Bernarda Fink Sings Mahler, Makes New York Philharmonic Debut
Can one really grasp the whole of Mahler’s symphonic output without knowing his songs? Not only do they extensively influence the first four symphonies (sometimes referred to as the ‘Wunderhorn symphonies’), they also encapsulate the fundamental principles of his reading of the world. On this May recording on harmonia mundi, the superb mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink explores Mahler's song cycles from three different angles. It includes the traditional lieder format with piano, songs with orchestral accompaniment and Arnold Schoenberg's illuminating chamber transcription of the Lieder "eines fahrenden Gesellen."
Describing her 2012 Mahler at Lincoln Center, the New York Times called Bernarda Fink "a master of the disarming, deceptive simplicity of the song recital." With her accompanist and true collaborator Anthony Spiri, Bernarda Fink can hold an audience spellbound. One of the most versatile and highly-regarded of today’s lied accompanists, Spiri joins Fink here with the Gustav Mahler-Ensemble and the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra (Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich), led by the dynamic young conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
The release coincides with Bernarda Fink's upcoming New York Philharmonic debut: on May 15 through 17 she joins them at Avery Fisher Hall for Mahler's Third Symphony under Bernard Haitink. "Everything in Mahler is about pain, suffering, and death and then of course, joy and irony," says Fink. "Also, a lot of humor. It's like a rainbow of different emotions. I had known Bernard Haitink's name from a very young age after hearing his concerts with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw on the radio in Buenos Aires," she recalls. "For me, he was a legend, someone untouchable. It's a huge honor to be able to sing with him again."