Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) announces the release of the seventh album on its record label St. Luke's Collection: a live recording of Schoenberg and Riehn's masterful chamber arrangement of Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. The work was performed to great acclaim in September 2011 by St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble with conductor George Manahan, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and tenor Paul Groves at Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC).
OSL's recording label, St. Luke's Collection, was launched in the spring of 2003, with the SACD release of Mozart's Symphonies 39 and 41 "Jupiter." OSL's stellar 70+ discography now includes seven releases on St. Luke's Collection and four Grammy Award-winning recordings. As part of the release of Das Lied von der Erde, OSL will also issue its first-ever limited edition LP with a small number of signed collectibles.
This performance of Das Lied von Der Erde commemorated the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Mahler's monumental song-symphony. It also marked OSL and BAC's first artistic collaboration in their shared home at 450 West 37th Street and George Manahan's first performance of the chamber arrangement of Das Lied von der Erde.
"Performing this piece with the musicians of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble-many of whom are old friends-was such a joy. Schoenberg's voicing is so brilliantly done, and the musicians played a very active part in weaving everything together. The two soloists gave remarkable performances, with an enormous range of expression and exquisite sensitivity to the text. This is truly a recording for the ages." said conductor George Manahan.
Mahler's deeply profound farewell to life received its premiere after the composer's death in 1911. Based on a collection of Tang Dynasty poems entitled The Chinese Flute, Das Lied von der Erde features the use of 'Chinese' motifs that were unique in Mahler's output. The work ranges from exuberant, drunken joy to noble acceptance of life's passing.
The chamber arrangement of Das Lied von der Erde demonstrates Mahler's great compositional architecture on a reduced scale. As a strong advocate of Mahler's music, Arnold Schoenberg began work on a chamber arrangement of Das Lied von der Erde after World War I for his Society for Private Musical Performances; however, with little funding, the project was never finished. German musicologist Rainer Riehn ultimately completed the arrangement in 1983.
A conductor of wide renown in both operatic and orchestral settings, George Manahan served as Music Director of New York City Opera for 14 years and currently serves as Music Director of the American Composers Orchestra (ACO), Portland Opera (OR) and Director of Orchestral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music. His guest appearances include the symphonies of San Francisco, Atlanta, Milwaukee and the opera companies of Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis and Santa Fe.
Paul Groves' interpretation of Das Lied von der Erde has been commended in past performances with the Pablo Casals Festival, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Mostly Mozart Festival. Mr. Grove's additional recordings include DVDs with the Salzburg Festival's productions of Die Zauberflöte (Deutsche Grammophon) and La Damnation de Faust (Naxos Records), CD recordings of Roger Waters' new opera Ça Ira opposite Bryn Terfel (SONY Classics) and a solo recording of songs by Henri Duparc (Naxos Records) as well as several recordings with Maestro James Levine.
Jennifer Johnson Cano has earned praise in performances with the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Marlboro Festival among many others. She is a 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant Winner, a 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grant Recipient and has had the opportunity to perform numerous solo recitals as a winner of the Young Concert Artists Competition.