Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gustav Mahler, Yoel Levi, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra|
Mahler: Symphony No.6
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A very good Mahler 6, but something missing.
Jeffrey Grubin | Newington, CT United States | 05/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I own 11 versions of Mahler's "tragic" symphony, and I must say that this is near the top of my list at about #3 or #4. It is recorded in amazingly clear sound. The four sections (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion) are all captured vividly. I usually don't take to fast first movements of the 6th, but here I can tolerate it because there is much energy and the Atlanta Symphony plays magnificently. The second and third movements were also done very well. The hammer blows in this recording are two of the best I have ever heard; it sounds like bombs are going off! However, I will give this recording only 4 stars out of 5 for three reasons. One, even though I'm a trombone player, I feel that the trombones and the whole brass section in general were sticking out too much at times, destroying the polyphony that is so important in Mahler's music. Two, there is no exposition repeat in the first movement. If this was because Levi wanted to emphasize the tragic fall of the hero in the last movement, then fine, but I think the repeat was cut in order to fit the symphony one one disc. I feel that the repeat is needed because the major-minor motif that is so important in this symphony needs to be emphasized. Besides, Mahler called for it! Third, after the second hammer blow, it seemed like Levi lost his way and the energy that was flowing so well throughout this performance seemed to be lost somewhat. It sounded like the musicians were tiring, as this is an exhausting work. This makes the ending almost anticlimatcic. Despite these shortcomings, this is a very fine performance of Mahler 6 and one that I am glad to have in my collection. I would put Boulez's recording on DG ahead of this one because he doesn't miss a step through the whole thing.My favorite version, Chailly conducting the Concertgebouw, is only available in Europe, unfortunately. I was able to acquire it through a friend, and it has the loudest hammerblows I have ever heard (even better than the Atlanta recording). Also, it doesn't have any of the shortcomings that I listed for Atlanta. I hope it is made available in the United States soon because I feel that it is one of the best kept secrets of Mahler!"
Tragic to not own this disc.
D. Seymour | Atlanta, GA USA | 01/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All right, I confess, I love this recording. I love what both Mahler and Levi manage to coax out of the ASO: the pulsating fate motives that every once in a while culminate in a passage of such delicate beauty, the tension between the different sections of the orchestra and especially the exquisitely painful climaxes. Mahler is not my favorite composer, but this symphony speaks to me. It has all the elements of dark brooding which I love and even some lyrical splendor. Telarc's sonics are outstanding! They allow the orchestra to hit you like a ton of bricks. This is one to play with the volume as loud as the neighbors will tolerate. If you love music that conjures emotional images - buy this disc."
Levi's best Mahler
D. Seymour | 12/19/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have all of Levi's Mahler CDs (and 20 performances of the 6th) and for me this is easily his highlight. However, whether this disc is for you or not will be determined by your reaction to the first movement. First of all, the exposition repeat is omitted, which is a big deal to some. Second, Levi's tempo in the opening march is faster than any that I know of (other sections are played at more normal speeds, so the overall time of this movement doesn't reflect the march pace, which is quicker than even Bernstein/Sony and Kubelik)...it is definitely outside of the bounds of the composers instructions. Me? I like it, I find that the opening movement can work well with a quick march, and it does here. The remaining movements are done fairly conventionally, but given that they are performed quite well. The sound is very good. As usual, the Atlanta Symphony plays wonderfully.This might not be an ideal choice for your only 6th, but provides a provactive alternative view."