News - 08 Jun 2023
Introducing the conductor and soloists for Song of the Earth : Simon O'Neill
I have had the joy of performing Mahler's 'Das Lied von der Erde' at Carnegie Hall with the Met Orchestra and Levine, the Barbican with Rattle and LSO, Paris with Gergiev, Berlin, San Francisco, Rome and Prague.
I have had the joy of performing Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde at Carnegie Hall with the Met Orchestra and Levine, the Barbican with Rattle and LSO, Paris with Gergiev, Berlin, San Francisco, Rome and Prague - it is a huge thrill to return to Dunedin to perform the work with the DSO and Maestro James Judd.
The piece is very challenging for the tenor soloist - with extended phrases, a huge vocal range, and dramatic dynamic shifts that require both technical precision and expressive nuance. As a vocal soloist, one must also have a strong understanding of the text, which is sung in German. Interpreting the text and conveying its meaning through the music is a key aspect of performing Das Lied von der Erde, as it is a powerful meditation on the transience of life, love, and beauty, with themes of death and renewal woven throughout.
The orchestration is complex and requires the full symphony orchestra to perform, with lush string sections, powerful brass and woodwinds, and intricate percussion parts - I love the opening ‘tsunami of sound’ from the horn section - daunting for the vocal soloist to ‘compete’ but it is the final song Der Abschied which can break the heart of both the musician performing it and hopefully the audience.
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