Gustav Mahlerís Fifth Symphony is a tour de force that can tax a conductor and orchestra in live performances. While it often takes several sessions in the studio for performers to match the required intensity of playing with exuberance that is also part of the work, some live performances convey that fine balance immediately.
Yiddish is a language based on medieval German that developed separately from modern German. It spread throughout Eastern Europe, where it acquired words from Hebrew, as well as Russian, Polish, and other Slavic languages.
In addition to some notable, recent recordings of selected Lieder by Robert Schumann (1810-56), two comprehensive editions of the composerís works in this genre are underway, one by Hyperion, which is almost complete and another that is just starting on the Naxos label. Performed by Thomas E. Bauer, baritone and his wife, the pianist Uta Hielscher, the first volume is as promising as it is ambitious.
Paul Hillier has written the book on Arvo P‰rt, quite literally. He has spent significant time with the Estonian composer interviewing him, working with him, and studying his music. He has not only authored the only text researching P‰rt’s music and background, but Hillier also seems to one of the first to perform and record his music, thereby exposing it to the general public.
Now this is one beautiful piece of music, a setting of the text of the ìSong of Songs,î taken from the Hebrew Bible by the composer Jorge Liderman. Liderman is Argentinian by birth, now on the composition faculty of the Department of Music at the University of California at Berkeley. His work shows a distinct ability at the craft of composition: this is a very attractively put together work.