I was at the Philharmonie on 4th June 2004, and was privileged to witness first-hand the extraordinary alchemy which flared between Abbado and the BPO in this recording of Mahler 6, thrillingly captured by the DG engineers. Perhaps the battle with cancer had intensified Abbado's engagement with music he had previously perhaps held somewhat at arm's length? Perhaps his awareness of his own mortality had pushed him to penetrate more deeply into the psychodrama of the work? Who knows, and frankly, who cares? This is one of those priceless performances which thankfully is preserved on disc for us. The playing of the BPO is a throwback to the glorious Klang of its '70s heyday, the piercing insights of the interpretation are unforgiving, and the end result is an immolation of the spirit. The torment of the Agony In The Garden, the solace of Michelangelo's Pieta, and the pitiless brutality of the end of Don't Look Now coalesce in this transcendent and unflinching performance. The poetry and the pity. 5 stars at a stroll.
This is a powerful and wonderfully crafted live performance of 6th by Abbado. It is not wild and raw-emotion performance of Bernstein or Tennstedt, but very eloquent one with noble dignity. The slow movement is sublime. The last hammer blow has amazing weight and impact. Beautifully and expansively recorded.
Firstly i dont like Mahler. Total contridiction you say. However i heard this played on a classical radio station and was immediatly blown away. I love it it is brilliantly written and, i played it 3 times in a row. A wonderful piece of music and i wish i had heard it earlier in my live because i would have bought it earlier. Its great.