Kleiber’s Mahler.


Gustav Mahler:

  • Das Lied von der Erde.

I have always been nuts about the amazing capabilities of the late conductor, Carlos Kleiber. As the son of the famous Austrian conductor Erich Kleiber, the father tried to discourage his son from following in his footsteps. Ultimately, the son persevered!

Carlos Kleiber did not leave all that many recordings. For me, the notable ones are the symphonies numbers 2 and 4 by Brahms, some Beethoven, Schubert, and one or two Mozart symphonies.

Also amazing is the music by Johann Strauss (Fledermaus), including rehearsals that reveal the passion, confidence, and technical competence of Mr. Kleiber.

This recording is Carlos Kleiber’s only encounter with Gustav Mahler. Prior to this, he had never conducted a work by the composer, and he would never do so again. Given how extremely selective Kleiber was in his choice of his repertoire, this was certainly an exceptional case.

We hear this work performed by Christa Ludwig (alto), and Waldemar Kmentt (tenor), with the Wiener Symphoniker, Carlos Kleiber conducting.

Here is the only audio recording I could locate of Carlos Kleiber conducting Mahler’s “Das Lied Von Der Erde”. While the fidelity of the sound is not great, I would note that Christa Ludwig had a lot of previous experience performing Mahler with conductor Leonard Bernstein.



Tags: Carlos Kleiber, Gustav Mahler, Lied von der Erde, Christa Ludwig