Tilson Thomas's objective, transparent approach suits this piece well. The orchestral playing is warm, the chorus work is spirited and the soloists are excellent.
- The Times (U.K.)
Part I (Waldmärchen/Forest Tale):
A beautiful, proud queen has conceded that she will give herself as wife to whichever knight finds a certain red flower in the forest, a flower as lovely as herself. Two brothers set out to find that flower; the younger is sweet in manner and handsome, the elder “could only utter curses.” The younger brother finds the flower, then lies down to sleep. Discovering him, the older brother kills him, takes the flower, and claims his prize.
Part II (Der Spielman/The Wandering Musician):
A musician wandering through the forest finds a gleaming bone and fashions a flute from it. When he plays his new instrument, it sings the tale of the murder. The minstrel decides he must seek out the queen.
Part III (Hochzeitsstück/Wedding Piece):
At the wedding feast for the queen and murderer‑knight, the minstrel plays his flute, which tells its tale. The new king seizes the flute and puts it to his own lips, where it accuses him directly. The queen faints, the guests flee, and the walls of the castle collapse.
1st Movement: Waldmärchen. Langsam und träumerisch 30:25
2nd Movement: Der Spielmann. Sehr gehalten 16:55
3rd Movement: Hochzeitsstück. Heftig bewegt 19:39
San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Marina Shaguch, soprano Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano Thomas Moser, tenor Sergei Leiferkus, baritone
Vance George, chorus director
San Francisco Symphony Chorus