Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gustav Mahler, Gunther Herbig, Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra|
Mahler: Symphony No. 9
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A less successful performance
L. Johan Modée | Earth | 05/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Günther Herbigs recordings of Mahler's fifth and sixth symphonies have been quite successful - the sixth in particular, where Herbig conducted a perfectly balanced live performance.
By contrast, this live performance of Mahler's ninth strikes me as less successful. Apart from the problem that the sonic aspects don't really impress at all but sound rather dry and boxy, the performance as such lacks gravity and thoughtfulness. It seems like Herbig goes for the orchestral effects rather than balance. For example, at bar 122 in the first movement the timpani appear to play ff instead of poco meno f. And the third movement is way too fast in Herbig's hands. The final presto is played so fast that the orchestra barely manages to pull off the notes. Especially the trombone section is in great trouble.
In my view, then, this performance cannot compete with the best recordings in the current catalogue. Among the recent recordings, we have Barenboim's (Teldec) and Abbado's (DG), which are better choices: two very good interpretations and outstanding sound. And among the classics, it is very hard to beat such seminal performances as Ancerls (Supraphon), Klemperer (EMI) and Walter (SONY). In addition, Giulini's recording (DG) from the late seventies is also very fine. If you look for the best recordings of this work, pick any of these.