February 01, 2024

OSM with Rafael Payare & Sonya Yoncheva to Explore Mahler & Strauss’ Late-Romantic Repertoire

Pentatone releases Strauss: Ein Heldenleben – Mahler: Rückert-Lieder, together with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Music Director Rafael Payare and superstar soprano Sonya Yoncheva, in March 2024.

Two Highly Personal Works By Fin De Siècle Giants 

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and its Music Director Rafael Payare extend their Pentatone discography with a recording of Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben and Gustav Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, performed by one of the foremost soprano of our time, Sonya Yoncheva.

At first blush, these works may not seem to form an obvious pairing. This is Strauss at his most exuberant, with an immense and richly coloured musical canvas, and Mahler at his most introspective, choosing the intimacy and inwardness of Friedrich Rückert’s poems, creating an array of different atmospheres through his bare yet varied orchestration. Nevertheless, in their eminently personal and autobiographical approach, both composers offer us their careful reflection on existence and on their place in the world.

Following their widely-acclaimed recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony (2023), Rafael Payare and the OSM further explore and shine in this late-Romantic repertoire.

“It has been a fascinating experience to explore this repertoire with the OSM. Reconnecting with Mahler while immersing ourselves in the sound world of Strauss marks an important milestone in our musical trajectory together and continues our shared journey through the German and Austrian repertoire. It is also our first collaboration with Sonya Yoncheva, whose extraordinary voice is blessed with an endless palette of expressive nuances and colours. We are very pleased to share with you the poetic and musical world of these two towering composers.”

Rafael Payare, OSM Music Director

“This new album, the second of our exclusive partnership with the OSM, is a remarkable testimony of the orchestra‘s journey under its new Music Director, Rafael Payare. I marvel at the many qualities of their Heldenleben, a lesson in sonic refinement, precision and warmth. Superstar soprano Sonya Yoncheva, in her Pentatone and Mahler debut, shows that artistic boundaries are often self-imposed and only call to be transcended. A tremendous achievement.”

Renaud Loranger, Vice-President Artists and Repertoire, PENTATONE

Digital Release Date: 15 MARCH 2024

Physical Release: MARCH 2024

Released as 1 standard CD and in digital formats for streaming and high-resolution downloads.