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Mahler: 10 Symphonies / Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic, etc

Album Summary

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan"
>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection"
>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 3 in D minor
>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 4 in G major
>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor
>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 6 in A minor "Tragic"
>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 8 in E flat major
>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 7 in E minor
>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 9 in D major
>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 10 in F sharp major (incomplete)
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
The current pre-eminence of Gustav Mahler in the concert hall and on disc isn't something that could have been anticipated - other than by the composer himself. Hard now to believe that his revival had to wait until the centenary celebrations of his birth in 1960. And yet by 1980 he was more widely esteemed than his longer-lived contemporaries Sibelius and Strauss and could suddenly be seen to tower over 20th-century music much as Beethoven must have done in a previous age. By this time too, a new generation of conductors had come to the fore, further transforming our perceptions of the composer. Claudio Abbado is arguably the most distinguished of this group and, while his interpretations will not satisfy every listener on every occasion, they make an excellent choice for the library shelves, when the price is reasonably competitive and the performances so emblematic (and arguably central to our understanding) of Mahler's place in contemporary musical life.

Of the alternatives, Haitink's package has the fewest expressive distortions while Bernstein's is the most ceaselessly emotive of them all; neither has Abbado's particular combination of qualities. It's probably no accident that Donald Mitchell's notes for this set are focused on the nature of Mahler's 'modernity'. For it's that ironic, inquisitive, preternaturally aware young composer who haunts this conductor's performances. Not for Abbado the heavy, saturated textures of 19thcentury Romanticism, nor the chilly rigidity of some of his own 'modernist' peers. Instead an unaffected warmth and elegance of sound allows everything to come through naturally - in so far as the different venues and DG's somewhat variable technology will permit - even in the most searingly intense of climaxes.

Abbado presents Mahler as a fluent classicist, and is less concerned to characterise the surface battle of conflicting emotions than to elucidate the underlying symphonic structure. The lack of Solti's brand of forthright theatricality can bring a feeling of disappointment. But even where he underplays the drama of the moment, sufficient sense of urgency is sustained by a combination of well-judged tempos, marvellously graduated dynamics and precisely balanced, ceaselessly changing textures. The propulsion comes from within.

It was in November 1907 that Mahler famously told Sibelius that 'the symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything.' And perhaps it's only today that we see this as a strength rather than a weakness in his music. He wrote music that's 'about' its own past while at the same time probing into all our futures, music that's so all-embracing and communicates with such directness that we can make it 'mean' whatever we want it to, confident that we alone have really understood the code. Abbado lacks Bernstein's desire to explore these limitless possibilities, but some will count that as a blessing. These are committed and authoritative performances.



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Works Details

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan"
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 54 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: ?/?1884-03/1888

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection"
  • Performers: Waltraud Meier (Mezzo Soprano); Cheryl Studer (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 6 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1888-1894

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 3 in D minor
  • Performers: Gerhart Hetzel (Violin); Adolf Holler (Posthorn); Jessye Norman
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 7 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1893-1896

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 4 in G major
  • Performers: Gerhart Hetzel (Violin); Frederica Von Stade
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 57 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1899-1900

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor
  • Performer: Gerd Seifert (Horn)
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 68 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1901-1902

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 6 in A minor "Tragic"
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 83 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1903-1904

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 8 in E flat major
  • Performers: Sylvia McNair; Jan-Hendrik Rootering (Bass); Andrea Rost; Peter Seiffert (Tenor); Cheryl Studer (Soprano); Bryn Terfel
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 1 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1906-1907

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 7 in E minor
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1904-1905

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 9 in D major
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 5 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1908-1909

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 10 in F sharp major (incomplete)
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1910