Mahler: Symphony No. 6

Mahler: Symphony No. 6

5.0 2
by Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
     
 

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In June 2004, Claudio Abbado returned to lead the Berlin Philharmonic in their first performance together since he ceded the post to Simon Rattle in 2002. While Rattle's Berlin recordings on EMI have also featured Mahler symphonies, most recently the Eighth, this excellent Sixth onSee more details below

Overview

In June 2004, Claudio Abbado returned to lead the Berlin Philharmonic in their first performance together since he ceded the post to Simon Rattle in 2002. While Rattle's Berlin recordings on EMI have also featured Mahler symphonies, most recently the Eighth, this excellent Sixth on Deutsche Grammophon -- the result of that reunion performance -- suggests that the orchestra is still just as responsive to its former leader's direction. It's not quite as sonically dazzling as some of EMI's Berlin releases, perhaps because Abbado's interpretive style is subtler than Rattle's. The opening of the first movement, for example, doesn't generate the spine-tingling thrill that some performances do. But 20 minutes later, as the movement marches toward its end, you can't help but remark upon the perfection of Abbado's pacing, the way he's managed to sweep you up into the music's inexorable flow. Details of orchestration are conveyed with wonderful transparency, especially in the Scherzo -- highlighted by Abbado and executed beautifully by the orchestra's solo players. Add to this an Andante of idyllic tenderness and a Finale that truly earns this symphony's unofficial nickname, the "Tragic," and you have a Sixth that can stand with distinction alongside any in the catalog.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
When at last it was revealed what Mahler's final intentions were regarding the ordering of the inner movements of his "Sixth Symphony," 90 years of theory, history, and performance practice went right out the window. For theorists, it altered the harmonic structure of Mahler's "A minor Symphony." For historians, it modified the meaning of Mahler's "Tragic Symphony." For players and conductors, it changed the musical progress of Mahler's "Sixth Symphony." For listeners, it made Mahler's deepest and darkest symphony even deeper and darker. With the achingly nostalgic Andante moderato now coming before the bitingly bitter Scherzo, the triumph of the opening Allegro energico sounds even more hollow and empty and the collapse of the closing Allegro moderato sounds even more final and total. For most of his career, Claudio Abbado had performed Mahler's "Sixth" in the then-standard ordering of Scherzo -- Andante and the results were completely convincing. But with this June 2004 recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, Abbado has adopted the Andante -- Scherzo ordering and the results are absolutely compelling. Abbado has always been one of the finest virtuoso conductors of the past half century, but his interpretations have grown more passionate over the years, even to the point of violence, and this "Sixth" may be the most violently passionate recording he has ever made. Indeed, the unrelenting intensity, unbearable concentration, and overwhelming power in Abbado's interpretation make it one of the most devastating performances of the work ever recorded. The Berlin plays with stunning virtuosity, tremendous dedication, and unconditional love. DG's sound is warm, clear, and real, but just a little bit distant.
Gramophone - David Gutman
[2006 Recording of the Year] I can't remember hearing a tauter, more refined performance than this, nor one that dispenses so completely with the heavy drapes of old-style Mahler interpretation.... An effortless, sometimes breathtaking transparency prevails.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/14/2005
Label:
Archiv Produktion
UPC:
0028947755739
catalogNumber:
000449102
Rank:
48041

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 6 in A minor ("Tragic")  - Gustav Mahler  - Claudio Abbado  - Christopher Alder  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Nikolaus Boddin
  2. Applause  -  Recorded Sound  - Christopher Alder  - Nikolaus Boddin

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