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Boulez’s Mahler

Posted: Thursday | 06.14.12

Boulez’s Mahler

Pierre Boulez conducts Mahler

Mahler:

  • Des Knaben Wunderhorn (12 songs, complete)

Magdalena Kožená & Christian Gerhaher

  • Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major – Adagio

Performed by the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Pierre Boulez

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Mahler’s birth and just one month short of his own 85th birthday, composer-conductor Pierre Boulez marked his forty-five-year collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra by conducting this very special Mahler-only concert at Ohio’s splendid Severance Hall.

Following the Adagio from the unfinished Tenth Symphony, Mr. Boulez presented Twelve Songs from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” with soloists Magdalena Kožená and Christian Gerhaher, both much-sought-after opera and concert singers on the world’s leading stages.

DVD BONUS: An interview with Pierre Boulez

On this DVD, we get a wonderful performance of the Adagio from the last symphony of Gustav Mahler, and also the “Twelve songs of the Wunderhorn”.

The Symphony #10 as performed by the Cleveland Orchestra shows us some amazing string sonorities. In the included interview, Boulez notes that Mahler left no tempo markings other than “Andante” or “Adagio”, so most conductors play it as they choose to interpret it. Boulez uses a lot of rubato, and this produces a great musical effect.

The second work, the Mahler “Wunderhorn” songs, seem to have been picked as an early juxtaposition to Mahler’s last work. These feel like youthful Lieder, with Folk-related themes, and no reference at all to the later sounds of death and sadness. The songs are beautifully done, with the two singers acting out the parts in each song.

Here is the trailer of this DVD:

 

 

Tags: Gustav Mahler, Pierre Boulez, Symphony #10, Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Kozena, Christian Gerhaher

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