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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Scion7 on March 08, 2012, 09:19:47 AM

Title: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Scion7 on March 08, 2012, 09:19:47 AM
I own six, these are the five I recommend.  Jessye Norman, bless her, just doesn't come across for me with Davis/LSO - her Fidelio is very good, though!  That one just doesn't get played.   But these I play in rotation pretty often in the living room.  :)
Of all the Mahler pieces, I think this is his very best work.  And he never got to hear it!

           better click the image - the forum shrinks up big images somewhat

(http://s11.postimage.org/v98010q37/Vinyl_2_CD_Sot_E_r.jpg)



Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: North Star on March 08, 2012, 09:25:55 AM
There's no image in your post :(
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Scion7 on March 08, 2012, 09:26:38 AM
hang on-had to fix a boo-boo ......

Fixed.  :D
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: springrite on March 08, 2012, 10:13:40 AM
Well, I still have no idea which are the 5 that you'd recommend.

Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: zamyrabyrd on March 08, 2012, 10:16:40 AM
Klemperer,Ludwig,Wunderlich is the emblematic performance for me.

ZB
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: springrite on March 08, 2012, 10:18:24 AM
Klemperer,Ludwig,Wunderlich is the emblematic performance for me.

ZB


That one, also one from Szell that I really like. But the best LIVE that I heard was Giulini/Vicker/LA Phil.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: DieNacht on March 08, 2012, 10:24:49 AM
Clicking on one of the photos in the OP will give better pictures and some detailed remarks from Scion7
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: zamyrabyrd on March 08, 2012, 10:27:54 AM

That one, also one from Szell that I really like. But the best LIVE that I heard was Giulini/Vicker/LA Phil.

I heard a less than successful version with Vickers, but maybe that wasn't the same performance.

ZB
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: springrite on March 08, 2012, 10:33:14 AM
I heard a less than successful version with Vickers, but maybe that wasn't the same performance.

ZB

The one I heard was Giulini's last concert at LAP, when at the beginning he surprised everyone by announcing that he is leaving so he could be with his ailing wife. "She has done everything for me throughout my life. Now it is time that I be there for her." Appropriately, the two works happened to be The Unfinished Symphony and Song of the Earth (Vicker, Quivar). I think the emotional nature of that evening got the best out of everyone.

Indeed, I know people who went to the weekend ones (I went on Thursday, the first) and those who went to Thursday and a later one, and they tell me the later ones weren't particularly special, though good.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Mandryka on March 08, 2012, 11:18:06 AM
I like the Klemperer record with Anton Dermota and Elsa Caveti, Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Also there's one with Baker which I like with Kmentt, Kubelik conducting which I remember enjoying.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 08, 2012, 12:02:42 PM
Klemperer/Ludwig/Wunderlich is of course a classic and wonderful. I also loved Bertini. Ben Heppner is amazing here - really grabs you from the first note.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: eyeresist on March 08, 2012, 04:32:44 PM
.

Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: not edward on March 08, 2012, 06:49:55 PM
I'll vote for only one, not just because it's a clear favourite, but because it defines my view of the work in a way that few recordings do (Ancerl's 9th symphony is the other example for me in Mahler):

Baker/Kmentt/Kubelik.

No histrionics from Kubelik, just every telling detail unobtrusively there and fitting naturally into a perfectly shaped narrative.

Waldemar Kmentt bringing off the knife-edge that is staying just this side of crazy in the first song...and doing a fine job in his other two.

But of course, you don't buy a Das Lied for the tenor. You buy it for Janet Baker at her very best... ;)
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: kishnevi on March 08, 2012, 07:25:29 PM
So many possibilities!
I don't have all the ones you posted, but the Reiner was my first recording of DLvdE, and for many years my only one.  The Klemperer is overall good, but personally I prefer the Bernstein recording with Ludwig and Kollo, and the Krips recording with Fischer Dieskau and Wunderlich--I think both singers were better in those than with Klemperer (and Fischer Dieskau was better than he was in the much more celebrated, and admittedly excellent,  Bernstein Vienna recording).  Although the sonics might be an issue with the Krips.  And there are several others that are topnotch, but it's next to impossible to winnow them down to three or four, so I won't even try.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Mandryka on March 08, 2012, 10:04:34 PM
Klemperer/Ludwig/Wunderlich is of course a classic and wonderful. I also loved Bertini. Ben Heppner is amazing here - really grabs you from the first note.

Indeed but do try the first recording. Klemperer's playing is is wonderful and the two soloists -- Dermota  especially -- are outstanding. The sound is historical.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: eyeresist on March 08, 2012, 10:14:42 PM
Indeed but do try the first recording. Klemperer's playing is is wonderful and the two soloists -- Dermota  especially -- are outstanding. The sound is historical.

I'm pretty sure he mentioned it because he HAS heard it already.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: mjwal on March 13, 2012, 09:46:07 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-siècle 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 à son goût, 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.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Drasko on March 13, 2012, 10:09:11 AM
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-siècle German language, which ought to sound a bit Viennese IMO), and he has a more heroic voice than they do

You are making me seriously want to hear the Rosbaud. Patzak and Dermota are my favorite tenors in Das Lied, even if Patzak strains a bit and Dermota is so forward in the recording mix that he could be singing sotto voce and still ride the orchestra. I'll have to check this Melchert then, thanks.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Leo K. on March 13, 2012, 11:36:58 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)
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Herman on March 14, 2012, 12:12:58 AM

 he is the only male soloist who achieves an idiomatic tone (several tenors, like the egregious Vickers, murder the fin-de-siècle 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).

well, hello. In that case the blame lies with the conductor, and to a degree with the composer, who's doing two two mutually exclusive things at the same time. Huge sound from the orchestra and a single voice.

I don't know why it should be that surprising that the seventies Haitink recording is so good. Haitink is a major Mahler conductor.

The Giulini recoring with Brigitte Fassbaender and Araiza is very good too.

I just can't abide Kathleen Ferrier and her "suffer, suffer, suffer" voice. My bad.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Mandryka 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-siècle 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 à son goût, 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.

Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: eyeresist 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.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: mjwal 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 )
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: val 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

Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Scion7 on March 17, 2012, 05:48:41 AM
Has no one else heard the Solti/CSO/Minton/Kollo?   :(
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Sergeant Rock 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.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/mahler/dlvdeSoltifront.jpg) (http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/mahler/dlvdeSoltiback.jpg)

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/mahler/dlvdeSoltigatefold.jpg)


Sarge
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Sergeant Rock 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
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Scion7 on March 17, 2012, 06:56:44 AM
Well, that explains it - you needed the Decca issue to appreciate it!   :D
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Leo K. 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.

 :)
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Leo K. 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.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Herman on March 17, 2012, 11:09:54 AM
Has no one else heard the Solti/CSO/Minton/Kollo?   :(

I used to have the LPs.
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: mjwal 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  ;).
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Scion7 on July 27, 2015, 07:12:22 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. 
Title: Re: "Song of the Earth" Top 5 - you can't go wrong!
Post by: Monsieur Croche 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.