Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reading the Fine Print – Miah Persson Singing Mahler

A few years back I was caught up in a Mahler craze (right before the opera craze took hold) and I listened to quite a few different recordings of each of the symphonies. I decided to check out a few today, and as I was scrolling through my iTunes library, I saw a Mahler 4th and wondered, "hmmm, who might the soloist be?" Squinting, I read the name I love to see of the soprano I love to hear: Miah Persson!

I am always intrigued to hear what kind of soprano a conductor chooses for this movement. Maybe it’s whoever he/she can get, but I always hope that they choose a soloist for this song based on the sound of the voice and the soprano’s approach to the text.

Some sopranos sound a bit too grown up and worldly-wise for this text. I mean it’s a pretty ironic text, but I think the singer should sound a little child-like (maybe child-like with an edge) without actually sounding childish.

I think Miah Persson nailed it on this one. Listen and see (hear) if you agree.

For a contrasting  (more ominous) interpretation from another beloved (by me) soprano, check out this version with Dorothea Röschmann.


  1. I was just about to say good job Miah but then I gave in to listening to DR's version...

    1. What made you choose DR over MP for this one?

    2. The question reminds me of the issues I often run into when I review something: whilst I was listening to her version, I "felt" MP was doing a lovely job. Once it was over I couldn't really say what was so lovely about it; I didn't really remember much of anything except that it washed over me in a pleasant way. So I had to listen to it a couple more times just to try and come up with something. DR made me feel involved whilst listening - which is probably what I would say about anything she sings; it comes down to liking the types of emotions DR produces in me rather than those MP does. I guess a better comparison would have been with another singer of MP's style but here we are.

    3. Thanks! Now I am going to have to go back and listen to both.


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