Klaus Tennstedt conducts Mahler

ica classics: ICAC5033

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Klaus Tennstedt conducts Mahler

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Release date:

30th Aug 2011




1 hour 41 minutes


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Klaus Tennstedt conducts Mahler


Symphony No. 3

Royal Festival Hall, London, 5 October 1986

Interview: Tennstedt discusses Mahler with Michael Oliver


CD - 2 discs


(also available to download from $16.00)

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Klaus Tennstedt (1926–1998) was one of the great Mahlerians of his time and, over a period of 10 years, he recorded a Mahler cycle in the studio with the LPO where he was music director from 1983 to his retirement due to ill health in 1987.

This recording has never been issued before and is sourced from the BBC’s master tapes.

This 1986 performance from London’s Royal Festival Hall differs from the studio recording made in the late 1970s. As Michael McManus states in his booklet notes, ‘Fine though the studio recording from 1979 was and is, this live performance has an intensity and integrity that few, if any, recordings of this work can match’ and ‘Tennstedt in concert was a very different creature from Tennstedt in the studio. Mahler in particular was a lifeand-death experience in the concert hall’.

The sound captured by the BBC engineers is state of the art and easily captures Mahler’s huge dynamic range.

As a bonus, there is a short interview from 1987 in which Tennstedt discusses Mahler interpretation with Michael Oliver.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 3 in D minor

I. Kraftig - Entschieden

II. Tempo di menuetto. Sehr massig

III. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast

IV. Sehr langsam. Misterioso

V. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck

VI. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden

Tennstedt discusses his interpretation of Mahler, notably Mahler's Symphony No.6, with Michael Oliver

Tennstedt discusses his interpretation of Mahler, notably Mahler's Symphony No.6, with Michael Oliver

Sunday Times

11th September 2011

“This is an overwhelming experience. Tennstedt’s studio recordings of Mahler are impressive, but his concerts with the LPO at the Festival Hall were something different — among the greatest performances I have ever heard. This Mahler 3, given on October 5, 1986, is on fire from the first note. The Tennstedt strengths (huge dynamic range, maximum vividness of instrumental colour) strike you like a blow.”

The Observer

18th September 2011

“They are almost unbearably intense, recorded live as the pressures of illness loomed over the conductor. The intensity is palpable on the CD of the Third Symphony...but it is visible on the DVD of the Fifth: Tennstedt's unique way was to let the music unfurl with total freedom (and some vagueness) and then galvanise its climax with frightening concentration.”

Gramophone Magazine

November 2011

“This is not the spick and span, vibrato-lite Mahler somewhat in vogue today...yet something special is going on, especially when the stick is discarded for much of the long-breathed, old-world, unashamedly subjective Adagietto...[Meier] contributes more than the statutory stoical poise...Exuding integrity, his finale is again straightforward, by no means unduly slow. Fortunately the sound is good.”

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