Mahler: Totenfeier; Liedereines Fahrendengesellen


Sarah Connolly (mezzo soprano), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: Vladimir Jurowski Signum Classics SIGCD259 (mid-price) ****

If you know Mahler’s Second Symphony, you know his earlier symphonic poem Totenfeier. Well, not quite. Totenfeier, with its orchestration beefed up and with different handling of key moments, became the first movement of the symphony.

Vladimir Jurowski’s brisk and thrusting account with the period instrument players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment makes a strong case for the composer’s original thoughts. Mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly’s performance of the slightly earlier Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen is equally unaffected. However, pace period performance, her adjustment to the vocal style of the late 19th century is minimal.