Customer Review

34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abbado new recording on Mahler ninth symphony, 27 Mar 2003
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.9 (Audio CD)
Recorded "live" at the Berlin Philharmonie Hall, September 1999 this is the last of three new Mahler releases on DG. All the recordings include the previous two, the 3rd and the 7th made "live" by Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Abbado new performance on the ninth is a really great one, different and special. Through the darkness lines he bring a real feeling of "dark lane" but he also find the "latent beauty" lines. In this way he seems closer to Horenstein LSO recording on BBC Legends (coupled with Mahler Kindertotenlieder) and to Zander Philharmonia recording on Telarc. Zander Adagio (the fourth movement) is about two minutes slower then Abbado, at 27'44" he is one of the length on record. Horenstein is also close to zander in his LSO recording for BBC Legends and even slower then Zander in his version for Music & Arts. Abbado is in the same class and he delivers the Adagio with great clarity. There is depth and sorrow and the feeling of being into the "edge". The Andante Comodo is impressively place by Aabbado; show understanding from highest order. Through the inner movements Abbado manage to build a strong basis to the Adagio. The Scherzo is gauged superbly and the amazing respond that the Berlin forces can offer brings a true feeling of exploring truth. The third movement Rondo Burleske is quite quick but since abbado has already achieved to put a strong momentum through the first two movements he doesn't lose even a slight of attention. Here also the strings shin beautifully.
The sound is close and well balanced so the instrumental details sound clearly. At times there are audience noises at the background (espeasily at the quietly passages) but they really don't interrupt. The reaction of audience themselves at the end of the performance edited in. A nearly full minute of silence in the hall, before they can put together their hands for the applause. The packaging is also includes a fine essay on the work by Habakuk Traber.
This is a stunning performance; to be ranked alongside Zander with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Horenstein with the LSO, Haitink with the Concertaebouw Orchestra, Barbirolli with the Berlin Philharmonic now re-issue by Emi on "Great Recording Of The Century" series, and Leonard Bernstein also with the Berlin Philharmonic.
This new recording belong to every mahlerian shelf. It should also rated has one of the essential recordings of Mahler 2002 releases.
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H. Granot
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Location: Ein Dor, Israel

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