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Mahler - Symphony No 6 (LSO Jansons) CD

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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Aug. 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Lso Live
  • ASIN: B0000AM6OM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,665 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 6 in A minor 'Tragic': I. Allegro energico, ma non troppo23:04Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 6 in A minor 'Tragic': II. Andante moderato15:19Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 6 in A minor 'Tragic': III. Scherzo: Wuchtig12:54Album Only

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 6 in A minor 'Tragic': IV. Sostenuto - Allegro energico30:41Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

Mahler said that his sixth symphony expressed 'the cruelties I have suffered and the pains I've felt.' Few symphonies have captured emotions with such brutal perfection, nor been so prophetic.

Mariss Jansons's performances of the symphony were truly revelatory events, greeted with unanimous critical and public acclaim. The recording is his first release on LSO Live.


'a magical disc ... highly polished' -- Classic FM Magazine (UK)

'Has sweep and scope and is superbly played ... highly recommended.' -- The Guardian (UK)

'Mariss Jansons and the LSO are a formidable team ... a real gem' -- The Scotsman (UK)

'A sensational Mahler Sixth' EDITOR'S CHOICE -- Gramophone Magazine, October, 2003

'This performance of Mahler's Sixth...garnered rave reviews ...Jansons draws out all the music's profundity of thought' -- Daily Telegraph (UK)

'a magical disc' -- Classic FM Magazine, September 2003

'a superlative account' -- Sunday Times, July 27, 2003

'highly recommended' -- The Guardian, August 8, 2003

'superb' -- The Observer, August 17, 2003

EDITOR'S CHOICE -- Gramophone Magazine (UK)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Aug. 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a sensation. These two very inexpensive discs capture a brilliant concert performance of Mahler 6 that fully deserves the rave newspaper reviews it drew in November 2002. All the hallmarks of a good Jansons performance are here: freshness, drive, spontaneity and clarity. The LSO, too, is on superb form, playing with great energy, precision and heart. Some may feel that other conductors characterise Mahler's grotesquerie more emphatically, but throughout Jansons is perceptive and hugely committed. Beautifully recorded, with a characteristically good programme note from Stephen Johnson, 'LSO Live' surely has a classic recording on its hands. All involved should be heaped in praise.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MLP on 20 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording received very good reviews from the press, but, as good as the LSO and Jansons are, the engineered sound is unbearably close and dry, with a complete lack of space around the instruments. Considering this is a live recording, it sounds more like the orchestra is playing in a small carpeted studio.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
No point waiting for Sanderling now! 27 Oct. 2004
By Martin Selbrede - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having a handful of versions of each Mahler symphony, I wanted to acquire an additional modern recording of the 6th to expand my collection. Reviews of the Sanderling reading were uniformly great (excepting the few who complained that he conducted Mahler as if it were Shostakovich). I placed that order on Amazon -- and waited-- month after month -- and the delivery date kept getting pushed out farther. As a stopgap measure, I decided to try the Jansons version with the LSO (having been VERY impressed with his reading of Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances), and found this live recording to be an overwhelming experience in all particulars. I decisively cancelled the Sanderling order with a clear conscience. As a deeply powerful reading of Mahler's Sixth that traverses its entire arc of nuances, one can only say of this LSO Live release, "Game over, man!" FYI, there should be a "Woofer Advisory" sticker on the CD: the first hammerblow knocks your teeth out.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A welcome respite from the recent flurry of overindulgent Mahler Sixths 15 Aug. 2009
By Prescott Cunningham Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a very fine Mahler Sixth, a recording that is certainly justifiable as part of the Tonhalle's ongoing cycle of the Mahler Symphonies. However, this performance could not have been released at a worse time. I the last decade, there have been more Mahler Sixths than even the most die-hard Mahler fans (and there are many) could possible listen, including (but certainly not limited to) the following: Michael Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony in 2001; Christophe Eschenbach in Philadelphia; James Levine in Boston; Ivan Fischer with the Budapest Festival Orchestra; Haitink (again) in Chicago; Abbado (again) with Berlin; the London Symphony Orchestra twice - once with Mariss Jansons and again with Valery Gergiev; Mariss Jansons (again) with the Concertgebouw; Benjamin Zander with the Philharmonia; and Lorin Maazel with the Philharmonic. And these recordings are only in the last ten years, to make nothing of the now classic recordings of Mahler by the likes of Bernstein, Haitink, Tennstedt, Gielen, Inbal, and Chailly to name just a few. So it seems rather silly to compare Zinman's interpretation to the competition; rather, understanding Zinman's interpretive point of view is much more instructive.

Listeners that like their Mahler to sweat blood and tears may find Zinman's approach somewhat "dried eyed," for lack of a more appropriate term. His horns don't wail and wallow in lachrymose, the winds don't screech and scream, and the brass as a whole is kept firmly in check by Zinman's steady hand. However, Zinman's succeeds with his keen intent on presenting Mahler as a symphonist. Mahler was aware of his important position in music history, as the last great symphonist of a tradition begun by Haydn. Zinman understands this and his interpretations are less about superficial details than on architectural scope, shaping movements rather than moments, and driving towards climaxes with unfaltering concentration. Thus, Zinman's first movement sounds more "classical" than many, but it is Zinman's ability to shape the music and maintain concentration throughout that makes the movement as a whole more satisfying than recordings by conductors that may indulge in histrionics. This holds true for the magnificent andante (placed second), which is handled as a true andante, flowing magnificently under Zinman's baton. The alpine episodes balance bucolic charm and stormy excitement quite well while the great climax is satisfying both emotionally and musically (cow bells fully audible), leading to the movement's touching close. The Scherzo (placed third) is reasonably paced which allows Zinman to elicit some truly gruesome sounds from the orchestra. In the trio, Zinman capture's Mahler's cheeky humor while still maintaining a sense of child-like simplicity (Alma said the trio was a musical depiction of children at play, although whether that is true or not remains questionable).

It is in the finale, however, that Zinman really delivers, from the portentous introduction to the allegro, benefited greatly by clearly etched bass lines, reinforced by some superb tuba playing. Zinman's phrasing and sense of architectural scope is quite magnificent; listen to how the development moves towards each hammerblow with march-like intensity of how Zinman maintains excitement without sacrificing textural clarity. The recapitulation further builds tension, with each thematic reoccurrence tempered with added gravitas, leading to a satisfying coda and conclusion.

If I liked this release perhaps more than I should have, forgiving Zinman's failure to dramatize climaxes or the general dynamic ceiling pervading the performance as a whole, I found Zinman's refusal to make the performance about anything other than the music refreshing. With so many conductors adding unnecessary rubatto, creating false excitement through vulgar tempos shifts or indulgent dynamic extremes, Zinman focus on architecture, melodic line, and on presenting a cogent, cognizant symphonic soundworld is a welcome respite from the hundreds of recordings that create superficial excitement by taking every interpretive pit-stop, forsaking the musical journey as a whole. For those that like fire and brimstone, Zinman's Mahler will seem too cool and even-tempered. But for those who are looking for a satisfying and magnificently presented performance that from start to finish has a clear interpretive point of view, Zinman's Sixth (and the cycle as a whole for that matter) will be a pleasant surprise.

Sonics throughout are wonderful, clear, and the engineers have captured the capacious sound of the Tonhalle wonderfully, both in stereo and SACD. The orchestra is equally magnificent, violins antiphonally placed, violas left, cellos and bases right.

On a final note, I would also like to commend RCA for its recent reemergence as a leading source of quality classical recordings. After a disastrous 80s and 90s, BMG's merger with Sony has seen improvements for both labels, but especially for RCA, which has produced a small, but immeasurably satisfying catalogue in the last five years, from a reference Paris Symphonies Set from Harnoncourt, fabulous violin recordings from Nikolaj Znaider, and Paavo Jarvi's brilliant and awe inspiring Beethoven cycle with the Deutshe Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Bravo!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
among the best, in my opinion 20 Mar. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I hadn't reviewed Zinman's Mahler 6 previously because I chose to review his "Going Against Fate" dvd instead. I would still urge anyone who's truly fascinated with Mahler's demonic 6th symphony to check that out, regardless of what you might think of Zinman as a Mahler "interpreter" (hate that word). Mr. Moore has already done a very good job of giving a play-by-play account (or blow-by-blow in the finale). Again, it really helps if you turn these Zinman/RCA recordings way up. If you do so, not only will you find the balances pretty much exemplary between all four sections of the orchestra (strings/woodwinds/brass/percussion), but you'll find that the two hammer-strokes have plenty of visceral impact.

This performance is given in andante/scherzo order, which many claim is unarguably correct (I'm not so convinced, based on purely musical issues). In this case, that's a good thing. Why? . . because Zinman takes the "andante moderato" marking for the slow movement at face value - clocking in a bit less than 14 minutes - while minimizing contrasts of tempi in the scherzo movement. In other words, he takes the scherzo proper a bit slower than usual (yet, sufficiently emphatic), while also keeping the numerous trio sections from dragging. I, for one, do think that the scherzo could have used a tad more contrast between sections. But placed third in the line-up of movements, it works quite well. Unlike another reviewer here, I think the finale is darn near ideal. Again, you need to turn it way up - especially if you're listening in SACD mode.

So, if you're in need of something that's more of a subjective "interpretation" (yet, has great playing and great sound too), I would direct you towards the weird yet powerful Eschenbach/Philly Mahler 6 from Ondine. But, if you also view Mahler 6 as an overgrown Haydn "sturm und drang" symphony (his predominately minor keyed period) on steroids; yet, you need to hear it in andante/scherzo order, I think it would be hard to do better than this. For me, this is truly a keeper (along with about 7 other Mahler 6 recordings!). For me, it has both more heft and clarity than the otherwise very fine Abbado/Berlin Phil. Mahler 6 from DG.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Very ordinary on all counts 4 Sept. 2009
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When David Zinman began his cycle of flavorless, colorless, and odorless Mahler, I was dismayed that Amazon reviewers actually preferred it to the kind of passionate music-making that is the essence of Mahler's whole life and meaning. (I aim barbs at the Gramophone, but in this case they got it right when their reviewer declared about an earlier Zinman installment that this doesn't even begin to be a Mahler interpretation.) The hallmarks of Zinman's approach are in evidence here: low-key emotions, bland attacks, lack of drama, smooth phrasing. If that's your idea of Mahler, I can't dissuade you. But if you are new to Mahler, I hope you seek out the truly great or at least provocative Mahler Sixths from Bernstein, Karajan, Levine, Abbado, Tennstedt -- including Tennstedt's new one with the London Phil. in concert -- and Gergiev. Many old hands would add Barbirolli to this list, but I can't agree with his very broad pacing in the first movement. Barbirolli is nothing if not passionate, though. And if a cooler temperature is wanted, Szell and Boulez far exceed what's heard here.

If, on the other hand, you prefer this innocuous reading from Zinman, with so-so playing from the Zurich Tonhalale orchestra and nice sonics from RCA/BMG, what you've chosen is the ordinary instead of the extraordinary. A pity.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Jansons is perplexing in the Mahler Sixth 10 Aug. 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Mariss Jansons must be the only conductor to have recorded the Mahler Sixth live not once but twice. Besides this LSO Live reading there's a new SACD performance with Jansons' current orchestra, the Concertgebouw. Since it's British, this CD got a good review in the Gramophone, but in actuality it's a very odd, even perplexing performance. Why Jansons views Mahler's "Tragic" symphony as a lightweight affair is beyond me. Textures are glib and glossy throughout. The Scherzo sounds perky and clipped. The moving Andante, which is basically foolproof, glides by inconsequentially. The LSO seems lackluster as well, which isn't surprising--they aren't asked to stretch at all.

If this profound music means so little to Janosons, why does he keep recording it? The two outer movements, which are the heart and viscera of the Sixth, find him willing to dig in a little more, but the opening march in the finale feels completely limp--maybe Jansons is trying to correct Bernstein's excessive passion (as he sees it). In all, if you happen to want a breezy Mahler Sixth, this CD is as close as you'll ever get, I imagine.
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