure. It's all subjective when it comes to voices of course.

Completely randomly I've been enjoying quite a bit of Rosbaud recently, especially Bartok's 2 pianos and percussion music.

I saw Siegfried Jerusalem a couple of times, once in Parsifal with Goodall. And he didn't really seem to have a big penetrating voice like Vickers. So no surprises that his voice is sometimes drowned.
Yes, Rosbaud was quite a figure in 20th century music. One gets the feeling he knew everyone and did everything. The following quotation is by a man who ought to know:  "The taste of music buffs little resembles that of professional musicians. Music buffs believe that the greatest living conductor is Toscanini; musicians know that it is Hans Rosbaud." - 1954. Have a guess - I was non-plussed at first. What turns me on about Rosbaud's Das Lied is that I concentrate on the music - in all its vertical and horizontal exfoliations - and not the "emotional expression" as leant on by notable soloists - and then I get the shiver of delight running up and down the whole nervous system. The same with the Bartók you mention, Haydn symphonies, his Mozart with Gieseking, Bruckner #7, Mahler #7 and #9, all of his Schoenberg, Xenakis...(I'm not a huge Alex Ross fan, but this is an amusing little anthology of glissandi including Rosbaud's Xenakis: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/alexross/2010/02 )
The Violin's Obstinacy

It needs to return to this one note,
not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
...
Peter Porter

Offline val

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2090
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2012, 02:34:12 AM »
My Top Five:

1 Wunderlich, Ludwig, Klemperer
2 Ferrier, Patzak, Walter
3 Forrester, Lewis, Reiner
4 Baker, King, Haitink
5 Fassbaender, Araiza, Giulini

The version of Kletzki with Fischer Dieskau would be in my top five if it wasn't for the tenor Murray Dickie


Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1999
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2012, 05:48:41 AM »
Has no one else heard the Solti/CSO/Minton/Kollo?   :(
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Sergeant Rock

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 21094
  • Location: Wine Country Germany
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2012, 06:17:45 AM »
Has no one else heard the Solti/CSO/Minton/Kollo?   :(

I have. It was my first DLvdE on LP (I'll post images later when my picture hosting site, currently undergoing maintenance, is back online) and the first CD version I bought too. In truth, it's not among my top five...or even top 10. Minton is one of my favorite mezzos, though, and I have it mainly for her.

Edit: The American "London" pressing, rather beat up and worn: it traveled the world with me during my 20+ year military career.






Sarge
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 06:28:30 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Sergeant Rock

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 21094
  • Location: Wine Country Germany
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2012, 06:20:56 AM »
What turns me on about Rosbaud's Das Lied is that I concentrate on the music - in all its vertical and horizontal exfoliations - and not the "emotional expression" as leant on by notable soloists

So you don't want the emotion getting in the way of the music?  Okay  ;D  I rather think the best versions give you both.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1999
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2012, 06:56:44 AM »
Well, that explains it - you needed the Decca issue to appreciate it!   :D
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Leo K.

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1456
  • Author of 'False Barnyard'
    • Conceptual Music
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bruckner, Bach, Handel, Beethoven
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2012, 08:48:42 AM »
Has no one else heard the Solti/CSO/Minton/Kollo?   :(

That was my first ever recording of Das Lied, and I'm still rather fond of it.

 :)

Offline Leo K.

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1456
  • Author of 'False Barnyard'
    • Conceptual Music
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bruckner, Bach, Handel, Beethoven
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2012, 08:58:22 AM »
Here is my brief list:

Top Five:
MTT/SFSO/SFSO
Kubelik/BRS/Audite
Boulez/VPO/DG
Horenstein/BBC Northern/BBC
Klemperer/NPO/EMI

Honorable mention:
Sieghart/APO/Exton (Pristine sound)

Overall, I prefer the tenor and baritone version of this work, the best one being MTT's, which is stunning in performance and sound.


 8)



Before MTT's recording I wasn't a fan of the tenor/baritone combo, but if played with this kind of beauty and careful execution, the tenor/baritone version can give a radically different view of this work, and for me this is a revelation...for instance, I can hear the spirit of Schubert's last dark song cycle, Winteriesse, in the mood of the singing.  I hear the lonliness more than I do with a contralto, perhaps because I can identify with the baritone more than the contralto, and hence I feel closer to the work.  The orchestra is absolutely astonding, full of nuance and detail.  Only wish for a louder tam tam, thats my only complaint.  The SACD layer is outstanding, and so is the CD layer...the best sounding DLVdE for my taste, even more refined than the excellant Sieghart.  Bernstein's tenor/baritone account doesn't have the impact this performance does.

Offline Herman

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1642
  • there's something wrong with my brain
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2012, 11:09:54 AM »
Has no one else heard the Solti/CSO/Minton/Kollo?   :(

I used to have the LPs.

Offline mjwal

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 521
  • Location: Lagorce/France - Berlin
  • Currently Listening to:
    Goehr, Beethoven, William Lawes, Giuffre Trio, Steve Lacy, Eisler
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2012, 05:42:14 AM »
So you don't want the emotion getting in the way of the music?  Okay  ;D  I rather think the best versions give you both.

Sarge
Well, I did put the term in quotation marks...But I couldn't live without Reiner or Jochum, either, which have soloists who do "express" a lot more, it's just that on my recent listening binge I derived the intensest emotion from the Rosbaud. Put otherwise: I care more about my emotion than that of most singers unless they are Lotte Lehmann  ;).
The Violin's Obstinacy

It needs to return to this one note,
not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
...
Peter Porter

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1999
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2015, 08:12:22 PM »
I've flipped my opinion on the Horenstein - I don't know, but my taste has changed on it and it is shoved back in line a bit.  The Ludwig/Klemperer/Wunderlich has moved into first. 
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Monsieur Croche

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1405
Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2016, 04:06:49 AM »
I don't even have a 'top five' for this piece.

My archival 'go to' recording of Das Lied is the middle of the three Bruno Walter conducted; it is archival, and the only one I've cared to own, having heard a good number o others:
Bruno Walter, New York Philharmonic, Mildred Miller, Ernst Haefliger ~ on Sony Classics.

It is the performance out of those three, just as in the Goldilocks story, "the middle one is Just Right," and I think it the most the way it is and goes compared to any other I've heard.

With the three Walter recordings, the first is a bit rushed, the last -- yes with Kathleen Ferrier -- is nonetheless too slow, and has this odd quality almost as if he stopped and said, 'listen especially to this bit here, this bit there, and the flow, and momentum, is utterly broken. [I never buy any orchestral vocal work with the voices considered over the quality of the overall performance, ditto choral works with soloists, or opera.]

The sound of that middle performance is just fine, and I find it the most wholly 'there' recording I've yet heard, other later performances by so many others included.
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK