Reviewed on Mon 26 Dec, 2016
Baritone Roderick Williams sings beautifully. JoAnn Falletta directs a most effective performance and is extremely attentive to many of the details.
This is a delectable and interesting pairing. The cover of the CD is a touch misleading, calling it 'Songs by Mahler'. In fact, we have his song-cycle, Songs of a Wayfarer, and the song-symphony, The Song of the Earth. Both are in arrangements for small ensembles. That of the former was made probably by Schoenberg, and Das Lied von der Erde was more likely done by some of his pupils. The limit of 11 players plus string quartet works better for the smaller work. The intimacy is beautifully caught by all, the very end being especially touching. Some of the music will be familiar as being used later in the First Symphony. Baritone Roderick Williams sings beautifully. JoAnn Falletta directs a most effective performance and is extremely attentive to many of the details. In Das Lied her 15 instrumentalists give a tidy accompaniment to mezzo-soprano Susan Platts and tenor Charles Reid. Reid has plenty of energy and Platts an attractive tone, even if sometimes a little too strong. A times, the results sound rather overcareful – the horses in the fourth song ('Von der Schönheit') hardly exciting. Nevertheless, a thoroughly refreshing take on these works.