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Customer Review

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 21 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Klaus Tennstedt: The Complete Mahler Recordings (Audio CD)
Having a vast Mahler collection already with at least 5 full symphony cycles plus numerous individual recordings I didn't really need one more, but apart from Symphony No. 4 I had never heard Tennstedt in Mahler, so I was curious and obtained this set at the absolute bargain price that it is sold for now. Every symphony on this set is a special event! They really come alive, it's impossible to describe in words, but they really "lift off" with Tennstedt. I have heard so many new details with these recordings, he is a master of clearly distinguishing between which instrument has the leading voice and which doesn't, so it's not all played in forte or mezzoforte as with so many conductors, but there are so many fine nuances in this finely woven carpet of sounds. The tempi are excellent, allowing the rich orchestration to really shine when needed but also playing down those passages which have little musical material. Symphonies 5, 6 & 7 are especially beautiful. In No. 5 the Adagietto - surely an over-played piece - finally comes alive like I have never heard it before! It's slow, but so wonderfully phrased, it becomes the centre of gravity for the whole symphony. The finale is swift and light, not the heavy and loud beast that it's usually played as. And rightly so, the content is lighter and his way of playing perfectly fits to the slow Adagietto. So, finally Mahler is played in a truly symphonic way, the music develops, there is a true construction of the musical material, one phrase building on another.

This one is a no-brainer, get it for a very special experience! I'd probably go as far as saying that if you ever wanted one cycle only, this would be it. (Well, apart maybe from adding Symphony No. 9 with Bernstein and the Berlin Philharmonic, which is a class of its own.) This is far better than the already excellent Rattle/Birmingham cycle or Rattle's latest instalments with the Berlin Philharmonic. They are worlds apart and I'd give Tennstedt my preference.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Dec 2011 22:32:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Dec 2011 22:33:43 GMT
Gengler says:
Well, I do concur about the Bernstein/Berlin addition - and perhaps Horenstein 8
(Tripod, eh?)

Posted on 6 Jan 2013 20:13:20 GMT
Thanks a bunch Tripod. I am trying to clear shelf space and you are forcing me to clutter it up again! Damn! Fine review though. Tom.
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