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A Great Viewing Experience,
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.9 [DVD]  [NTSC] (DVD)
I have been familiar with Mahler's 9th Symphony since the late 1960s when I bought Solti's version recorded on Decca with the London Symphony. That version I loved, and it is a pity that it is no longer available. However, a couple of years back I managed to purchase a copy of the famous Barbirolli recording on CD courtesy of EMI, and that was an extraordinary achievement, difficult to surpass I would imagine.
Having viewed Abbado's version of Mahler's 5th Symphony recorded with the Lucerne Festival orchestra recently, encouraged by positive reviews I decided to purchase this version.
I am glad I did, for although Abbado takes a much slower tempo than Barbirolli, Solti, even Berstein, I enjoyed it tremendously. The picture quality is absolutely outstanding for a blu-ray edition and cannot be faulted. I must admit though, as far as the audio is concerned, i did have difficulty with certain parts of the work, having to turn up the volume substantially, most particularly during the final bars of the first movement, and also the final bars of the Adagio which contains some of the most haunting music ever composed by any composer. Dimming the lights was something I had never experienced in a concert before, it certainly enhanced my experience of watching this on my Home Cinema.
It is not surprising that Abbado and the orchestra were given a standing ovation, for overall it was a great viewing experience.
Movie buffs will I am sure have spotted that fine Swiss actor Bruno Ganz (Downfall; The Reader; Unknown) in the audience. He certainly seems to have enjoyed the concert like everyone else who was there, an unforgettable night for all.