4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful achievement by all concerned,
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This review is from: Mahler Symphony No. 3 (Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Claudio Abbado) [DVD]  [NTSC] (DVD)
Abbado has the enviable reputation of being one of the world's finest Mahler conductors. This has been further reinforced by his set of performances held at Lucerne with his hand-picked orchestra constituting the Lucerne Festival orchestra. This very large orchestra, apart from containing musicians of outstanding individual abilities, also lays great stress upon their empathy and experience with the world of chamber music. Thus is achieved the unusual combination of orchestral size allied to individual and corporate sensitivity. This suits Abbado's particular vision of Mahler.
In this symphony all these elements come together wonderfully well. The symphony itself is written on a particularly large scale and is in 6 movements, two of which add voices to the orchestral mix. The theme of the symphony is also vast as it contemplates Mahler's view of creation progressing from the `origins of all life' to his view of divinity via `the world of plants ... the animal kingdom ... the world of humans ... the world of angels' as the subject matter of the six movements. (Quotes are from the sleeve notes).
The sound world that Abbado achieves throughout this performance is typified by the final long climax of the work. This maintains an extraordinary translucency of texture as the peak slowly comes into view and is achieved. At no point do the added textures of instrumental colouring obscure anything that is currently present nor do they go on to dominate anything that is yet to be attained. As such this is a perfect example of the whole as a microcosm.
The generously spacious layout of the orchestra and choir allows the camera work to achieve equivalent sensitivity of detail as well as panoramic effect. The surround and stereo sound captures all of this with admirable lucidity.
In my opinion this is a clear contender for the full 5 stars and should give much pleasure and satisfaction to all purchasers of the recording.
Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:
I thought that you might like to know that before I buy a recording I now look through all the reviews to see if you have posted one. Your assessments and opinions are invaluable. Thank you. (US review)
I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)
I'm sure there are many other serious collectors, besides myself, who wait for your synopsis and opinion before spending their hard-earned money on new releases...
Keep up the good work!
Thank you (UK review)