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Posted October 1, 2010
The Berliner Phliharmoniker are since several decades now THE authority when it comes Gustav Mahler's seminal autumnal post-romantic master piece, his ninth symphony. Rattle's and his Berliner's new reading here is a very good one indeed - no doubt. EMI's sound recording is second to none, as a matter of fact this CD has some the best sonorics and resulutions ever from their entire Rattle cataloque. All movements are exquisite: The tender opening of the Andante comodo, the Laendler is being performing with an almost sunny Dolomitian or South Tirolian charme "Mahler wrote this symphony while on vacation in South Tirol, now Italy", the Rondo-Burleske shows some of Sir Simon's love for detail thus his tempi are not too pushy, except in the finale, where he really lets the Berliner loose... the crown jewel however remains the Adagio, where an unusually earhtly warmth transcends almost every bar, and here is where the real difference lies between what I personally would call a five star recording and a very good four star one: Take the Karajan '82, and you are in a symphonic heaven with etheral and eternal beauty, there is fire there, heroism, drama, creation, optimism. Take Rattle, and you are more organic, more "biological", with a finite life. So while for me Karajan's historic '82 live recording remains the last word and is from the heavens, with all it's beauty and all it's fire and fury, Rattle's is more down to earth, extending the "Lied von der Erde", and anticipating the Mahler's 10th... And then of course there Lenny B. , with his historic Berlin recording from '79... So here my list: 1" Karajan Live 1982 - expensive, but worth every cent 2" Shared by Rattle' new account, and Bernstein's courageous attempt to tame the Berliner's in his only performance with them... PS: Some people like Abbado's account, but I don't...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.