- Totenfeier, symphonic poem in C minor
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On this 2012 release from Signum Classics, Vladimir Jurowski and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment present two of Gustav Mahler's youthful works, the tone poem "Totenfeier," and the song cycle "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen." These works were major accomplishments for the struggling composer, and both were important in Mahler's later development as a symphonist. "Totenfeier" became (with some changes) the first movement of the "Symphony No. 2, Resurrection," and the melodies of the lieder "Ging heut'morgen übers Feld" and "Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz" became major themes in his "Symphony No. 1." These performances are energetic, crisp, and committed, and Sarah Connolly's singing is especially lovely in the lieder. The only problem with the CD is the low volume level, which requires a high setting to hear details clearly and to get decent sound and dimensions. But taken as a whole, this is a good presentation of early Mahler from which newcomers to his music can benefit.