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Classical - Released July 7, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released April 1, 2015 | Reference Recordings

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Classical - Released March 1, 2012 | Reference Recordings

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Classical - Released June 5, 2020 | BIS

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In an effort to arrange the first performance of his Seventh Symphony, Gustav Mahler declared it to be his best work, ‘preponderantly cheerful in character’. His younger colleague Schönberg expressed his admiration for the work, and Webern considered it his favourite Mahler symphony. Nevertheless, it remains the least performed and least written-about symphony of the entire cycle, and has come to be regarded as enigmatic and less successful than its siblings. One reason for this has been the huge – even for Mahler – contrasts that it encompasses: from a first movement which seems to continue the atmosphere of the previous symphony, the ‘Tragic’ Sixth, to a finale that has been accused of excessive triumphalism, and which Mahler himself once described as ‘broad daylight’. Between these two poles, he supplies no less than two movements entitled Nachtmusik framing a Scherzo to which the composer added the character marking "schattenhaft" (shadowy). Mahler famously said that ‘a symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything’. The Seventh is as true to this dictum as any other of the symphonies, offering a wealth of emotions, moods and colours. The composer makes full and imaginative use of the orchestra’s extended wind and percussion sections – including cowbells, whips and glockenspiel – as well as a mandolin and a guitar, adding a troubadour-like aspect to the nightly serenade of the fourth movement. All of this is brought to life by the players of the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä, as they continue a cycle praised for the performances as well as the recorded sound. © BIS Records
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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 October 2, 2020 | BIS

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Classical - Released April 1, 2015 | Reference Recordings

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Classical - Released August 2, 2019 | BIS

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Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | BIS

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The world may or may not be ready for buttoned-down Nordic versions of the sprawling, fevered, quintessentially Viennese symphonies of Mahler, but in the current series on Sweden's BIS label by the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä, that's what it's getting. Critical and public reaction have split on these readings, and it's worth attempting a balanced perspective. First, Vänskä does not change gears in the mighty Second, and this is about as far as you can get from the heated Mahler readings of Leonard Bernstein that did so much to revive Vänskä's fortunes. It is difficult to square the expressive marking "wild herausfahrend" (setting out wildly) at the beginning of the finale with the straightforward reading offered here. Second, of course, not all of the symphony is wild, and where it is not, Vänskä and the Orchestra achieve impressive feats of control. The Minnesota Orchestra was the first to record the Mahler Symphony No. 2 in 1935 (a hefty stack of 78 rpm records!), and their institutional experience shows. Sample the utterly lovely, floating reading of the vocal "Urlicht" movement, an apotheosis of Klopstock, and you may be impressed enough to try out the whole thing. The long line is present in the big outer movements as well; it's just that the local detail is restrained in a way that may or may not agree with you. No such cautions apply in the case of the engineering, which is surely among the most detailed and subtle canvases on record for this work: it's worth seeking out the acquaintance with the best sound system and bringing the album over. Recommended on the whole. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 1, 2012 | Reference Recordings CD

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Classical - Released November 25, 2005 | Parlophone UK

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Classical - Released January 1, 1992 | Vox Box

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Classical - Released November 8, 1999 | Parlophone UK

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | CarltonClassics

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Classical - Released October 2, 2020 | BIS

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Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, begins with the creation of the world – from a duck's egg – and goes on to relate a series of tales of magic and adventure. One of the most memorable characters is Kullervo, a flawed hero whose tragic story is told in the course of six songs or runos. These describe multiple murders, rape, incest and finally suicide – a powerful brew that has inspired several Finnish artists. Among them is Jean Sibelius, who in 1891 was a young music student in Vienna. At home in Finland a wave of nationalism was gaining momentum and the Kalevala was an important symbol in the struggle for independence from Russia. Sometimes called a choral symphony, Sibelius's Kullervo was premiered in 1892, receiving a mixed reception and the work was soon overshadowed by the First Symphony. Only in the 1970s did it became more widely known, at which time the score caused something of sensation. Faithful to the urgency and brutality of the score, the present recording was made at live performances at Symphony Hall in Minneapolis, with Osmo Vänskä directing the forces of the Minnesota Orchestra, joined by their Finnish guests Lilli Paasikivi, Tommi Hakala and the eminent YL Male Voice Choir. © BIS Records
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Classical - Released January 6, 2017 | Vox Box

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Classical - Released January 20, 2017 | BIS

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Classical - Released August 1, 2005 | Parlophone UK

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Classical - Released June 7, 2011 | Menuetto Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 1960 | BnF Collection

Hi-Res Booklet