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Mahler: Symphony No. 6
 
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Mahler: Symphony No. 6

8 April 2008 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity Prime  
30
1
21:59
30
2
13:53
30
3
12:34
30
4
28:44
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 8 April 2008
  • Release Date: 8 April 2008
  • Label: LSO Live
  • Copyright: 2008 London Symphony Orchestra Ltd
  • Total Length: 1:17:10
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001L65I5Y
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,303 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Here we have the advantage of a great orchestra conducted by a leading conductor of the day who has a well-earned reputation. The symphony itself starts with an urgent speeded-up march that makes you think you're late for your own funeral which is waiting for you in the fourth movement. The second subject known as 'Alma's theme' gives some blessed respite and, in my view, also a feeling of redemption. You can easily imagine that during a dark mood, Mahler found comfort in his wife Alma and the expression of that in the second subject temporarily relieves the all pervading gloom. After a little further relief in the second movement's andante we are faced the all pervading sence of doom of the third and fourth movements. This work is not for those who expect the kind of uplifting finale's provided in the second, third and eighth symphonies.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a magnificent orchestra! The LSO play like musicians possessed and at even the highest speed still manage to inflect the music with interesting phrasing. Also, the recording is pretty good for live at the Barbican. I wonder how many performances were used to splice together the music and how many extra takes were necessary? As it is, I detect a growing security with the music as the disc plays through the movements and this is what one expects from live performance: an orchestra has to warm up and settle in a performance. But it could be that different takes on different nights were used.

The huge problem for me is the fast music in the First Movement. This is almost as fast as I have ever heard it presented and the result is exciting but somehow misses something of the gravitas of the music. This is a MARCH and Mahler marked it "Allegro energico, ma non troppo - Heftig aber markig" which translates as "Energetically lively, BUT NOT TOO MUCH - Heavy but powerful" (my emphasis). Play it at the speed that Gergiev chooses and the "heavy power" becomes hectoring and indeed, during the recapitulation at 18.37 and following, frantic and hysterical. The "nocturnal" cow-bell passage from 11.10 to 14.16 is, on the contrary, played with exemplary tenderness and nostalgia. For me the contrast is too much. You can get an idea of how fast the music is from comparing the following timings for the first movement. Overall this disc is the second fastest I have come across and the list is in descending order of speed:
Kubelik DGG 21.07
Gergiev LSO Live 21.59
Boulez DGG 23.06
Bernstein DGG 23.08
Eschenbach Ondine 23.34
Tennstedt HMV 23.36
Bertini HMV 24.04
Gielen Hansler 24.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The title of this review is important; it's not my own but that of the LSO's own programmes for Gergiev's cycle of Mahler's symphonies. This is not Mahler's Mahler. Gergiev has stamped his every being on to this work. His finger print (or, more accurately, his clunking fist, to borrow a phrase) is there to hear: rapid, rigid tempi, brash brass and superficial drama. He is one of those conductors that reaches his emotional peak early on and has nothing left. The CD tells us that this was recorded 'live' at the Barbican in November 2007. Having listened to the Radio broadcast and compared it with this recording it is clear that most of it comes from a recording of the rehearsal, rather than the concert performance. There's nothing wrong with this as it removes coughs and other audience noise.

His disregard for the opening's 'ma mon troppo' qualification may sound, to some, as daring and full of vigour, but it's certainly not what Mahler had in mind and it robs it of its sense of a man trudging against the wind and rain: it's too easy. This is a difficult work, and it should sound like a journey that is not at all easy (excepting the interludes that attempt to bring us back to calm earth, but never really do). Two conductors seemed to manage this so well: Horenstein and Barbirolli. It is obvious that Gergiev has a plan for the architecture of the symphony, and of all of Mahler's symphonies, this one is his most 'symphonic', which yields positive results, it is just that the journey falters. The final movement's musical landscape is perhaps the most successful. I was exhausted after listening to it, with that final outburst subsiding in to the abyss so starkly.

In the end, for a first Mahler 6 I would recommend other recordings (Abbado with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in 2006 is the best of modern recordings) and then have a go at this one. After all, it is rather cheap and the sound recording is superb.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Gergiev's live Barbican recording of Mahler's 6th Symphony has one thing going for it - he gets it wrapped up in 77 minutes, which is a clear ten minutes quicker than some, if the enclosed booklet is to be believed. It does not appear to rush to shave those minutes off, and the LSO plays precisely and enthusiastically. The disc has the excitement that comes with a live recording, with a refreshing freedom from background noise. Having been brought up on Karajan and the BPO, it would take something special to displace that from first place, and this isn't it. The opening is handled well, and the andante is controlled, but the finale is marked allegro moderato and this performance seemed to me to drift. Rather than Karajan's studied stateliness and steady cranking up of tension, Gergiev goes for wistfulness and passion. Granted, this may be more unreservedly passionate than Karajan, and that has an appeal of its own. It is perfectly possible that romantics may prefer Gergiev's less obviously crafted approach. It's a respectable recording and worth hearing; but I doubt that I shall take it out very often for repeated play.

One small gripe: neither the CD liner nor the box sleeve has a track listing. If listeners know the piece this may be no problem, but since one of the LSO's avowed aims is to attract a new audience to classical music, a bit more information so they know where they are would have been welcome.
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