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Classical - Released May 28, 2021 | Bayerische Staatsoper Recordings

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“If one sought a musical manifestation of all the painful experiences and tragic failures of European history in the early 20th century, it would be impossible to overlook the symphonies of Gustav Mahler. Here, there is no harmony where discord is more fitting. Here, life cries out, with all the conflict and joy it prof-fers humanity. In their performances, Kirill Petrenko and the Bayerisches Staats-orchester have enabled these experiences to resonate in remarkable fashion. What better way to launch the Bayerische Staatsoper’s new label than with this outstanding live concert recording”. (Nikolaus Bachler, General Manager, Bayerische Staatsoper) Kirill Petrenko, general music director of the Bayerische Staatsoper from 2013 until 2020, conducts Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 – a pinnacle of the symphonic repertoire in a dramatic interpretation. This is the first audio-recording with Kirill Petrenko as chief conductor of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester. © Bayerische Staatsoper Recordings
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Classical - Released January 22, 2021 | Accentus Music

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Some orchestras more than others reveal with natural acuity the sonic and poetic imagination of a composer. For Mahler, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra seems the ideal instrument. Something very deep in the textures of this orchestra invariably sets it apart: the acoustic space always seems wider than the senses might suggest; the sound takes the time to live, in the moment and in its extension. The orchestra immediately moves Mahler's world away from a post-romanticism that diminishes him, and likewise it declines to plunge him into excessive modernity. This is not Klemperer, Bernstein or Boulez. This is a very singular world, whose rhetoric is really nourished by the freedom granted to each timbre, and by the combination of what makes them unique. In concert, the experience remains as memorable as it is breathtaking. Parisians for example had the chance, in February 2019, to hear the Third Symphony at the Philharmonie by the same artists, then on tour, at an evening performance recorded by France Musique. Musical director of the Bamberger Symphoniker since 2016, the excellent Jakub Hrůša, always concerned with balance, lets the orchestra flourish and open like a flower, with multiple layers, while making sure to keep the line flowing. In this regard, Ruhevoll is a moment of pure beauty, unheard of sensitivity, with phrasing, polyphonic balances – the opening theme! If you really like Mahler, you cannot miss this absolutely essential, immersive journey into the heart of nature. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 9, 2020 | harmonia mundi

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Known for her brilliant work in Mozart’s roles, the German soprano Christiane Karg also excels in Puccini (Musetta in La Bohème), Richard Strauss (Zdenka in Arabella) and even in the title role of Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. This “Erinnerung” (Memory) recital is dedicated to a selection of Lieder by Gustav Mahler, drawn largely from his vast collection of popular songs from the Knaben Wunderhorn, some early compositions, and the Rückert-Lieder - one of the composer’s most accomplished cycles.On piano, his long-standing partner Malcom Martineau is an ideal match. He wonderfully modulates his sound to match the singer’s every intention. The final two pieces in this recording are unusual for the fact that he hands the piano over to the composer himself! Gustav Mahler has indeed “recorded” his compositions (such as Ich ging mit Lust and the famous Das himmlische Leben which closes Symphony No. 4) on perforated card for a Welte-Mignon system.Approached on a modern keyboard, the Welte-Mignon’s automatic articulated fingers reproduce Mahler’s tempo, intentions and, to some extent, touch. It’s obviously not a perfect replication, but Christiane Karg’s considerable effort to follow his tortuous rhythm is tremendously moving. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 5, 2021 | BIS

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Left unfinished at the death of the composer, Gustav Mahler's Tenth Symphony has exerted an enormous fascination on musicologists as well as musicians – a kind of Holy Grail of 20th-century music. Recognized as an intensely personal work, it was initially consigned to respectful oblivion, but over the years, Alma Mahler, the composer’s widow, released more and more of Mahler’s sketches for publication, and gradually it became clear that he had in fact bequeathed an entire five-movement symphony in short score (i.e. written on three or four staves). Of this, nearly half had reached the stage of a draft orchestration, while the rest contained indications of the intended instrumentation. Over the years a number of different completions or performing versions of ‘the Tenth’ have seen the light of day. One of the most often performed and recorded of these is that by Deryck Cooke. Cooke himself insisted that his edition was not a ‘completion’ of the work, but rather a functional presentation of the materials as Mahler left them. Cooke’s performing version of the symphony is the one that Osmo Vänskä has chosen to use for the seventh installment in his and the Minnesota Orchestra’s "Mahler series", a cycle characterized by an unusual transparency and clarity of sound as well as musical conception. © BIS Records
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Classical - Released January 1, 1972 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Aside from his sensational Wagner Ring cycle, if one recording in Georg Solti's catalog bears repeated reissues, it must be his truly legendary rendition of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 in E flat major, "Symphony of a Thousand," a captivating performance that was unmatched in its day and one that still holds its own against later releases. This 1971 recording is especially worth considering because of its unequaled octet of singers -- sopranos Heather Harper, Lucia Popp, and Arleen Augér, contraltos Yvonne Minton and Helen Watts, tenor René Kollo, baritone John Shirley-Quirk, and bass Martti Talvela -- whose ecstatic voices are set against three great Viennese choirs and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing its absolute best. Such a confluence of talent under Solti's baton certainly makes this version desirable, but what makes it fascinating to hear is the stunning mastering, which brings out all of this magnificent recording's refined details, spatial depth, and dynamic power, making it an even more compelling listening experience than it was on vinyl. This extraordinary recording is not only highly recommended, it is mandatory for all serious Mahlerians. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 7, 2021 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Symphonies - Released October 26, 2018 | Sony Classical

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With Symphony No.6 in A Minor "Tragic" written in 1904 (the title, for once, is not a publisher's gimmick, but was indeed given by Mahler in the programme for the first performance in Vienna in 1906), Mahler almost returns to the classical symphony format; we find more voices in the score (a technique that he had already used in No. 5) and a four-movement structure (whereas No. 5 was articulated in five movements thrown into three "parts", with the absence of a programme or philosophical content). Admittedly, the orchestra remains huge, with four woodwinds, eight horns, and six trumpets, not to mention an impressive arsenal of percussion instruments including alpine bells, hammer and xylophone, which he never used elsewhere; in this respect, Mahler contributed to putting an end to the late romantic trend of gigantic works for titanic orchestras. It must be said that the last movement, which lasts at least half an hour, is of a truly tragic expression with its indelible darkness. This frightened the critics, who found the work somewhat bloated. It is therefore up to the conductor to make the score as transparent as possible, the contrapuntal lines readable and the orchestral colours perceptible through the orchestral immensity. Equipped with his MusicAeterna, Teorod Currentzis embarks on the adventure. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 18, 2006 | Naxos

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Even though Gustav Mahler's vast Symphony No. 8 in E flat major, "Symphony of a Thousand," is the most difficult of his works to mount -- with an expanded orchestra, an organ, eight vocal soloists, boys choir, two large adult choirs, and an off-stage brass ensemble, it outstrips even the massive instrumentation used in the Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection" -- it has become one of the most frequently recorded of the cycle. Indeed, its increased popularity is due in part to the greater availability of recordings of the work. This Naxos recording by Antoni Wit and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, augmented by various singers and choirs, is one in a long list of perfectly acceptable renditions, though like most, it is not ideal in every respect. Some slight coordination problems between the choirs and the orchestra make the Veni, Creator Spiritus seem a little loose in the tutti passages; and the the vocal solos and ensemble passages are given too much rubato, specifically at "Infirma nostri corporis" and "Da gaudiorum praemia," an effect that breaks the movement's momentum. Part II bears these affecting touches better, since the final scene from Faust amounts to a sacred opera in Wit's interpretation, and such flexible pacing is a time-honored post-Romantic mannerism. On the whole, this performance is enthusiastic and polished, and there are no dull stretches or major mistakes to complain about; for a good recording to study the piece, this double-disc will fill the bill nicely, especially at the affordable price. The sound quality is fine throughout, and many of the orchestral niceties missed on other releases come through quite clearly. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

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Symphonic Music - Released February 7, 2011 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released April 30, 2021 | Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

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Among the ten Mahler symphonies via eight conductors that the Berlin Philharmonic has released this year on its own label – captured at various points over the past decade – their 2017 account of No. 9 with Bernard Haitink is undoubtedly one of its highlights. No wonder, perhaps, when Haitink has been known for his Mahler ever since he contributed to his home country's Mahler renaissance from the early 1960s, as Chief Conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Back to the Berliners, with whom his relationship is equally a longstanding and close one, and you know you're in for a treat right from the off: lucid textures filling the Philharmonie's warmly analytical space; endless long lines; the sheen and polish of the strings, first appearing meltingly soft before graduating to a searing luminosity, matched by equally searing, burnished brass; climaxes for which “searing” is again the word, turning on a pin from radiant to shattering, and delivered with a devastating intensity and forwards propulsion; the simple dignity of the first violin's solo at the recapitulation, all the more affecting for its emotional restraint. From the central two movements there's then a constantly shifting blend of elegance and rustic edge, intimate in pointe chamber playing and hard-voiced tutti power, and multi-shaded humour and hysteria. The woodwind's town band impressions are on the sophisticated end of the scale, but that's no bad thing, and the glossy acidic bite and semi-hysteria the strings bring to their second movement downwards slides is delicious. Perhaps the third movement's final explosion could be more satisfyingly cataclysmic if it were a shade darker and heavier, but the final movement's gradual relinquishing of life is all you could hope for in its soft-voiced intensity – you're hanging off not just their every note, but also the weighted silence of the Philharmonie itself. Indeed, when it's possible to feel taken on such a spellbinding journey from the humdrum surroundings of one's own home, sitting in the hall with them must have been unforgettable. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Classical - Released December 6, 2019 | BIS

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Classical - Released July 2, 2021 | BR-Klassik

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Classical - Released August 28, 2020 | PentaTone

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Some divide recordings of Mahler's symphonic song cycle Das Lied von der Erde into "subjective" (Leonard Bernstein, and more recently, Simon Rattle) and "objective" (Pierre Boulez) readings. Perhaps conductor Vladimir Jurowski finds a middle road in this version, recorded live with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin at the Philharmonie in 2018. Jurowski contributes an extended note in which he argues that Mahler found a new "lyrical" mode in Das Lied von der Erde, in contradistinction to a "heroic" Beethovenian mode, and his reading broadly reflects this view. Many fine points emerge in the score, but this is due to a relaxed mood and space for details rather than to any attempt to be microscopic about the work. In Jurowski's hands, Das Lied von der Erde is more an orchestral song cycle than a symphony, with each of the five movements taking on its own flavor. There's much more to be said about Jurowski, and much to be said in favor of tenor Robert Dean Smith, who confidently takes on the borderline singable first movement. The best of all here is Sarah Connolly's run in the epic "Der Abschied," which in its deliberate long line both fits well with Jurowski's overall concept and is just sensuously, tragically gorgeous on its own, likely destined to become one of the highlights of her later career. PentaTone's superbly clear live sound seals the deal on a very fine Das Lied von der Erde. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 5, 2021 | Orfeo

Mahler’s cantata Das klagende Lied today constitutes a veritable rarity in concert programmes – in an age that without contradiction recognizes Mahler as one oft he most eminent milestones in the music history of the late 19th and early 20th century. Based on a horror tale written by Mahler himself, this large-scale, vocal symphonic work forms the beginning of Mahler’s more familiar oeuvre. Mahler, at the age of only 20, submitted the score for the Beethoven Prize at the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna. He did not receive this prize, however, and subsequently made several revisions. It was finally premiered by the composer in Vienna on 17 February 1901 only. The "mixed version" (also employed for this recording) consisting of the original first movement and the revised version of the other two parts, became customary in the course of the great Mahler Renaissance in the 1960s. The presented live capture with the 2019 deceased Michael Gielen – like Mahler not only a conductor but also a composer – with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra was taken in June 1990 in the Konzerthaus Vienna. © Orfeo
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Symphonies - Released July 30, 2021 | Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

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The Mahlerian tradition of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is not very old, neither Furtwängler nor Karajan conducted much of Gustav Mahler's music. The famous Berlin phalanx has since made up for it under its later artistic directors, starting with Claudio Abbado, whose exceptional performances in Berlin and Lucerne are well remembered. This new direction has just been confirmed with the release of a splendid box set on the Berliner Philharmoniker's own label. It presents Mahler's ten Symphonies in versions recorded over the last ten years under today's finest batons: Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Gustavo Dudamel, Kirill Petrenko, Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink and, of course Claudio Abbado who is chosen for the Adagio from Symphony N° 10.The last individual publication is the pastoral Fourth conducted by Yannick Nézet-Seguin, a musician adored as much by the Berlin musicians as by all the orchestras he conducts. It has to be said that the Québecois has a very rare, capital sympathy and charisma, not to mention his exceptional musical sense. His vision mixes supreme lyricism with an elegance at every moment, in a majestic art that succeeds in reconciling extremes with a great modesty, until the final explosion of the wonderful Ruhevoll. Then the final Lied bursts out, a true hymn to nature or a slightly ironic evocation of a vision of a paradise that is more earthly than it seems, sung with naive wonder by the soprano Christine Karg.This is a superb new recording that enriches the abundant discography of this happy symphony, so different from its nine sisters. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 7, 2017 | BIS

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Classical - Released March 26, 2021 | Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

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Classical - Released July 19, 2019 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

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Ah yes, glissandos galore! How we have missed them. While it sometimes seems as though every contemporary conductor, both young and old, feels obliged to bring their own ideas to Mahler’s work, Vladimir Jurowski, already a highly-distinguished conductor who has often explored the works of the “Czech” composer (Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 2, Totenfeier), is not afraid of relying on expressive phrases that seem somewhat questionable today. It is strange, because such joy, performed with such style, is hard to resist... And what a Ruhevoll he delivers on this album! Jurowski continues his Mahlerian journey here with Symphony No. 4. He offers a completely original touch, mingling influences from Dvořák and Janáček with those of Bruckner and Strauss. Is this what Mahler would have wanted? In any case, he is modern precisely for that reason, and Jurowski knows it. It all seems like a game to him. Don’t bother looking for the ethereal (found in Abbado’s interpretation) or eternity (Haitink). Instead, the flutes gargle, the clarinets growl, the bassoons blush, the timpani roar, and above all this bohemian commotion, the violins sing with their “pricking” technique. The fluctuating poetics of Bedächtig have rarely sounded so alive, natural or radiant. The scordatura of the second movement conjures up an image of hell, acting as an appetiser for the Burleske from the Ninth. Finally, the horn continues resounding and, even in the middle of hell, lyricism triumphs. In the final lied (Sehr behaglich), Sofia Fomina, with her perfect voice, performs a light dance with a childish spirit that transcends the lyrics “No music on earth is comparable to ours” (Kein’ Musik ist ja nicht auf Erden die unsrer verglichen kann werden). It begs the question: were Seefried and Walter the inspiration for this enchanting interpretation by Jurowski? And when will Symphony No. 6 be released?! © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz