Related Reviews
International Record Review
'Karen Cargill's voice was made for Gustav's music, and we can now determine that it suits Alma's equally well.'
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Gramophone (High Fidelity)
'This recital of Lieder by Mr & Mrs Mahler sung by Karen Cargill on Linn is a spine-tingling combination of performance and recording quality.'
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Pizzicato
'Der Pianist Simon Lepper ist dagegen fantastisch. Sein Klavierspiel ist enorm feinfühlig und er geht das Wagnis ein, surreale Klänge und impressionistische Farben miteinzubringen, was insbesondere den Liedern von Alma Mahler gut tut.'
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BBC Music Magazine
'And Karen Cargill's beautifully integrated, smoky mezzo reveals the full stature of these songs [by Alma], just as Simon Lepper relishes their fearless piano writing.'
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The Observer
4 Stars
'Karen Cargill, warm, instinctive and golden-voiced, and Simon Lepper are responsive partners...'
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The Herald Scotland
'Cargill is in sumptuous form, at the top of her game, and never more ravishingly voiced than in these glorious, heart-melting performances...'
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The Times
'It's expressive, bold music and Cargill sings it eloquently...'
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Karen Cargill - Mahler: Lieder - Audiophile Audition


12 July 2014
Audiophile Audition
Steven Ritter
4 Stars

Listening to Scottish mezzo Karen Cargill is like sampling a fine Pinot Noir-earthy, very delicate yet full of complexity and richness that you sense will only deepen in the years to come. She is a born Mahlerian; her voice, while agile enough to take on music that is much more difficult in terms of simple presentation, has such resonance and intensity on a note-for-note basis that one can only imagine the composer himself gleaming at the thought of his songs being given by such a talent.

The songs are, well, the songs-we all know them and love them and have heard their story many times. Ruckert provided Mahler with many moving moments, especially in the masterly Kindertotenlieder. The Wayfarer songs represent Mahler's penchant for looking to the past for idylls or tales of life that somehow eluded him during the turn of the century, when such things were taking a far different and often ominous tone. Alma on the other hand, virtually brow-beaten and threatened as to the quality of her marriage if she did not give up composing, was more taken in the moment-whether the lovers she took in the wake of the death of her daughter Maria in 1907-which sounded the death of the Mahlerian marriage-or the fact of her music at that time actually being more forward-looking than his-he would catch up later-and these Five Liederare marvelous examples of a genuine talent and a view of art which would have contributed significantly to the current scene had it been allowed to flower.

The surround sound is superb, the singing radiant, if slightly not "there" yet in terms of interpretation (but Cargill will undoubtedly get there), and the Mahler versus Mahler side-by-side a wonderful programmatic initiative. A fine disc, and Simon Lepper's perceptive pianism doesn't hurt a bit.


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