Mahler: Symphony No. 9; Kindertotenlieder

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

WORKS: Symphony No. 9; Kindertotenlieder
PERFORMER: Norman Foster (bass-baritone)Bamberg SO, Vienna SO/ Jascha Horenstein
CATALOGUE NO: CDX2 5509 ADD (1954)
Horenstein’s conscious sculpting and dangerous stretching-on-the-rack of the Ninth’s awesome first movement are not best served by feeble Fifties engineering, with individual strings edgily caught in close-up (fatal in the Symphony’s closing whispers) and shrunken, wafer-thin climaxes. Still, an interpretation of sorts does emerge: more volatile than Bruno Walter’s, imperfectly executed but always interesting. Norman Foster’s restrained bass-baritone grief in the Kindertotenlieder certainly commands respect, too, despite the occasional vocal distortion. David Nice