Classical; NEW RELEASES

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The Independent Culture
Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn Berlin Philharmonic, Von Otter, Quasthoff, Abbado (DG)

The combination of Claudio Abbado and the peerless forces of his Berlin orchestra has already provided us with some very distinguished Mahler records. They're joined by the mezzo Anne Sophie von Otter and baritone Thomas Quasthoff in a reading of the seminal song cycle which goes straight to the top of the list of recommendations. Astoundingly assured and sympathetic performances. HHHHH

Langgaard: Sinfonia interna Aarhus SO, soloists, Rasmussen (Dacapo)

The visionary Danish composer Rued Langgaard has his admirers but this recently re-assembled early effort is unlikely to further his cause. Scored for soloists, chorus and orchestra, its long pedal-points betray Langgaard's roots as an organist, its deep Theosophist mysteries more static than ecstatic. Poor man's Scriabin. HH

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