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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.
“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
“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
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“In the total confidence of the trumpeter's highly rhythmic opening solo and the tender string nuancing of the Adagietto, this Fifth holds up well.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2007 ****
“Dudamel and his players are superb in the first two movements. This is music which suits their style, serious and impassioned, universal rather than local, untroubled by kitsch.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2007
“quite simply the hottest new conductor for a generation” The Observer
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This is the fourth in the Hanssler series of live recordings of the Mahler symphonies, and in it they try as hard as ever to recreate the sound world which Mahler might have expected. Of course the most striking features of this strategy are the 'German seating' (with violins opposite each other and basses across the back of the orchestra) and the 'Pure Tone' normal with all orchestras until the 1920s. Pure tone offers unanimity of sound, transparency, telling harmonies and the possibility of far more engaged phrasing and dynamics.
(also available to download from $10.50)
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Lucerne Festival Orchestra - The First 5 Years
Recorded live 2003-2006<br /><br />The present DVD provides a comprehensive overview of the work of this already legendary orchestra featuring a selection of outstanding recordings from the 2003 to 2006 festivals. For prominent works by Beethoven, Bruckner, Debussy and Mahler, the orchestra is joined by reputed soloists. In addition to a masterly filmed musical experience, the box set also comprises the documentary "The History of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra" including rarely seen rehearsal, concert and archival footage featuring Wilhelm Furtwangler, Ferenc Fricsay, Herbert von Karajan, Yehudi Menuhin and Arturo Toscanini. Also included is a bonus DVD of Maurizio Pollini playing Beethoven in a first ever audiovisual release. The box set comes, at a very attractive price, in a luxurious presentation with an extended booklet with insightful essays and interesting photographic material - a suitable homage to a very special orchestra and its great conductor.
“It’s different having best friends together. Everyone is there to enjoy making music, to take pleasure, to play with enthusiasm, with passion. They are prepared to do any crazy thing I ask them for the sake of the music. To fly, to walk through fire.” Claudio Abbado
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Choral Arrangements by Clytus Gottwald
“Gottwald's awesome technical demands put much of this music way beyond the scope of most choirs, and it is greatly to Ralph Allwood's credit that the Rodolfus Choir, most of whom are students and all of
whom are under 25, have not only tackled this music at all but have done so with considerable distinction ... there is a collective enthusiasm for the music and for art of choral singing” Gramophone Magazine
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