Edinburgh Guide
John Ritchie
Das klagende Lied
Mahler: Das klagende Lied, Edinburgh International Festival, 2000
Gustav Mahler: Das Klagende Lied

This early and rarely performed work by Mahler was described by Alma Schindler soon to become Alma Mahler,on 8th of December 1901 thus..... "At midday he (Mahler) sent me Das Klagende Lied,the text is excellent,the melody a little impoverished but, the structure firm and effective,I can imagine some passages sounding quite passable"

This complex piece in its original form required six soloists,the full chorus and an offstage orchestra as well as the main orchestra.The tenor Jonas Kaufmann was particularly good,as were the other soloists,although I would have prefered the baritone sections to have been performed by the original baritone Neal Davies,who had to withdraw due to an leg injury. However the alto, Oliver Carden performed well, in what must have been a daunting task for one so young.

The offstage orchestra was a pleasant surprise,and gave the piece an almost radio echo quality, which added another dimension to a first class performance,by the the chorus and the main orchestra. The conductor Carlo Rizzi excelled, in his control of all these elements and the performance was greatly appreciated by a capacity audience.

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