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A wonderful freshness and attack

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A lack of vanity, full-blooded theatricality and an absolute purity of sound has made their art unique

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But very young children would have great difficulty in understanding the fast-moving libretto, sung, as here, in full-dress operatic mode

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Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder – “Songs on the Death of Children” – purvey an unnerving amalgam of bereftness and disbelief; the poems had been written by Friedrich Ruckert in memory of two children who had died of scarlet fever, and Mahler’s exquisite settings eerily prefigured the premature death of his own first-born child.

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Holly Pigott designs, Greg Eldridge directs: bravos all round

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