Magdalena Kozena

Love and Longing

  • Orchestral Songs by Dvorák, Mahler, and Ravel


  • Biblical Songs (10), Op. 99

orchestrated by Vilém Zemánek

  • Rückert-Lieder (5 songs, complete)


  • Shéhérazade

Magdalena Kožená, Sir Simon Rattle, and the Berliner Philharmoniker entertain us in Ravel’s Shéhérazade, stir us in Dvorák’s austere ‘Biblische Lieder’, and show us the bittersweet content  of Mahler’s intricately orchestrated ‘Rückert Lieder’.

Recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie, these performances are really excellent with the intense musical understanding shared by this husband and wife musical team.

This is the first in a new series of recording projects on DG and the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Kozená opens this recital with Dvo’ák’s `Biblische Lieder’, orchestrated by Vilém Zemánek, a cycle rarely heard until now: surely after audiences hear these very fascinating works the demand for performances will increase.

These Ten Biblical Songs (Czech: Biblické Písn’), opus 99, (1894) form a song cycle based on various Psalms taken from the Czech-language Bible of Kralice, arranged and slightly modified by the composer. Kozená and Rattle make them burst alive and there are many treasureable moments here.

Kozená’s voice is perfectly suited to the glorious Shéhérazade of Maurice Ravel. She gives us the ascending and descending lines with such security that the only important aspect is the beauty of Ravel’s setting of the poems of Tristan Klingsor (pseudonym of Léon Leclère, 1874-1966). Rattle and the Berlin players provide the  support of Kozená’s spinning of the web of intrigue which this cycle represents.

The final cycle here is Gustav Mahler’s orchestrated version of Rückert Lieder. Here the songs are delivered with all of the angst of Mahler’s invention. Though all of the songs are beautifully sculpted `Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft’ is particularly memorable.

Watch the trailer of Magdalena Kozená in her new album on Deutsche Grammophon: ‘Love & Longing’.

Tags: Magdalena Kozena, Love and Longing, Orchestral Songs, Dvorák, Mahler, Ravel

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