Magazine article Gramophone

Mahler: Schoenberg: Mahler Kindertotenlieder

Magazine article Gramophone

Mahler: Schoenberg: Mahler Kindertotenlieder

Article excerpt

Mahler Kindertotenlieder. Ruckert-Lieder. Des Knaben Wunderhorn--Das irdische Leben; Scheiden und Meiden; Aus! Aus!

Schoenberg Lieder, Op 2

Anne Schwanewilms sop Malcolm Martineau pf

Onyx (F) ONYX4146 (67' * DDD * T/t)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This second Onyx disc from Anne Schwanewilms follows on from a recital of songs by Liszt and Mahler (3/13) but sees the German soprano delving deeper into mezzo repertoire with the Kindertotenlieder and Riickert-Lieder. The results are mixed, and inevitably her voice--unusually 'instrumental' in quality, almost hollow-sounding in its glass-like clarity at the top, turning a little sour when pushed down below--brings a strangely wraith-like character to the Kindertotenlieder. As pure singing it's often eccentric, and she sometimes swells and swoops unattractively. But the sound she makes also feels appropriate for the songs, each of which Schwanewilms, in her own booklet essay, describes as marking out five stages of grief from denial to acceptance. It translates into a performance of impressive cumulative power in which the soprano's commitment and seriousness cannot be faulted; nor can the supreme sensitivity of Malcolm Martineau's beautifully gauged accompaniment. …

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