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Das Lied von der Erde with tenor and baritone
Posted by Paul Breslin on March 9, 2017, 5:39 am
I have three great recordings of Das Lied that substitute a baritone for the alto part, all of them involving Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. One is, perhaps no longer available (it doesn't show up on Arkiv), conducted by Paul Kletzki, with Murray Dickey singing the tenor songs. Then there is the dream team of Wunderlich and Fischer-Dieskau, but my pleasure is muted by the bass-shy and rather tinny recording; moreover, Krips doesn't catch the mordant bitterness of the bleaker moments; he is too gentle. My favorite of the three is conducted by Leonard Bernstein, with the Vienna Philharmonic and James King as the tenor soloist, in good remastered analogue sound. It is an almost terrifyingly intense performance: "Dunkel ist das Leben, ist der Tod" could be the motto for Bernstein's vision of the entire work, not just the opening song. I wouldn't want this to be my only recording of Das Lied--Haitink with James King and Janet Baker makes a good counterbalance--but it remains overpowering each time I hear it.
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