Today Mahler's music enjoys an unprecedented level of popularity throughout the world - resurgence in interest that began in the 1960s, and which was fuelled by the use of the composer's music in films such as Visconti's Death in Venice and Ken Russell's Mahler.
This new addition to Decca's popular Adagios series has over two hours of Mahler's most haunting, emotional and beautiful music.
The recordings included here feature the famous partnership of Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as Riccardo Chailly and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin with Brigitte Fassbaender in the haunting "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen".
An ideal introduction to the world of Mahler.
It turns out this is not a bad purchase. As you look over the details of the selections, all (except for "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen") are of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by Georg Solti. As you might expect, they are excellently-done, and the soloists exemplary in their performances: Birgitte Fassbaender in the Ruckert-Lieder song, Mira Zakai with a clear delivery of Urlicht, and Yvonne Minton with a moving singing of Der Abschied from Das Lied von der Erde. A delightful surprise for me, as a fan of Mahler's use of cowbells was Solti's choice to let the cowbells clank through far more audibly than is usually heard.
Many admirers of Mahler already have many of these performances in their collections, so why would someone want to buy this 2 CD set? Well, in addition to a lot of Mahler for your money--two CDs each over an hour long--and some of the most beautiful slow music this master wrote--I think it might also be a good tool to help introduce newcomers to Mahler. It doesn't require the attention and time of a full Mahler symphony, and yet it presents a new listener with many of the beautiful melodies that have led so many to fall in love with Mahler.
Gustav Mahler - ADAGIOS (selected from Symphonies Nos. 5, 2, 4, 6, 3, 9 & Rückert-Lieder) (Mira Zakai, Yvonne Minton, Brigitte Fassbaender, CSO & Georg Solti, DSO & Riccardo Chailly) - 2 CDs, 1970-1984/2010, Decca
01. Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp Minor - IV. Adagietto (Sehr Langsam) 9:46
02. Symphony No. 2 in C Minor - ''Resurrection'' - IV ''Urlicht'' 4:58
03. Symphony No. 4 in G - III. Ruhevoll (Poco Adagio) 20:13
04. Das Lied Von Der Erde - VI. Der Abschied 31:52
01. Rückert-Lieder - "Ich Bin Der Welt Abhanden Gekommen" 6:19
02. Symphony No. 6 in A Minor - 3. Andante Moderato 15:34
03. Symphony No. 3 in D Minor/Part 2 - VI. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden 20:49
04. Symphony No. 9 in D - IV. Adagio (Sehr Langsam) 24:51
Mira Zakai - CD 1 (02)
Yvonne Minton - CD 1 (04)
Brigitte Fassbaender - CD 2 (01)
Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin & Riccardo Chailly - CD 2 (01)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Sir Georg Solti - CD 1, CD 2 (02 - 04)
Total Time: 2h 14' 44''