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Michael Gielen - In Memoriam: Michael Gielen

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In Memoriam: Michael Gielen

SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Michael Gielen

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This thrilling album offers two versions of Gustav Mahler's Sixth Symphony by the eminent specialist of the genre, German orchestral conductor Michael Gielen, who passed away on 8 March 2019. Seeking refuge with his family in Buenos Aires because of his Jewish roots, he worked alongside the great Erich Kleiber who named him co-tutor at the Teatro Colon. It was at around 50 years of age that Michael Gielen came to the attention of a wider audience, setting down recordings (often live recordings) of the Second Viennese School, and of Mahler in particular.


The most tragic of Mahler's symphonies came into sharp relief under his implacable, inspired baton. This first recording from 1971, published here for the first time in an "official" version, has been pirated several times, these unofficial versions often containing incorrect information or wrong names of the conductors, like Eduard van Lindenberg or Hartmut Haenchen. This was also the first time that this recording was released on the basis of the original tapes, with a clear and precise sound.


Michael Gielen conducted the Sixth for the last time at a concert in Salzburg on 21 August 2013. It's hard to imagine a greater contrast between two versions by the same conductor. Having long been convinced as he aged that his colleagues were conducting Mahler far too fast, he slowed down his tempo from 1966. This final version from 2013 represents perhaps the lower limit of tempo: that, certainly, was the view of the sound engineer Helmut Hanusch, who has produced this interesting document. In the end, even Gielen found his tempos too short in rehearsals, and gradually sped them up during the concert. It is striking to hear these two different conceptions back to back, separated as they are by forty years (almost two generations!). © François Hudry/Qobuz

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In Memoriam: Michael Gielen

Michael Gielen

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Symphony No. 6 in A minor "Tragic" (Gustav Mahler)

1
I. Allegro energico, ma non troppo. Heftig, aber markig
00:21:07

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Michael Gielen, Conductor, MainArtist - SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Orchestra

(C) 2019 SWR Classic (P) 2019 SWR Classic

2
II. Scherzo. Wuchtig
00:12:06

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Michael Gielen, Conductor, MainArtist - SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Orchestra

(C) 2019 SWR Classic (P) 2019 SWR Classic

3
III. Andante moderato
00:13:16

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Michael Gielen, Conductor, MainArtist - SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Orchestra

(C) 2019 SWR Classic (P) 2019 SWR Classic

4
IV. Finale. Allegro moderato
00:27:36

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Michael Gielen, Conductor, MainArtist - SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Orchestra

(C) 2019 SWR Classic (P) 2019 SWR Classic

DISC 2

1
I. Allegro energico, ma non troppo. Heftig, aber markig (Live)
00:27:56

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Michael Gielen, Conductor, MainArtist - SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Orchestra

(C) 2019 SWR Classic (P) 2019 SWR Classic

2
II. Andante moderato (Live)
00:15:37

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Michael Gielen, Conductor, MainArtist - SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Orchestra

(C) 2019 SWR Classic (P) 2019 SWR Classic

3
III. Scherzo. Wuchtig (Live)
00:16:09

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Michael Gielen, Conductor, MainArtist - SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Orchestra

(C) 2019 SWR Classic (P) 2019 SWR Classic

DISC 3

1
IV. Finale. Allegro moderato (Live)
00:37:29

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Michael Gielen, Conductor, MainArtist - SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Orchestra

(C) 2019 SWR Classic (P) 2019 SWR Classic

Interview Excerpt

2
Was Mahler Religious?
00:01:43

Michael Gielen, Artist, MainArtist - Paul Fiebig, Artist

(C) 2019 SWR Classic (P) 2019 SWR Classic

Album Description

This thrilling album offers two versions of Gustav Mahler's Sixth Symphony by the eminent specialist of the genre, German orchestral conductor Michael Gielen, who passed away on 8 March 2019. Seeking refuge with his family in Buenos Aires because of his Jewish roots, he worked alongside the great Erich Kleiber who named him co-tutor at the Teatro Colon. It was at around 50 years of age that Michael Gielen came to the attention of a wider audience, setting down recordings (often live recordings) of the Second Viennese School, and of Mahler in particular.


The most tragic of Mahler's symphonies came into sharp relief under his implacable, inspired baton. This first recording from 1971, published here for the first time in an "official" version, has been pirated several times, these unofficial versions often containing incorrect information or wrong names of the conductors, like Eduard van Lindenberg or Hartmut Haenchen. This was also the first time that this recording was released on the basis of the original tapes, with a clear and precise sound.


Michael Gielen conducted the Sixth for the last time at a concert in Salzburg on 21 August 2013. It's hard to imagine a greater contrast between two versions by the same conductor. Having long been convinced as he aged that his colleagues were conducting Mahler far too fast, he slowed down his tempo from 1966. This final version from 2013 represents perhaps the lower limit of tempo: that, certainly, was the view of the sound engineer Helmut Hanusch, who has produced this interesting document. In the end, even Gielen found his tempos too short in rehearsals, and gradually sped them up during the concert. It is striking to hear these two different conceptions back to back, separated as they are by forty years (almost two generations!). © François Hudry/Qobuz

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