1 800 222 6872

Mahler: Symphonie Nr. 6 / Bavarian Radio SO, Daniel Harding

Album Summary

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 6 in A minor "Tragic"
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Conductor Daniel Harding's follow up to his first BR-Klassik CD (Schumann's Faust Scenes, BR-KLASSIK, 900122) is this 2014 live recording of Gustav Mahler's Sixth Symphony from Munich's Philharmonie im Gasteig. Counting Sir Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado among his teachers, he has since 2005 made a name for himself leading spectacular concerts with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra as guest conductor. One of Mahler's most unusual symphonies, the score of the Sixth is dark and complex, contrasting starkly with what appeared on the surface to be a happy and carefree phase of his life during its composition. The BRSO has been a pioneering ensemble among the world's greatest orchestras in performances of Mahler's symphonies, dating to the Rafael Kubelík era of the 1960s.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: München, Philharmonie im Gasteig (03/20/2014-03/22/2014).


"Earthy Vale of Tears"
This is an excellent recording. It’s superbly played and realistically transcribed from a live concert. Interpretively, it’s a world away from the likes of Bernstein or Tennstedt. Maestro Harding opts for a somewhat cool, objective approach, treating this symphony more as an early 20th century essay in sophisticated symphonic expression, less so as an aural journal of its composer’s personal travails and existential doubts. The question is: does it work? The answer is yes. It’s a fascinating alternative to the customary view of this score. Maestro Harding concentrates on clarifying complex textures and judiciously regulating the work’s extreme emotional contours. His realization of the 2 central movements is particularly effective. Note: in this recording, the Andante precedes the Scherzo; the famous “hammer blows” are 2 in number adhering to the composer’s final thoughts on the subject. So, yet another excellent option in a field overflowing with choices. The cover art is unique.
Submitted on 02/26/16 by Allen Cohen 
Marvelous rendition of Mahler 6 from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding…
This CD consists of Mahler’s four movement Symphony No. 6 (“Tragic”), lasting 82 minutes and 28 seconds on this recording. The first movement has march-like characteristics, and features the “fate motif” as well as a melody referred to in the conventional literature as “Alma’s Theme” after Gustav Mahler’s wife. The second movement, “Andante” in this recording (as opposed to being presented as the 3rd movement as was the case in the first publication of the work) is more gentle and peaceful, as if a weary hero longs for peace and rest. The 3rd movement here is the “Sherzo” which returns to the somewhat march-like material but also evokes a rather sinister undertone. This sets the stage for the unbelievably affecting 4th movement “Finale – Allegro moderato”, in which two of the three famous hammer blows occur as the feeling of resignation is brought to the fore and left to fade away. This is a work that just demands that the listener sit in silence for a few moments after the last note is played, contemplating the final state of physical being of the human condition.

The orchestra sounds fantastic, and it is clear that they were very much on the same musical page as Daniel Harding from the opening bars to the closing of this immense work. The recording quality is excellent, and the liner notes are informative and well written, giving some background on the initial performances of the work as well as what happened to the Mahler family after the work was completed, the work almost foreshadowing some of the awful things that the Mahler’s experienced.

For those that love and appreciate the very special music making of Gustav Mahler, this recording is certainly a worthy interpretation of Symphony No. 6 that should be listened to and emotionally digested. Strongly recommended.

Submitted on 04/04/16 by KlingonOpera 
Login or Create an Account to write a review

Also Purchased

Works Details

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 6 in A minor "Tragic"
  • Conductor: Daniel Harding
  • Ensemble: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
  • Running Time: 81 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1903-1904
  • Studio/Live: Live