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After the successful release by the highly regarded Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra of recordings of two of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies, No. 1 in D major (EXCL00026) and No. 4 in G major (EXCL00048), this two channel double SACD set features a live performance of the composer’s massive Third Symphony in D minor.
Considered to be one of the best modern day interpreters of Gustav Mahler’s music, the Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck began his career as conductor of Vienna's Jeunesse Orchestra, which he co-founded, and as assistant to Claudio Abbado with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. After several highly successful guest appearances as conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, he was appointed its Music Director in 2008.
Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 in D minor was written between 1893 and 1896 and is the longest symphony in the standard repertoire. It has five movements and features a large orchestra, chorus, children’s choir, and female soloist.
“There are many glorious things in here: the ethereally distant posthorn in the Scherzo, or the sudden eruption of raw elemental power at the end of the movement. Michelle de Young's 'O Mensch!' is suitably mesmerising, and the children's 'Bimm, bamm' bell effects in the fifth movement are splendidly lacking in Anglo-Saxon embarrassment. The recording captures everything with vivid fidelity.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ****
“The great cinemascopic vistas that are summoned up by those eight unison horns at the start are quite remarkable for their depth, breadth and thunderous immediacy. Manfred Honeck (clearly a Mahlerian to reckon with) and his engineers are especially impressive in catching the gaudy splendour of the first movement...The orchestral playing is pretty tremendous throughout...More than a little special, then, in marvellous sound.” Gramophone Magazine, Gramophone 2011
“this is a notably successful new version...First, there's the playing: this orchestra has a long and distinguished recording history...but it can seldom have sounded as magnificent as it does here...Next, there's Manfred Honeck's conducting...it's one of the most successful readings I've heard of the work in recent years...As for the sound, it's marvellous” International Record Review, January 2012
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Mahler: Symphony No. 3
The San Francisco Symphony with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas continue the reissues of their award-winning and critically acclaimed Mahler cycle, with Symphony No. 3, in Hybrid SACD format and packaged in SACD jewel cases.
The Mahler Third features mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, Women of the SFS Chorus, the Pacific Boychoir and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Also included in this two-disc set is a recording of Mahler's heartbreaking Kindertotenlieder, with Michelle DeYoung.
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Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony present a newly re-mastered Hybrid SACD of Das klagende Lied, the ninth installment of their Grammy Award winning Mahler recording cycle. Employing Sony’s Super Audio 5.1 digital surround sound technology, this critically acclaimed performance of Mahler’s first large-scale orchestral work was recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco from May 29-31 and June 2, 1996 and first released on the RCA Red Seal label in 1997. Written when Mahler was an unknown twenty-year-old, the first performance of the three-movement version was a broadcast over Radio Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1934, twenty-three years after Mahler’s death.
“What a glorious prospect Mahler's first major work opens up for us – and how beautifully it is realised here. The original three-part version of this ambitious folkloric cantata is like a musical manifesto of pretty well all Mahler to come. Horn calls in the prelude to 'Waldmärchen' ('Forest Tale') awaken his unique nature-world; elfin woodwind fanfares intimate martial music as far as the Seventh and Eighth symphonies; the First Symphony (third movement) is germinating at the close of part 1, the opening of the Second is already in place with the first bars of 'Der Spielmann' ('The Wandering Musician'); and with 'Hochzeitsstück' ('Wedding Feast') Mahler seems to find himself in Act 2 of Wagner's Götterdämmerung contemplating the opera he never wrote. But more startling than anything in Das Klagende Lied is Mahler's feeling for, and command of, the orchestra – and this from a composer who'd never heard a note of his own orchestration.
Recorded in 1996 (and originally released by RCA), the subtle detailing and nuancing of this performance indicates painstaking preparation but arrives in our living rooms sounding as if the ink is still wet on the page. Each repetition of that madrigal-like choral ritornello intensifies the lamentation of the title until release is found in the anguish of the wronged queen and soprano Marina Shaguch hurls out her leaping vocal line to bring down the walls of the castle. That's Mahler's innate theatricality for you. Quite a piece, and quite a performance.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“There are conductors who perform Mahler, and then there are Mahlerians – the ones who can understand and convey the composer’s distinctive blend of extravagant sentiment and sardonic, excoriating wit. Michael Tilson Thomas is a true Mahlerian, one of those conductors for whom this composer’s symphonies and songs are central texts, and for whom Mahler’s music forms an essential link between the past century and our own… likely to become the standard recording of this little-known score.” San Francisco Chronicle, May 1997
This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched.
“…no inflection or nuance in the score passes unremarked. …the passion-play finale presents the ultimate challenge. …Haitink knows how to pace this great Adagio; the agonised climaxes and serene resolution here are second to none.” BBC Music Magazine, Proms 2007 ****
“The brass have a thrilling weight and authority, particularly in the first movement's portentous fanfares; there are some ravishing woodwind solos in the Minuetto and Scherzo' and in the Finale, the strings display the communicative warmth they developed during Barenboim's tenure.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2007
“For its first release it has chosen a surefire winner: Haitink's reading of the Third has always been one
of his most impressive in the Mahler canon, and this one seems more powerful than ever…this is a
hugely auspicious launch for the CSO's new venture.” The Guardian
(also available to download from $21.00)
This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched. (Available now to download.)
Larry L. Dash wrote in the Financial Times: 'Boulez's Mahler is revelatory in its leanness: no frills, just the music . . . I was trembling by the end of the performance . . . This was not merely an evening's entertainment, but a life-changing experience for anyone who thought they knew their Mahler.'
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This is the third release of the very successful Wagner Edition. The first release, Flying Dutchman (PTC5186400) was an Editor’s Choice in the Gramophone. The second, Die Meistersinger, (PTC5186402) was the BBC Music Magazine Opera Choice of the Month in February. “It is a phenomenal achievement of Marek Janowski to have welded his immense forces into such a virtually flawless unity.”
“the set is beautifully engineered, and the presentation immaculate” The Guardian, 29th March 2012 ****
“It has spontaneity of something which has sunk so deeply into the performers' minds and souls that they can throw caution to the wind and still be accurate...Elsner is a wonderfully sensitive and expressive Parsifal...But the strongest performance of all is the Amfortas of Evgeny Nikitin...If Janowski's planned cycle...continues like this, it will unquestionably be the finest modern traversal on disc of Wagner's achievement.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 *****
“The strongest contributions come from Evgeny Nikitin’s Amfortas and Eike Wilm Schulte’s Klingsor.” Financial Times, 26th May 2012 ***
“The Parsifal strikes me as one of the finest on disc, easily the best of the past decade, with an avuncular, Sachs-like Gurnemanz in Franz-Josef Selig, an exciting Kundry in Michelle DeYoung, Evgeny Nikitin’s noble, anguished Amfortas (better than in 2010’s Gergiev/Mariinsky set) and, best of all, Christian Elsner’s ideally lyrical and heroic Parsifal.” Sunday Times, 15th July 2012
“Familiar tropes from previous concerts in this all-Wagner series resurface. Pacing is generally quite quick. Casting and characterisation are naturalistic, apparently written by Wagner. Gurnemanz (Selig) sounds like an inquisitive old squire rather than a retired Wotan waiting to unearth the secrets of the universe. Parsifal (Elsner) is a rough, innocent outsider instead of the chosen one in embryo.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2012
“Janowski's approach is pointedly symphonic...[Elsner] proves an inspired choice as Parsifal, dark-toned yet lyrical...DeYoung delivers what is by some margin her most compelling performance to date...She pins you to your seat with her description of her alter ego laughing at Christ...All told, this is a Parsifal - in modern sound - to rank with some of the great performances on disc.” International Record Review, September 2012
“the first benefit that strikes the listener is the quality of the recorded sound...
This is matched by a vivid performance from the orchestra, who have played Wagner brilliantly throughout this cycle so far...Selig is outstanding, anchoring the whole set with gravitas and weight. He sings not only with authority but with outstanding beauty...Nikitin is outstanding at evoking sympathy...DeYoung’s Kundry is outstanding because she gets inside both aspects of the role.” MusicWeb International, August 2012
“these performances sound polished and well cast, revealing diaphanous beauty and detail in the orchestration...Parsifal is distinguished by Franz-Josef Selig’s majestic Gurnemanz” Financial Times, 5th January 2013 ***
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Ben Heppner (Enée), Michelle DeYoung (Didon), Petra Lang (Cassandre), Sara Mingardo (Anna), Peter Mattei (Chorèbe), Stephen Milling (Narbal), Kenneth Tarver (Iopas), Toby Spence (Hylas), Alan Ewing (Priam), Guang Yang (Hécube), Isabelle Cals (Ascagne), Tigran Martirossian (Panthée), Bülent Bezdüz (Helenus), Mark Stone (Un chef grec), Leigh Melrose (Un soldat troyen/Mercure), Orlin Annastassov (L'Ombre d'Hector), Andrew Greenan (Premiere Sentinelle), Roderick Earle (Deuxieme Sentinelle)
London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Sir Colin Davis
“So what's so special about the performance? Try Canadian tenor Ben Heppner, outdoing his fellow countryman Jon Vickers on Sir Colin's first recording of Les Troyens. The other principals are very fine too...The playing is formidable, revelatory, and the big set-pieces have an epic sweep to them.” Matt Fernand, bbc.co.uk, 20th November 2002
“Davis's second live recording...magnificently crowns his whole career as a Berlioz interpreter on record, generally outshining even his pioneer version of 30 years earlier...[Lang] is superb, firm, rich and intense, investing every phrase with emotional power, instantly establishing her dominance...Heppner excels himself” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
“The splendiferous climax of Davis’s first Berlioz cycle” The Times, 10th May 2013
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