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Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Abbado/Lucerne Festival [DVD]

Album Summary

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 9 in D major
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Abbado's Mahler is always superlative, but this was wonderful. Lucerne means a lot to him, as does this orchestra, his pride and joy... Almost unbelievably luminous textures, such refinement that the music seems spun from light. Each new stage reached leads to another, even more rarified, like air in the Alps, the purer the higher you go. At the end, Abbado looked exhausted, like he'd been reaching the peaks in his soul." -Classical-Iconoclast

"This is a mind-blowing experience - a Mahler Ninth as great as any I've heard...There are no idiosyncracies in Abbado's approach, but instead there is an unerring sense of musical trajectory...the playing has a richness and expressive depth all the more telling for Abbado's wonderful sense of flexibility - really letting his orchestra play - and the vibrant transparency of the sound..the playing has an eloquence, intensity and utter beauty is simply overwhelming" -International Record Review

"This, his first commercial recording of the work, is even more luminous, elegant and subtly integrated than its predecessors...An interpretation that might seem too cool is in fact superbly gauged to provide maximal catharsis by the close...When the music finally ends and, as in any truly great account of this highly affecting score, one feels that life itself is ebbing away, all present are held in awed silence." -Gramophone

"This captures much of the peerless tone-colour, shape, drive and above all those hushed dynamics of [the] performance, awarded what feels like an infinite silence at the end...Abbado's pacing is unrivalled...the mixture of close-ups and wide shots in the final rituals is superb as ever from this team. Finest concert DVD ever? I think so." -BBC Music Magazine

"This DVD of last summer’s fabulously fluid performance with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra is an important release. First, it brings together a peerless Mahler conductor with a hand-picked ensemble of huge individual talent. Second, it documents Abbado’s increasingly spiritual way with the music, the valedictory silences as much as the life-affirming vigour." -The Financial Times

There is admirable precision in the onslaught of fragmented themes in the beginning and ending of the Rondo. This third movement isn't as emphatic as those by Rattle or Bernstein; the satire here is laid on with a subtler brush. The Trio is gently intrusive and heartfelt, giving way to intrusive and carping winds, then to a final sigh as the Rondo reasserts itself. Restraint is again the watchword in the Adagio finale. These aren't the emphatic, intense phrases of Bernstein or Tilson Thomas; though there is feeling here, it just isn't as obviously heart-on-sleeve. This concert introduces an intriguing touch: During the last few minutes, the stage lights are dimmed, becoming a visual complement to the dying moments of the symphony. Abbado now takes these measures very slowly. As the last notes decay, the orchestra sits in silence, Abbado is motionless, and for over two minutes there is no sound, until the audience erupts for what becomes an extended ovation. It's all quite theatrical, but there is no denying its effectiveness.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 95 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1


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Works Details

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 9 in D major
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Ensemble: Lucerne Festival Orchestra
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1908-1909