Elisabeth Kulman & Armarcord Wien
Elisabeth Kulman, Mezzosopran
Sebastian Gürtler, Geige
Michael Williams, Cello
Gerhard Muthspiel, Bass
Tommaso Huber, Akkordeon
Producer: Wolfgang Muthspiel
Co-Producer: Elisabeth Kulman
Elisabeth Kulman and Amarcord Wien show proof to the fact, that it is possible to present a well known and popular composer like Gustav Mahler in a new and fascinating way! In the performance tradition of Mahler's Lieder they find between the extremes of „voice and piano“ and „voice and orchestra“ another, chamber-music-orientated approach of interpretation - with astonishing results!
The dialogue between Elisabeth Kulman's velvet mezzo-soprano and the unconventionally cast – with regard to Mahler - ensemble Amarcord Wien, creates an atmosphere between subtle simplicity and folkloric minstrelsy. Their interpretation enables us to realise the striking modernity as well as the folksong-roots of Mahler's musical themes.
This is Elisabeth Kulman's first solo-CD. The album impressively proves what has been evident already to listeners of her concert and opera performances: that she has an absolutely perfect voice for recording. Her precise, sensitive, delicate and intense singing impresses on CD as much as it did on the concert and opera stage over the past years. As a member of the Vienna State Opera performing leading roles she has already reached the highest possible status of an opera singer in her home country. It is almost impossible for a compatriot to convince the domestic audiences in Vienna of one's merits – but she did! As soon as she reached an international standard in her home country, she spread her wings and her global career flourished. In Paris she was asked to perform Gluck's „Orpheus“, in Berlin „Carmen“, in Munich Bach' s „Saint John's Passion“, in Barcelona she sang Mozart arias, on to Tokyo for Strauß' „Fledermaus“, and the list goes on … Among the conductors regularly inviting Elisabeth Kulman are
world-famous names like Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Seiji Ozawa, Zubin Mehta, Thomas Hengelbrock, Franz Welser-Möst and Peter Schreier. In the opening premiere of the Salzburg Festival in 2010, she is invited to sing the title role in Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice”, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
The ensemble Amarcord Wien have a unique position in Austria's musical life. Their non-traditional
formation, with violin, violoncello, double bass and accordion is regularly mentioned, but also because of their repertoire, which has no limitations or boundaries in terms of genre. Also because of their special methods of developing interpretations and creating arrangements within rehearsals. This open-minded, down-to-earth-approach to music and their permanent search of dialogue with other musicans enables them to approach recording with startling results. This album of Lieder created, together with Elisabeth Kulman is an interpretation of some of Mahler’s finest songs that oscillates between melancholia and cheerfulness. A worthwhile and innovative new encounter with Gustav Mahler's famous Lieder!