Gustav Mahler

(1860-1911)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 9

Mahler: Symphony No. 9


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

The stunning new recording by one of the undisputed contemporary Mahlerians,Ivan Fischer.

The Ninth Symphony was the last score completed by Mahler, and it could well be that this was how he originally meant it to be. With Beethovens Ninth and the unfinished Ninth by Bruckner in the back of his mind, he was deeply superstitious about symphonies and the number nine. At least, that is what his wife Alma had to say. But did he really intend the work to be nothing less than a farewell to life, as the moving final movement seems to suggest? And as it has so often been interpreted by Mahler specialists?

According to the conductor Leonard Bernstein, the last pages of the symphony are the most musically realistic description of death itself.

“Fischer gives us the edginess of Bernstein without his tendency to wallow. ...it's the small things that so often strike sparks - exposed timpani properly tuned, problematic textures rendered with airy chamber-like luminosity…[this issue] is in a very special class, a sonic dazzler, quite apart from its bold musical qualities. A potential Award-winner!” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

“This orchestra can seem as if it is making chamber music, as is so necessary in Mahler’s music, and its turn-on-a-sixpence responses to Fischer’s Urging makes this an exhilarating recording.” CD Review

“Fischer is faithful to Mahler’s score, yet lays bare this music’s poignant sense of a leave-taking, even if it was not to be the composer’s last word on the symphony.” Sunday Times, 14th June 2015

“Mahler’s long farewell...is given heartbreaking intensity and tenderness by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, always an ensemble of great character and conviction...And what a fine Mahlerian [Fischer] is: this account is superb for the orchestra’s deep, old-world sound, for a generosity of expression that clinches the work’s turmoil but draws radiantly life-affirming conclusions.” The Guardian, 4th June 2015 *****

“You can always expect insights from Iván Fischer's energised Budapest Festival Orchestra, and he has his own distinctive view on this most traumatic and ultimately transcendent of symphonies…for those who can't have too much of this masterpiece, Fischer is essential for further enlightenment.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2015

Presto Disc of the Week

18th May 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Winner

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2015

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Channel Iván Fischer Mahler Symphonies - CCSSA36115

(SACD)

$14.75

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Mahler: Symphony No. 4

Mahler: Symphony No. 4


Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 portrays another side of the composer, different to the one hitherto seen by the general public. No major battles are fought in this symphony; rather, it is a portrayal of a childlike vision of life and a better world in the Hereafter. Mahler’s Dutch friend and colleague, Alphons Diepenbrock, may well have provided the most fitting description of the nature of this symphony and its position within Mahler’s oeuvre: “[...] in his Symphony No. 4, he exclusively praises the sensations of the soul, severed from all earthly ties, from various angles ⎯either as childish yet unearthly merriment, or as the highest ecstasy attained by mystics in bygone years during the contemplation of the divine. However, one should not search for irony here. The work is like a beautiful dream, an indispensable link in the series of Mahler’s nine symphonies that speak sufficiently of harsh reality, and that, according to some, will one day be considered the monumental musical oeuvre of the present day.”

The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra lives up to its reputation for its brilliant Mahler performances and surpasses all expectations under the baton of conductor Marc Albrecht. And Elizabeth Watts’ performance in the final movement is surely one not to be missed. The chemistry between Watts and the orchestra is utterly pervasive. With a voice described by International Record Review as “one of the most beautiful Britain has produced in a generation”, Watts sweeps the listener off their feet with this sunny, accessible symphony from Mahler. The perfect combination of immaculate performance with impeccable PENTATONE sound quality can only result in a magical musical experience.

“Successively excited, rueful and at peace, [Watts] leaves extremes of colour to the orchestration around her…I especially enjoy Albrecht and the orchestra letting the sunshine into the Scherzo, and their negotiation of the first movement is classical in form and conception…in its self-effacing way, the performance is true to the symphony's deceptive charm” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Pentatone - PTC5186487

(SACD)

$16.00

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Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 9 & 10

Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 9 & 10


Mahler:

Symphony No. 9

2009

Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major - Adagio

2008


This has already been internationally acclaimed as one of the most important Mahler projects of the new millennium. Continues with the release of the 9th and 10th Symphonies. Bonus: Introductions to Symphonies Nos. 9 and Introduction to the Mahler cycle with Paavo Järvi.

SOUND FORMAT Blu-ray: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM 2.0

PICTURE 16:9, HD Bonus: Introductions to Symphonies Nos. 9 and Introduction to the Mahler cycle with P. Järvi English (original language), German, Korean, Japanese

BOOKLET: E, G, F

TOTAL RUNNING TIME. 141 MINS

“No previous instalment in Paavo Järvi's Mahler cycle prepared me for the raw passion of this Ninth.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major Paavo Järvi Complete Mahler Symphony Cycle - 729804

(Blu-ray)

$37.75

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World Orchestra for Peace and Valery Gergiev at the BBC Proms

World Orchestra for Peace and Valery Gergiev at the BBC Proms

20th July 2014, Royal Albert Hall, London


Mahler:

Symphony No. 6 in A minor 'Tragic'

Panufnik, R:

Three Paths to Peace

Strauss, R:

Symphonic Fantasy on Die Frau ohne Schatten, TrV234a


In 2014 the World Orchestra for Peace returned with its conductor Valery Gergiev for its fourth appearance to the BBC Proms to play a special concert, marking the centennial of the outbreak of World War 1.

The concert included Roxanna Panufnik’s Three Paths to Peace, commissioned by the orchestra, Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, and it celebrated the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss with the colourful, fairy-tale soundscapes of his operatic masterpiece Die Frau ohne Schatten.

The World Orchestra for Peace, founded in 1995 by Sir Georg Solti to reaffirm, in his words, “the unique strength of music as an ambassador for peace” is a classical supergroup consisting of leading players from the world’s finest orchestras.

Beside the concert, a fascinating documentary with Sir Georg Solti and Valery Gergiev is marking the orchestra’s 20th anniversary.

SOUND FORMAT Blu-ray: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM 2.0

PICTURE 16:9, HD

Bonus: ‘From War to Peace’, English (Original Language), German

BOOKLET: E, G, F

TOTAL RUNNING TIME. 151 mins

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major - 730204

(Blu-ray)

$37.75

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Piano Quartets: Daniel Hope

Piano Quartets: Daniel Hope


Brahms:

Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25

Mahler:

Piano Quartet (in one movement) in A minor

Schumann:

Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47


Daniel Hope (violin), David Finckel (cello), Wu Han (piano) & Paul Neubauer (viola)

Bold, lush, and exquisite piano quartets by Mahler, Schumann, and Brahms, this core classical album presents some of the finest pieces written in the romantic era. For this chamber music album, Daniel Hope has put together a stellar cast, including CMS Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, as well as viola legend Paul Neubauer.

The recording is produced by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the album will be released to coincide with the US tour in April.

“Schumann’s Piano Quartet sings with an articulate give-and-take and, though the temperature is moderate early on in Brahms’s Piano Quartet, the mercury rises strongly before the end.” Financial Times, 23rd May 2015 ****

“the four participants move instinctively with the music and with one another, the piano (Schumann’s own instrument) blending in rather than dominating. The fugal flurries of the finale are articulated with terrific panache and togetherness...The affinity with style that shines through the Schumann is equally evident in Brahms’s G minor Piano Quintet.” The Telegraph, 31st May 2015 ****

“The slow movement [of the Schumann] is one of the best things here, full-toned where needs to be - as in the glorious theme itself...There is much to admire in the Brahms, above all perhaps in the Intermezzo, with its fined-down string shadings, and the voluptuous warmth of the outer sections of the Andante.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2015

“Daniel Hope and his colleagues turn in well-paced readings of all three scores - their expressive intensity heightened by the almost gypsy-style vibrato favoured by Hope himself: highly appropriate to the riotous Hungarian finale of the Brahms and imparting an almost Klezmer-like feeling to the violin flourish at the end of the Mahler.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2015

DG - 4794609

(CD)

$14.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

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Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8

Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8


Mahler:

Symphony No. 7

2011

Symphony No. 8 in E flat major 'Symphony of a Thousand'

2013


The highly praised Mahler Cycle with Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra continues with the release of the 7th and 8th Symphonies. Bonus: Introductions to Symphonies Nos. 7 + 8 with Paavo Järvi.

SOUND FORMAT Blu-ray: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM 2.0

PICTURE 16:9, HD

SUBTITLES Symphony No. 8: English, German, French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Latin

Bonus: Introductions to Symphonies Nos. 7 + 8 with Paavo Järvi

English (original language), German, Korean, Japanese

BOOKLET: E, G, F

TOTAL RUNNING TIME. 185 MINS

“the Eighth is - as with all the other performances in the cycle - highly accomplished. Less so the filming...Overall the Seventh belongs with the other mid-period symphonies as the high point of the cycle.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2015

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major Paavo Järvi Complete Mahler Symphony Cycle - 729604

(Blu-ray)

$37.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6

Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6


Mahler:

Symphony No. 5

Recorded Rheingau Musik Festival 2011

Symphony No. 6 in A minor 'Tragic'

Recorded Rheingau Musik Festival 2013


Symphonies Nos. 5 + 6 will continue the release of the complete Mahler cycle with Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, which since the 80s became a “powerful Mahler orchestra” (Frankfurter Rundschau)

Bonus: Introductions to Symphonies Nos 5 + 6 with Paavo Järvi

Running Time Total: 180 Minutes

Symphonies: 160 Minutes

Introductions to Symphonies

Nos. 5 + 6 by P. Järvi : 20 Minutes

Picture 16:9, HD

Sound DVD: DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo

Subtitles Introductions to the Symphonies: English, German, Korean, JapanesePackaging Packaging NTSC: 2 DVD Amaray box

Booklet English, German, French

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

C Major Paavo Järvi Complete Mahler Symphony Cycle - 729308

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$37.75

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Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6

Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6


Mahler:

Symphony No. 5

Recorded Rheingau Musik Festival 2011

Symphony No. 6 in A minor 'Tragic'

Recorded Rheingau Musik Festival 2013


Symphonies Nos. 5 + 6 will continue the release of the complete Mahler cycle with Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, which since the 80s became a “powerful Mahler orchestra” (Frankfurter Rundschau)

Bonus: Introductions to Symphonies Nos 5 + 6 with Paavo Järvi

Running Time Total: 180 Minutes

Symphonies: 160 Minutes

Introductions to Symphonies

Nos. 5 + 6 by P. Järvi : 20 Minutes

Picture 16:9, HD

Sound BD: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM 2.0

Subtitles Introductions to the Symphonies: English, German, Korean, JapanesePackaging Packaging Blu-ray box

Booklet English, German, French

“Järvi has clearly thought long and hard about both scores and his orchestra backs him up marvellously...Collectors who are following this Järvi cycle – the only cycle so far on Blu-Ray, I believe – can invest with confidence.” MusicWeb International, July 2015

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major Paavo Järvi Complete Mahler Symphony Cycle - 729404

(Blu-ray)

$37.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

Mahler: Symphony No. 9


Sir Mark Elder and Hallé’s latest release is a live recording of the acclaimed concert performance of Mahler’s landmark symphonic work, which closed the 2014 season.

Begun in 1909 in the composer’s idyllic Austrian mountain retreat, at a time when Mahler was preoccupied by thoughts of his own mortality, his last completed symphony has been described as his most death-haunted work.

Scored for forces which are modest, by Mahlerian standards, this extended work is characterized by its unusual construction, with often soloistic orchestral writing, evocative use of keys and haunting use of motives and references to traditional Austrian folk dance.

This release is a valuable addition to the Hallé canon of great symphonies, including recent releases devoted to Vaughan Williams: Nos 5&8 CD HLL 7533 - Sunday Times Album of the Week and Music Web Recording of the Month; and No 3 CD HLL 7540 – Gramophone Editor’s Choice Feb 2015

Hallé will perform Mahler Symphony No 5 under Elder at the Bridgewater Hall on 19th March and Mahler Symphony No1 under Markus Stenz, Principal Guest Conductor, in repeated performances in Manchester and Sheffield in April.

Recorded live in concert and in rehearsal at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester 22nd May 2014. Producer and Editor Steve Portnoi; Assistant engineers Niall Gault and Dermot Gault

“The Hallé perform with uncommon beauty and melancholy, but the music-making increasingly gets under one’s skin.” Financial Times, 21st March 2015

“[The first movement] is very well stage-managed, its three huge, increasingly catastrophic climaxes lucidly navigated; perhaps in the end no single performance can encompass such a searchingly profound and intensely personal work.” The Guardian, 20th March 2015 ****

“Elder eschews folksy sentiment in the Ländler rhythms of the second movement, and his lean string textures favour the woodwinds’ grotesque humour in the Rondo-Burleske. The final Adagio, conceived as if in one long dying breath, is spellbindingly beautiful and moving.” Sunday Times, 12th April 2015

“It’s [the] sense of life ebbing away that Elder’s beautifully alert but emotionally circumspect performance captures so well...The Hallé’s playing is often magnificent. True, the strings don’t have that preening, velvety splendour that the Vienna Philharmonic, say, brings to this repertoire. Yet even this more wiry timbre sounds right in a work where the very sounds themselves seem to be inexorably decaying and melting into oblivion.” The Times, 18th April 2015 ****

“There are long, noble stretches but the conflict zones of the first movement lack that last degree of urgency…the the magic happens: where some interpretations fall at the last hurdle, the great but sometimes hard-to-feel Adagio finale, this one hits peak form.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2015 ***

“Elder has a cool, clear, carefully ordered take on the outer movements - Klimt rather than Schiele…the concluding pages of the finale, patiently unfolded and calm rather than death-haunted, would seem to have been listened to in rapt silence.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

Hallé - CDHLD7541

(CD - 2 discs)

$16.25

(also available to download from $20.00)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 9

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

recorded live at Teatro La Scala in November 2014


Filarmonica della Scala, Daniel Barenboim

Decca - 4811530

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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