Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde
Douglas Boyd, Manchester Camerata, Jane Irwin, mezzo-soprano / Peter Wedd, tenor
Last year's Mahler in Manchester festival was "A sensory experience like no other," according to The Sunday Times, not least for the Manchester Camerata's revelatory performance of Das Lied von der Erde in the scaled-down chamber version by Schoenberg. The poignancy of Mahler's "Song of the Earth" is highlighted by the reduced forces: just 16 performers, including the distinctive chimes of harmonium, celeste and piano. The chamber arrangement came about through Schoenberg's Vienna-based Association for Private Musical Performances, founded in 1918. Dedicated to exploring new music but short of funds, they made a number of chamber versions of larger works, of which Das Lied was one. Conducted by Douglas Boyd, Manchester Camerata's performance of this transcription loses nothing of the astonishing sonic allure of the original - an ideal memento of an enlightening festival celebrating the music of Mahler.