Schoenberg's Gurrelieder is a massive cantata for five vocal soloists, narrator, chorus and large orchestra based on poems by the Danish novelist Jens Peter Jacobsen. The title refers to Gurre Castle in Denmark, which is the scene of Jacobsen's recounting of a medieval love-tragedy (and Danish national legend) revolving around the love of the Danish king Valdemar IV for his mistress Tove and her subsequent murder by the jealous Queen Helvig. This superb live recording featuring Zubin Mehta leading the Israel Philharmonic highlights Mehta's affinity for the repertoire of Mahler, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School. Gurrelieder holds a special place in the conductor's heart as it was the last work he conducted as he concluded his thirteen year tenure with the New York Philharmonic.
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