MMAHLER: DasLlied von der Erde
Kathleen Ferrier, contralto. Set Svanholm, tenor. New York Philharmonic/Bruno Walter, cond.

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92. SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 8 in B minor "Unfiniushed". Rosamunde Ballet Music. SCHUBERT-STOKOWSKI: Moment Musicale No. 3 in F minor.
Philadelphia Orch/Leopold Stokowski, cond.

Lieder of Mahler, Loewe, Wagner, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, C.P.E. Bach, J. W. Franck, Haydn, Britten, Barber, and Poulenc
Maureen Forrester, contralto. Hertha Klutz, Michael Raucheisen and Felix Schröder, piano.
AUDITE 21.437 (3 disks) TT: 62:26 / 60:11 /67:21


We are indebted to Pristine once again, this time for a high-quality broadcast of January 18, 1948 of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. The famed contralto Kathleen Ferrier made her American debut with Bruno Walter and the New York Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall January 14, 1949. The New York Times review was less than enthusiastic. Ferrier was just recovering from a cold; at any rate what we hear on this CD is the broadcast of January 18, 1949, and both soloists are in top form. Ferrier was known for her interpretation of †his music and in 1952 made her famous Decca recording with Walter and the Vienna Philharmonic, just months before her untimely death. This famous recording has been mentioned on this site (REVIEW) and has been reissued many times, most recently in the 14-disk set of all of her Decca recordings. Andrew Rose's remastering of the 1949 broadcast has provided a satisfying sound picture, and collectors surely will welcome this rare opportunity to hear Fierier. Collectors also can look for a live 1952 recording conducted by Sir John Barbirolli

The Stokowski catalog is enriched by Pristine's issue of two of the conductor's stapes, Beethoven's Symphony No 7, and Schubert's Symphony No. 8. This is Stokowski's first recording of the Beethoven made April 30, 1927 in Victor's Camden studios. The Unfinished , recorded in the same venue April 29-30 the same year, is the conductor's second of the work; three years earlier he had made an acoustic recording, and later in his career would record it two more times. The CD begins with Stokowski's 4:22 discussion of the Beethoven symphony. These are vital performances, mostly standard interpretations,magnificently played. Victo's engineers did a remarkable job in capturing the orchestra, and Mark Obert-Thorn has done an equally incredible job in this transfers, even capturing a cough about a minute before the conclusion of the Schubert symphony. The three short Schubert pieces make appropriuate fillers. This is an important addition to the catalog.

Mezzo-soprano Maureen Forrester (1930 - 2010) also had a close connection with Bruno Walter. Earlier in her career he chose her to sing in a New York performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 and she continued to perform with him throughout her career. She received many awards and had a wide-range repertory. Forrester recorded Das Lied von der Erde with Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony, Songs of a Wayfarer and Kindertotenlieder with Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony, all recently reissued. This fine Audite three-CD set offers lieder performance never before released, all recorded by RIAS in Berlin 1955 - 1963. Some are accompanied by famous pianist Michael Rauscheisen. No texts are provided.

R.E.B. (December 2016)