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Ballets - Released December 5, 2014 | RCA Red Seal

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonic Music - Released November 14, 2011 | RCA Red Seal

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonic Music - Released March 9, 2012 | RCA Red Seal

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released November 19, 2010 | RCA Red Seal

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released June 18, 2009 | RCA Red Seal

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released October 25, 2010 | RCA Red Seal

Booklet Distinctions The Unusual Suspects
David Zinman and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra have presented exceptional performances of Gustav Mahler's symphonies in the hybrid SACD format, and this recording of the Symphony No. 9 in D major follows suit in its spot-on reading and splendid sound. Among the most enigmatic and difficult of Mahler's completed symphonies to interpret (perhaps only exceeded in strangeness by the Symphony No. 7, or in mystery by the unfinished Symphony No. 10), the Symphony No. 9 is haunted by visions of death, and Mahler's range of expressions runs from poignant lyricism to abject terror, resignation, and finally, sublime transformation. Zinman takes the pulse of the work from its opening, throbbing notes (often thought to be a representation of Mahler's cardiac arrhythmia), and accurately gauges its progress through these emotions, which suddenly change and often without warning. The expressions never go over the top, and Zinman is careful to stay away from caricature, but he still brings across the extreme emotional nature of Mahler's music. The Tonhalle is flawless in its playing and cohesive and powerful as an ensemble, despite the many chamber-like passages that at times make it seem less imposing and even fragile in sonority. The multichannel DSD audio is expansive, deep, and clear, so details and special timbres are wonderfully showcased. Highly recommended.
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Symphonic Music - Released April 7, 2008 | RCA Red Seal

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 1982 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released August 29, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Symphonic Music - Released August 1, 2003 | ARTE NOVA Classics

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Classical - Released April 1, 2005 | ARTE NOVA Classics

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Classical - Released October 28, 2005 | ARTE NOVA Classics

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Classical - Released April 23, 2010 | RCA Red Seal

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released March 18, 1999 | ARTE NOVA Classics

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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | RCA Red Seal

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Symphonic Music - Released September 9, 2011 | RCA Red Seal

Booklet
Following their successful cycle of the ten symphonies of Gustav Mahler on RCA, David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich offer a live set of the four symphonies of Johannes Brahms that is sure to garner critical praise. There's scarcely a misstep in these engaged performances, and Zinman and the orchestra fully grasp both the sound and style of Brahms' symphonic writing, so listeners can be sure this is an exceptional presentation in every aspect of interpretation and performance. However, audiophiles will be disappointed to learn that this set consists of three conventional CDs, and unlike the Mahler symphonies, which were presented with direct stream digital sound on hybrid SACDs, the sound here is merely stereo and rather flat at that. The acoustics of the Tonhalle are fairly spacious and resonant, and the music doesn't feel dry or muffled, though there is a haziness or lack of focus that would have been eliminated in state-of-the-art recording. As it is, the instruments blend homogeneously and have soft edges, and only the prominent or solo parts have clear definition. With much competition coming from other Brahms sets on the market, including some excellent SACDs, Zinman's package depends largely on his reputation for excellence to get the attention it deserves.
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Symphonic Poems - Released July 1, 2002 | ARTE NOVA Classics

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Classical - Released October 12, 2012 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released November 6, 2007 | RCA Red Seal

Listeners thinking that "Karolju" doesn't look like a word in any known language are right: composer Christopher Rouse, who wrote the texts for his own work, blithely explained to conductor David Zinman that the title was meant to suggest the idea of carols but that "he's always liked words ending in 'u.'" Motivation of a similar kind explains the work's texts as well, curiously titled "Latin," "Swedish," "French," "Spanish," and so on. The texts, Rouse said, "use words and phrases appropriate to the Christmas season, [but] they are not intelligibly translatable for long periods of time." The composer indicates that he followed this process because he composed the music first and faced the problem of finding texts to go with it, but the effect is the unpleasant creation of a simulation of the Christmas spirit rather than the thing itself. Rouse's non-settings are filled with signs of Christmas music like syllabic refrains, but it's somehow irritating to realize that signs are all they are. The composer combines the agile brass writing that is characteristic of his style with a light spirit appropriate to seasonal music. But even those predisposed to react positively to this generalized holiday festivity may not be satisfied with the other major performance on the album, that of Witold Lutoslawski's Polish Christmas Carols. This work clearly suggested the abstract dimensions of Lutoslawski's musical language, but it remains strongly connected to Bartók's rhythmic vigor. Unfortunately, vigor is in short supply in the singing of the Philharmonia Chorus. Zinman seems to be striving for a sort of sugarplum charm in this work but creates only a melodically aimless series of Christmas carols. Only mezzo-soprano Anna Stephany's performance of the final three-movement "Retablo de Navidad," a little-heard Christmas work by Joaquín Rodrigo, has much real sharpness in this holiday disc, which may serve as background music on the road to a holiday meal but offers thin fare when it comes to musical nourishment.
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Classical - Released October 25, 2007 | ARTE NOVA Classics