News - 06 Jun 2023
Introducing the conductor and soloists for Song of the Earth : Wendy Dawn Thompson
Performances of 'Das Lied von der Erde' don’t come around very often – likely owing to both the large forces and the virtuosity required of vocal soloists and the orchestra.
Performances of Das Lied von der Erde don’t come around very often – likely owing to both the large forces and the virtuosity required of vocal soloists and the orchestra. Mahler was a fan of pushing his players to the extreme.
One such example arises in the 4th song Von der Schonheit where he pitches a rampaging orchestra accompaniment against the singer in the lowest part of their range, desperately trying to project a wordy and excited text over the din. Then, just three bars later (with a racing heart rate) the singer must project effortless serenity as the story returns to tranquillity.
The final song Das Abschied is the longest solo I’ve had to perform, it’s nearly as long as all the other movements put together. This raises the biggest challenges of the piece - pacing and endurance. This movement is definitely a marathon, not a sprint. Again, Mahler uses extremes of vocal range demanding the singer to be able to project an ethereal otherworldliness in their highest high range and deep, heartfelt grief in low range, all which need to be delivered with ease. My personal hope is that the months of preparation put into performing this work will be far from the thoughts of any audience member
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