Karen Cargill - Mahler: Lieder - The Observer
Gustav Mahler was none too liberated when it came to encouraging, or rather discouraging, his wife Alma with her own compositions: "Such a strange relationship between rivals," he wrote. "Do you have any idea how ridiculous it would appear, can you imagine the loss of self-respect it would later cause us both?" Later he regretted his attitude, but Alma wrote little more. Her Fünf Lieder (1910), in late romantic style, expressive and full of darting chromaticisms, show her at her best. Karen Cargill, warm, instinctive and golden-voiced, and Simon Lepper are responsive partners here and in Mahler's Rückert-Lieder and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. With Linn's usual high standards of recording and programme notes, this disc gives intimate insight into an endlessly fascinating couple.