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Association for Private Musical Performances

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Audio CD, April 30, 2013
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 30, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capriccio
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #884,985 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Mahler composed his Kindertotenlieder in 1901 and 1904. For his texts he selected five poems from the 428 Ruckert wrote in 1833-34 as a personal response to the death of his two children from scarlet fever. Mahler composed them in his late romantic idiom. Ironically, personal tragedy was enter his life also in 1908, when his own daughter died from scarlet fever.

The five songs are sung by the German mezzo Marion Eckstein and supported by the Linos ensemble, a small orchestral ensemble founded in 1977 by oboist Klaus Becker. Eckstein has a dark velvety tone, ideally suited to this music. She seems to have real affinity for this work and offers a captivating performance.

Death and tragedy also form a backdrop for the second work on the disc: the Berg Violin Concerto. Written as a memorial to the death of Manon Gropius, Alma Mahler's daughter who died in April 1935, in the event this also became Berg's own requiem. Structured in two parts, the second section incorporates Bach's death chorale. The soloist Winifried Rademacher plays with ravishing tone and has a real understanding of the structure of the piece. The concerto is well-paced, with excellent dynamic control. This is a performance of exquisite refinement and stands up there with the best.

Berg's Altenberg Lieder were composed 1911-12. Their subject is the stormy but beauty of the soul together with love and longing. Once again Eckstein gives a heartfelt performance.

This work was scored by Berg for a very large orchestra. Here, together with the other two works on the CD, we hear them in arrangements made by Schonberg and his collaborators, scaled down for a small ensemble for the Association of Private Musical Performances.
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