Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Chailly, Cgb|
Genres: Pop, Classical
Somewhat unconventional, but spectacular sound
Bruce Hodges | New York, NY | 02/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording may be hard to find at this point, but it is well worth seeking out for devoted Mahlerites or fans of Chailly's Mahler cycle. (He has now recorded all but symphonies 3 and 9, most with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.)For the gruff march that opens the Sixth symphony, Chailly chooses speeds somewhat slower than normal - very risky indeed. The payoff, however, is a sense of weight that other versions do not have; whether you like this effect will depend on how propulsive you like your Mahler. Those who admire Solti will probably be a bit impatient with Chailly's deliberateness. However, by the climax of the first movement, the tempi have long since seemed "right" - relentless, even menacing. It is certainly not the only way to perform this piece, but Chailly makes it work. Part of the credit is due to the ability of the orchestra, which is able to produce gorgeous, sustained sound over the long haul. Tempi this slow can reveal tonal deficiencies and weak instrumental sections - but nothing of that sort happens here. After the fierce conclusion to the first movement, the Scherzo is on the gentle side - again, slower than in many versions of this piece. By the time the glorious slow movement appears, it too is slower; it's marked "andante" and most versions flow a little faster than this one. But with such tonal beauty, slower can be better, if the conductor and orchestra are able to sustain what they begin. In this case, they do. The nightmarish final movement is convulsive, hallucinatory - and here the relentless pace really pays off. The rhythm itself communicates hopelessness and despair; despite all that has come before, the mood is still grim. If nothing else, this is arguably the best-sounding Mahler Sixth I've ever heard; Decca really has very little competition at the moment. The clarity of Chailly's vision is matched by considerable clarity on Decca's end - a demonstration-quality recording. The famous hammer blows, for instance, will really knock you out of your chair if you have the volume turned up. Although I'd never want to be without von Karajan's exciting version with the Berlin Philharmonic, Chailly allows us more time to savor the grief. A memorable experience if you're up for it."