Review: Cincinnati Symphony and vocal soloists in Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde,” for audience of 300 people

Posted on: March 9, 2021

“The final notes of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Das Lied von der Erde’ (‘The Song of the Earth’) drifted away on a glowing cloud of harp and celesta,” writes Janelle Gelfand in Saturday’s (3/6) Cincinnati Business Courier (OH). “No one—not the musicians, the conductor Matthias Pintscher nor the 300 listeners in Music Hall on Friday—breathed for a full minute after mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung left us with these words, ‘Ewig, Ewig’ (forever, forever). There are almost no words to describe the orchestra’s exquisite performance of Gustav Mahler’s work. Part song cycle, part symphony, ‘The Song of the Earth’ is … simultaneously uplifting and devastating…. It was a performance that was stirring and memorable, particularly for the poetic texts so beautifully interpreted by DeYoung and tenor Sean Panikkar…. With this concert, guest conductor Pintscher begins a three-season appointment as the orchestra’s creative director…. There was no foot-dragging in the funeral march at its center. Every moment was gripping…. Several [CSO musicians] deserve special mention, notably oboist Dwight Parry, flutist Randolph Bowman and piccolo player Joan Voorhees…. The work was about 70 minutes in length, an ideal choice for the CSO’s in-person series featuring shorter concerts with no intermission.”