Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / Alan Gilbert (BIS). The silken shimmer of the first movement’s central pastoral reverie with cowbells carefully distanced offers surprising relief. Lacking the ease and subtlety of the finest studio recordings, CSO Resound’s sound is immediate and suitably impactful once a higher-than-usual playback level is set. Five of the greatest recordings of Mahler’s monumental “Symphony of a Thousand”. As a result, he produced a recording of Mahler 8 with, perhaps, the best singing of this difficult music. Ludwig does that. Stephan Genz bar Roger Vignoles pf (Hyperion). His painting of the Faust scene is characteristically craggy, with the arrival of the Doctor’s heavenly escort prompting angelic high jinks far rougher and readier in tone than in some accounts.

Even where Abbado underplays the drama of the moment, a sufficient sense of urgency is sustained by a combination of well-judged tempi, marvellously graduated dynamics and precisely balanced, ceaselessly changing textures. Throughout it’s a very inward-looking performance, and in saying that one merely points to the fact that it is a very, very Viennese performance; in Vienna, Mahler’s Vienna or Maazel’s, introspection is an unavoidable condition of being. Not something you’ll likely find in Leonard Bernstein (a notable omission on this list), either, by the way. Now at last Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand can be heard on record at something approaching its full, expansive stature. The soloists are mic'd over the entire chorus and orchestra at critical moments. ), Mahler’s hymnic invocation swept all before it. True, the first movement is a bit muffled and orchestral details are occasionally hard to hear, but even here it is a compelling performance.

Michael Tilson Thomas's recording with the San Francisco Symphony, The Houston Symphony has a long history with the music of Gustav Mahler, including the Houston premier of his 8th symphony twenty years ago in 1994. Conductor and orchestra are served by a recorded sound that is superbly balanced and dynamic enough to encompass every aspect of the score. Indeed, the whole finale is an acoustic triumph. Lucerne Festival Orchestra / Claudio Abbado (Accentus) Recorded live 2010. Could Rattle be succumbing to the Karajan effect? Klemperer lays this music before you, even lays bare its soul by his simple method of steady tempi (too slow in the third song) and absolute textural clarity, but he doesn’t quite demand your emotional capitulation as does Walter (see below). Rather because of Bertrand de Billy, who has a knack for unmemorable performances and never developed much chemistry with this (or any other?) The strings only passage at fig. Although the orchestra is superb throughout, the vocalists in this recording are to be applauded as well. Weight in Jurowski’s reading does not necessarily mean sheer heft but rather the breadth of those big expansive ritenutos and tenutos. Miah Persson sop Christianne Stotijn mez Chicago Symphony Chorus and Orchestra / Bernard Haitink (CSO Resound).

The enthusiastic applause has been removed. Their strange, hallucinatory choppiness is better served, although parts of the fourth movement remain perplexing despite the superb crispness and clarity of inner parts. Of the alternatives, Haitink’s package has the fewest expressive distortions while Bernstein’s is the most ceaselessly emotive of them all; neither has Abbado’s particular combination of qualities. Not so much expectations of the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, although that’s admittedly a band that scores more points – when it scores ‘em – on inventive programming and not culture of sound. Perhaps. International licensing. He also guards against somnolence by sharper pointing of the music’s barcarolle-like rhythm. Then there are Leonard Bernstein's epic statements from New York, the earlier version still communicating a sense of awe at what is after all Mahler's largest single structure. Battle is simply perfect in the last movement. He doesn’t make life easy for his orchestra in the treacherous second movement, while the exultant finale, though suitably bracing, arguably needs more of a spring in its heels. Or at least that’s how I feel when Kubelik is on the podium. The really big factor here is Jurowski’s command of Mahler’s very particular and very dramatic way with rubato and the shock of newness that comes from those explicit extremes.

Mihoko Fujimura contralto Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott (Tudor). Instead, a trail is blazed for a visceral, even thuggish brand of music-making. That said, it’s all to the good if the forthright theatricality and competitive instincts of the Chicago orchestra are held in check just a little. We get the structure, the sound and the emotion. Arleen Augér (soprano - Symphony No. But there were persistent voices that hailed this performance – and indeed, it is better than much competition, strong on atmosphere. Today, 106 years ago, this work was premiered in Munich, by the orchestra that is now the Munich Philharmonic . 2: Lee Venora (soprano), Jennie Tourel (mezzo), Symphony No. ATTENTION MAHLERIANS: What's the best modern Mahler 6th recording? 3), Amanda Roocroft (soprano - Symphony No. Here’s a cast of conductors who deliver and even bowl you over.


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