Time for a review of classical CDs that were outstanding in 2009. My lists for the previous years: 2008, (2008 - "Almost") 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.
# 9 - New Release
Mahler, Lied von der Erde, Kent Nagano, Klaus Florian Vogt, Christian Gerhaher, Sony 750821
G.Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde,
K.Nagano / K.F.Vogt, C.Gerhaher / Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
# 9 - Reissue
Bach, 3 Cantatas juxtaposed, Harnoncourt, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 756794
J.S.Bach, Cantatas BWV 140, 61, 29 (x2),
N.Harnoncourt / Concentus Musicus Wien et al.
The results of comparison can be curious: I liked the earlier version of BWV 140 so much, I could see myself preferring it over the newer version (with Julia Kleiter, Kurt Streit, and Anton Scharinger). The Concentus Musicus has become a more refined orchestra and the soloists and especially the choir(s) (famous boys’ choirs then, the highly professional Arnold Schoenberg Choir now) are better now than they were. But there is something quite natural, quite enchanting to the old ways. Even the boy soprano is no bother in this cantata: one accepts the natural shortcomings of a boy’s voice and tries to focus instead on its elements that another, trained adult voice cannot possess. Kudos, little Alan. But in BWV 61, the stunner among the newly recorded three cantatas, the boy soprano turns matters into perpetual cringe. Seppi tries way too hard—and comparison Schäfer is simply cruel. Sold at the price of one CD, this side-by-side new and re-release is a winner.