Mahler: Symphony No. 9

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

by Claudio Abbado
     
 

Two of the most famous recordings of Mahler's Ninth Symphony were made live in Berlin: the first conducted by Leonard Bernstein in 1979, the other by Herbert von Karajan just three years later. It is difficult to imagine more divergent interpretations -- Bernstein's angst-ridden ferocity andSee more details below

Overview

Two of the most famous recordings of Mahler's Ninth Symphony were made live in Berlin: the first conducted by Leonard Bernstein in 1979, the other by Herbert von Karajan just three years later. It is difficult to imagine more divergent interpretations -- Bernstein's angst-ridden ferocity and Karajan's unsentimental incandescence. Now, here is a third concert version featuring the awesome Berlin orchestra, and it combines some of the best qualities of its illustrious predecessors. Grittier than Karajan's though less emotionally extravagant than Bernstein's, Claudio Abbado's version is still as gut-wrenching as it should be, yet there is immense dignity, too. Certainly the orchestra has grown into the work over the years, and their sound is intensely vibrant and richly nuanced. The microphone placement seems close -- perhaps to counteract audience noise in the very quiet passages at the work's end -- but that sense of immediacy is thrilling in the knotty counterpoint of the two inner movements. And those final pages are breathtaking as the glorious Berlin strings whittle their plush sound down to a dying breath. One might question DG's decision to include the applause at the end, but hearing 40 seconds of stunned silence before the audience was able to put their hands together is actually quite moving and adds to the experience.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times - James R. Oestreich
Exquisite.... The ending has a quiet intensity that is simply unrivaled, even in Karajan's superb late performances of the work.
BBC Music Magazine - David Nice
Even in a Mahler symphony, there are limits of tonal impact, dynamic detail, and articulation beyond which no one can hope to go, and in Abbado's latest live recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic, they seem to have been triumphantly reached.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/11/2002
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028947162421
catalogNumber:
471624

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 9 in D major  - Gustav Mahler  - Claudio Abbado  - Christopher Alder  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Nikolaus Boddin
  2. Applause  -  Recorded Sound  - Claudio Abbado  - Christopher Alder  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Nikolaus Boddin

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