Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A sincere and well prepared account of a popular symphony
Mike Willis | Trafalgar, Victoria Australia | 09/20/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although Leaper has recorded a wide range of works with several budget labels, including Naxos, and, more recently, Arte Nova, his orchestra - located in, of all places, Canary Islands, is less well known. However, they have nothing to fear from more famous ensembles if this Mahler 3rd is anything to go by: it is a well prepared, finely played account which is both scrupulous to the letter of the score and to the volatile nature of the music itself. Leaper appears to be in the process of recording a cycle for Arte Nova, but the labels seems to have slowed down its rate of new releases outside Germany (where it is based), and it may be some time before we see any new Mahler releases from the fine orchestra and conductor - both of whom, by the way, have also started to appear on the ASV label, albeit in works which may at first glance seem to be more appropriate - that is, pieces by Spanish influenced composers! There are now so many versions of the Mahler 3rd symophony that it is somewhat difficult to actually "rank" the present version - but if you want to hear a freshly minted, well recorded and finely played performance, this is well worth the money. From an interpretative standpoint it reminds me of the old Abravanel Mahler 3rd (once on Vanguard), which also shared a certain freshness and genuine enthusiasm on the part of the players - in this case from another less than well known orchestra - the Utah Symphony. Both Abravanel and Leaper are less overtly emotional than Bernstein for example (on DG), and are closer in stance to Abbado (also on DG), who has the benefit of better playing but - just perhaps, less freshness. Compared to other budget recordings, Leaper's strikes me as more energetic and fresher than the Naxos version, fine though that is - and the recording is also brighter and more open on Arte Nova."
Unbeatable at price
Mike Willis | 12/11/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Superior to most of the versions available, old, new or recycled. Brass of world-class caliber, plenty of players, a conductor who does wonders in the first (and best) movement, especially, and a recording with plenty of heft, sense of space, clarity---dumbfounding, in a way, from a source so unlikely, so unexpected. The Canary Islands' Mahler 7 is a fine buy, too, at the price; the 5th only somewhat less so; the 1st and 4th eminently musical---none of them bettered at a rock-bottom price in today's bizarrely inflated market."