CD Review- “IRR Outstanding” rating for Orchestra of the Swan Das Lied von der Erde

International Record Review magazine has awarded their coveted “IRR Outstanding” rating to our new Orchestra of the Swan recording ofMahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen on Somm Records.

Critic Robert Matthew-Walker calls it an “absolutely astonishing recording in many respects,” and concludes by reminding readers that “This is a most important issue, and all Mahlerians should make its acquisition an urgent necessity.”

Matthew-Walker has some generous praise for the three wonderful singers: “Emma Curtis’s tone is remarkably pure throughout her very wide range (for a contralto, which of course includes the high G’s towards the end of “Der Abschied,” which she sings magnificiently, so musically and intelligently, and her first entry in “Der Einsame in Herbst,” descending from a cruelly high F, is superbly phrased), with no hint of strain. Her singing is most beautiful and often very moving.” Matthew-Walker is also effusive in praising tenor Brennen Guillory, “whose account of his more dramatic songs is infused with discipline and dignity,” and baritone David Stout, “an admirable interpreter of the youthful songs, beautifully sung and well characterized.”

The disc is available world-wide from Presto Classical here.

To read the complete review, click on the scans below to enlarge to full size.

To subscribe to IRR, click here.

UPDATE- Mr Matthew-Walker makes a fair point that it would have been useful to include the instrumentation in the CD booklet, although booklet annotator Peter Davison is blameless, as his commission was simply for an essay. Mr Matthew-Walker has included the instrumentations in his review above, but you can also see those, and a complete listing of the player personnel here. 

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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