I grew up with the one available recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Now there are over two dozen, but the new DG recording stands apart. Pierre Boulez, whose recent drift toward a warmer kind of romanticism than had been his wont seems beyond rational explanation (or the need to explain), draws from his unlikely partnership with the Vienna Philharmonic a performance miraculous in its range of both color and passion. Here is the orchestra put on Earth to play this music; that much is a given. That Boulez now seems the man of his generation put on Earth to conduct it — to plumb its every depth of passion, sorrow and loneliness — may be more surprising, but it’s what I hear in this superlative disc. His soloists are Violetta Urmana and Michael Schade, and that too is remarkable. Both are singers light of voice and phrasing, more of Mozart’s century than the late 19th. Hearing them in perfect balance against Mahler’s daunting orchestra, thanks I’m sure to somebody’s knowing touch at the volume controls, endows the music with a range of emotion, but also of intimacy, that I can’t remember ever encountering, live or on disc. (Oh yes, once, at Kathleen Ferrier’s New York debut with Bruno Walter and the Philharmonic.) Perhaps you already own dozens of Das Lieds; believe me, you need this one as well.