Opera Scotland

Lied von der Erde 1947Scottish Orchestra

Read more about the opera Song of the Earth

The Scotsman of Saturday, 8 November put it succinctly when assessing the previous evening's performance by the Scottish Orchestra: ''A performance of Gustav Mahler's Song of the Earth seemed a daring enterprise after the most authentic interpretation given to this work a short time ago, at the Edinburgh Festival by Bruno Walter and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. It means a great deal that Mr Walter Susskind, in last night's concert of the Scottish Orchestra in the Usher Hall, was able to convey a most convincing impression of a work making such exorbitant technical and musical demands on the orchestra as well as on the soloists.

''Mahler's music, utterly emotional as it is, is largely dependent on perfect sympathy on the part of the performer. Mr Susskind has a genuine feeling for the spiritual atmosphere of this music, and he conveyed it to the orchestra as well as to the soloists, who both gave most satisfactory renderings of their exacting parts. Mr Parry Jones has all the necessary pliability and volume of sound for the terrific tenor part. His performance would have been perfect if it had not been marred by a tendency to prolong final syllables in inarticulate sound. Miss Catherine Lawson's fine mezzo-soprano was perhaps not sufficiently substantial for occasional dramatic moments, especially in the second of her songs,  'Youth'. She was at her best in the more lyrical parts, and most moving in the large concluding song, a piece of an uncommon range of passionate emotion, for which she found the most genuine spontaneous expression.''

As with most performances of the work at this time, a decision had to be taken whether to perform it alone or to supply some musical ballast. On this occasion the Mahler was preceded by Mozart, in the overture to Idomeneo. This was followed by Haydn's 'London' Symphony.

Performance DatesLied von der Erde 1947

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

7 Nov, 19.30

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha