A first recording, and a most valuable one. Bruno Walter is far better known as a conductor, one of the most persuasive of the last century, whose personal knowledge of Mahler made him an instinctive interpreter of the composer’s music. It was after his death, after all, that Otto Klemperer remarked, ‘Ah, it has been a good year for conductors’. But just as Mahler was better known as a conductor than a composer in his own time, Klemperer and Walter were composers of industry and accomplishment; some of Klemperer’s orchestral music is available in his own recordings (and otherwise forgotten), but Walter’s music has barely been heard until the release of this fascinating and richly textured set of Lieder. They are not Modernist in inclination, as might be anticipated, but rather make echoes in both their choice of poetry and musical setting to Schumann, Brahms and indeed Mahler. His attitude to his music is probably well summarised in a letter he wrote to his friend and teacher in June 1910: ‘I firmly believe that melody and harmony form a perfect union, in the sense that the entire harmonic substance of a melody is latent in it from the moment of its invention, and then only needs to be developed from within it.’
- Extensive booklet-notes, sung texts and translations provided.
- Recorded at the studios of Bavarian Radio in 2009.
- This will appeal both to conductor aficionados as well as fans of the central-German Lieder repertoire.