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Symphonic Music - Released September 8, 2017 | SWR Classic

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Symphonic Music - Released November 17, 2017 | MUNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER GBR

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The Munich Philharmonic and Sergiu Celibidache share an exceptional legacy. He started his work as principal conductor in 1979 and remained in this position for as long as 17 years. Sergiu Celibidache played an integral part in making the Munich Philharmonic what it is today: an orchestra of worldwide renown. Today the Munich Philharmonic is critically acclaimed internationally with hopelessly sold out concerts in Munich and the world. On their recently launched label MPHIL, the Munich Philharmonic is opening up its vast archives, giving listeners the opportunity to enjoy one of the richest collections of recordings by legendary artists. Because of the Celibidache era and its part in forming the core essence of the orchestra, this first MPHIL physical archive release consists of two recordings under the baton of Maestro Celibidache. The chosen repertoire on the album is Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, recorded 30 June 1983 at the Herkulessaal der Residenz, Munich and Richard Strauss’ Tod und Verklärung, recorded on 17 February 1979 also at the Herkulessaal der Residenz, Munich. For a long time, Tod und Verklärung was the most popular of Richard Strauss’s early tone poems. It contains a wide range of memorable motifs subtly differentiated with the result that its music recurs whenever there is mention of death or transfiguration in Strauss’ later output. Together with the innocent tone and positively artificial naïveté of the poems that attracted Gustav Mahler as a composer and prompted him to compose the Kindertotenlieder, this thoughtfully curated pairing creates an altogether intimate character while revealing an astonishing wealth of colours. Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder feature German mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, who holds the prestigious title “Kammersängerin” from the Bavarian State Opera and the Vienna State Opera.

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

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

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio

Classical - Released May 11, 2012 | Sony Classical

This 12-CD set is of obvious interest on two counts -- first, because it assembles all of the classic 1960s vintage Leonard Bernstein recordings of Mahler's symphonies, done during Bernstein's tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic, in one place in some of the best digital remasterings. Second, they're all together here in one very low-priced package, working out to a little over $5 a disc, which is less than half their price as individual releases. Bernstein was the first conductor to record a complete Mahler symphonic cycle, a project he pursued between 1960 and 1968, this at a time when there were only seven or eight formal, complete Beethoven symphonic cycles in print or in progress. Just as an example of what the record company catalogs of the era looked like, at the time he started recording this body of music, his label, Columbia Masterworks, had exactly four recordings of Mahler's music in print, the Symphonies No. 1, No. 2, and No. 9 as done by Bruno Walter in the late '50s and early '60s, plus Walter's Das Lied Von Der Erde. Walter himself pre-figured Bernstein's achievement with his mono-era recordings of the Mahler Symphonies No. 4 and No. 5 in the mid- and late '40s, and his 1955 recording of the Symphony No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic, and those were considered in their time to be plenty of attention to the composer. Bernstein's cutting of the entire cycle of numbered symphonies reset the bar at a much higher level for conductors and record labels. In itself, this makes the body of music represented here historically important, even if each recording is not necessarily among the best or most desirable edition of the particular work. In that regard, strangely enough, Bernstein did better with the larger-scale, more overtly challenging works in the cycle than the two works that, on their face, would seem easier to approach. The Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth symphonies are all competitive with the best recordings ever done, and the Third and the Seventh may well still be the best available, more than 40 years after they were done. The virtues go double for these particular editions, which are part of the Bernstein Century series, which are the best of the various remasterings of the pieces in question from the Sony catalog; they all offer a crisp, bright sound that is vastly superior to either the original LP issues or the "Royal Edition" Bernstein reissues from the early '90s (the series with Prince Charles' image and name attached). The Seventh, among its many strong points, still features in the Scherzo the most vivid tuba sound ever captured on the piece. The New York Philharmonic is the most heavily represented orchestra here -- which was a point of great significance to the conductor, as well as to fans of the composer's work, as the Philharmonic was the successor organization to the orchestra that Mahler had conducted in New York. The Israel Philharmonic is also present, as accompaniment for some of the song fill-ups, and the London Symphony Orchestra is present as well (for the Symphony No. 8). Actually, given his reputation as a Mahler interpreter, the real surprise in Bernstein's Columbia cycle to modern listeners is how disappointing the First, Fourth, and Fifth symphonies were, though, given the abundance of rival great recordings of two of these three, that's hardly a crippling flaw. The Fifth's problems were a result of unfortunate timing, coupled with the piece's inherent difficulties -- Mahler agonized over the Fifth more than almost any other work in his output, spending more time on it refining and rewriting than any other symphony, except, perhaps, for his first (which, in fairness, wasn't even a symphony when it started life); and this was probably not the work to cut in January 1963, among the very earliest recordings made at what was then known as Philharmonic Hall (later renamed Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center; as a recording it has been a vexation to listeners for more than 40 years, the oddly skewed balances and timbres seemingly impossible to rectify across three different CD remixes using three steadily more sophisticated digital technologies. One wonders, listening to it today, how differently the recording might have come out had it been done at, say, Carnegie Hall or the Manhattan Center, or the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn, which had been the most favored venues in the city before Lincoln Center opened. The First and Fourth suffer more from Bernstein's own approach and decisions, which prevent either from ever developing the easy, natural flow that his later interpretations exhibited -- it's mostly a matter of too much emphasis on individual dramatic "events" and profundities within the score, and separate sections of the music, as opposed to the symphonies as a whole. Bernstein recorded the Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," twice for Columbia, and the producers have included the earlier one, his studio version with the New York Philharmonic from 1963. This performance had not appeared on CD prior to the Bernstein Century edition, and the sound is bright, close, and vivid, some of the best to be heard on any Columbia recording of this era; its rival, available separately in the same series from Sony (but not in this box), was a live performance from the 1970s in London (curiously, the latter was done as a television broadcast, and is available separately on Deutsche Grammophon as a DVD). As with the free-standing double-CD edition, the 1963 Mahler Second recording comes filled out with the Adagietto from the Symphony No. 5, performed in 1968 at the funeral Mass for Robert Kennedy, and the first part of the Symphony No. 8 as performed in September 1962 at the opening of Lincoln Center. Other fill-ups are the Adagio from the unfinished Symphony No. 10, two different versions of the Kindertotenlieder (from 1960 and 1974 with Jennie Tourel and Janet Baker, respectively), and the Three Ruckert Songs. Peculiarly enough, amid all of those non-symphonic (though symphony-related) fill-ups, the producers didn't include the one vocal work that should have had its place in this collection, Das Lied Von Der Erde -- there's a perfectly good one on hand, too, with the Israel Philharmonic. Each CD is packaged in an individual mini-LP-style jacket (without an inner-sleeve, which means one must be a little careful sliding them in or out), with the annotation (a reprint of Bernstein's own contemporary article on the symphonies of Mahler, and a short essay by scholar Tim Page) included in a separate booklet, along with any text for the vocal works.

Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)


Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released July 7, 2017 | PentaTone

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 2, 2015 | Editions Milan Music

Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS - Grammy Awards
The soundtrack to the 2014 Alejandro González Iñárritu-directed black comedy Birdman features an innovative, percussion-based score from Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez. Also included on the soundtrack are various classical pieces used in the film including compositions by Gustav Mahler, Maurice Ravel, and Sergei Rachmaninov. While Sanchez is primarily known as a jazz musician, he took a more free-form, avant-garde approach for Birdman. Rather than composing pieces for the film, at Iñárritu's request, Sanchez improvised to a rough cut of the film and then re-recorded his improvisations yet again once the film was completed. Hoping to match the gritty, live aesthetic of the film, Sanchez altered his traditional percussion set-up, employing instead the use of different drum heads modified at times with tape to deaden the sound and even attached items to his cymbals to achieve a less pristine, more broken quality. Iñárritu even went so far as to have percussionist (and Sanchez' friend) Nate Smith appear in the film playing along to Sanchez' soundtrack, which was recorded to sound like it was being played in the actual scene. The result is a highly creative, sonically varied soundtrack that matches the quirky, conceptual nature and dramatic tension of Iñárritu's film. ~ Matt Collar

Classical - Released January 1, 1984 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released November 17, 2017 | Reference Recordings

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The more curious sort of music lover will already know the talents of Thierry Fischer, who is today the musical director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra. On Hypérion, he made a splash a few years ago with a remarkable recording of The Tempest by Frank Martin, and before that, he appeared in the programmes of Indy or Honegger. With the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, he also produced some records dedicated to Stravinsky. He also seems to be drawn to Mahler. His Titan has already been released, also on Reference Recordings. Within the world of Mahler, Thierry Fischer is building a vision which is clear, with gentle contours and stunning clarity and élan, and which makes full use of the beautiful raw materials of the Utah Symphony, which is well used to this repertoire. In the 1970s, Maurice Abravanel, the historic leader of the orchestra, recorded one of the first-ever complete collections of Mahler's symphonies to be performed on the American continent (his direct competitor at the time was Bernstein in New York, with CBS). The orchestra has been able to retain the diaphanous luminosity typical of Abravanel's recordings. This Mahler, sung thoughtfully, limpid, and which gives up none of the composer's instrumental and dramatic research, is powerfully good. Sumptuous sound engineering, and pitch-perfect singing. © PYL

Classical - Released August 4, 2017 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica

Classical - Released January 6, 2017 | BR-Klassik

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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released January 1, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1995 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)


Classical - Released April 7, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Symphonies - Released November 24, 2017 | harmonia mundi

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Symphonies - Released April 13, 2018 | SWR Classic

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What utter happiness to find probably one of the greatest performances (ranking alongside Barbirolli, Bernstein, Tennstedt) of the complex Sixth by Mahler, which came out a few years ago on Hännsler: the performance by Kirill Kondrashin at the head of the Baden-Baden Südwestfunk. In 1981, Kirill Kondrashin had been regularly directing the Amsterdam Concertgebouw for several years, tackling material from the most varied repertoires, and several times performed the works of Gustav Mahler, of which he was one of the USSR's most ardent partisans, having made the first-ever complete recording of the symphonies with the Moscow Symphonic Orchestra (Melodiya). Benefiting from some of the most captivating orchestras of the West, he never gave up on his fluid, rapid visions, his strident polyphonies, or his implacable rhythms. For Kirill Kondrashin, Mahler wasn't the post-romantic composer that he is often taken for: he didn't look for song at any cost, or even any particular lyrical virtues. The formal balances accompany a drive for minute precision in the most up-to-date sonic alloys. As a vision, it is sometimes abstract: it fits into the more experimental branch of Haydn's descendants. And it gives us cause to regret not having a "Western" version of a 9th Symphony conducted by Kondrashin! © Pierre-Yves Lascar

Symphonic Music - Released March 16, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Symphonies - Released September 29, 2017 | MUNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER GBR

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Gustav Mahler and the Munich Philharmonic share a very special connection. As a composer he sustainably linked the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. The world premiere of his Symphony No. 4 took place under his baton on 25 November 1901 in Munich’s Großen Kaim-Saal with the then called Kaim-Orchester, present day Munich Philharmonic. His works have been a substantial part of the Munich Philharmonic’s core repertoire ever since and the orchestra has excelled on many occasions. After the MPHIL release of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in September 2016 now follows the release of the Symphony No. 4 with which the orchestra’s history is so closely intertwined. The live concert recording released on this album took place at the Philharmonie im Gasteig in Munich, the orchestra’s home, with Salzburg soprano Genia Kuehmeier. Valery Gergiev has paid the Austro-German repertoire particular attention throughout his career, which ignited a lasting fascination for Gustav Mahler. Over recent decades he has continued to explore the Austro-German repertoire, garnering adulation, especially for his interpretations of Wagner, Strauss, Mahler and Bruckner – music that is at the very heart of the Munich Philharmonic’s repertoire. © Warner Classics

Classical - Released February 23, 2018 | PentaTone

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Gustavo Gimeno has been musical director of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra since 2015. It was around Autumn 2016 that Pentatone announced a series of recordings - technically magnificent, as is par for the course with the Polyhymnia International engineers, who are tending the flame of the old Philips label - for which the Luxembourgeois phalanx was conducted at the Concertgebouw by Mariss Jansons's former assistant. In recent months, the graphically-sparse series has already kicked off its releases with an album from Bruckner (with some very rare pieces); Shostakovich (with the First) and Ravel (Daphnis et Chloé). Today, Pentatone has published Mahler's Fourth, teeming with details, broadly coloured with bucolic lyricism. © 2018 Théodore Grantet/Qobuz