Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Symphonies 1 3 5 6 8 & 9
An Incredible Mahler 6th!!!
D. J. Zabriskie | Park Ridge, NJ USA | 10/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will not attempt to give an overview of this collection, but simply review the Mahler 6th here that a friend played for me
a couple of days ago.
As is frequently the case with Mitropoulos, you have not really
HEARD this piece until you've heard it the way Mitropoulos conducts it! As mentioned in the other review, Mitropoulos was
conducting these scores from scratch, without reference to anyone
else's approach and what he finds in the score to Mahler's Tragic
Symphony and extracts from the orchestra is quite unlike what
any other conductor has done. That does not necessarily make this
performance superior to all others, anymore than it makes it more
eccentric than all others, but having heard it just once, I can
tell you that no serious Mahler collection is complete without it!
As always, Mitropoulos presents a wealth of detail that other conductors either neglect or perceive to be part of something else. The opening march is taken rather slower than we're used to hearing it, but that only makes it more ominous. Of particular interest it the way Mitropoulos accentuates the piping
of the flutes and the squacking of the other woodwinds. Rather than the prophecy of Nazi jackboots we so frequently hear in this movement, Mitropoulos gives us the kicking, screaming resistance of old Europe being dragged inevitably forward into a more mechanized, less compassionate world. Likewise, in the adagio, Mitropoulos' approach to Mahler's offstage horns evokes
an image NOT of pastoral herdsmen, but the spirits of a way of
life that is already lost forever.
Mitropoulos' uncanny achievement here is to convey both the foreboding of a Europe at the crossroads and the anti-nostaglia
of an older man returning home, only to find no one he recognizes
and nothing to take solace in. That he can convey both these
emotional truths with equal commitment SIMULTANEOUSLY is remarkable indeed. Like Mahler, Mitropoulos was a deeply SPIRITUAL man, without being strictly religious, and like Mahler,
he viewed material and technological progress without corresponding spiritual progress as being false and dangerous.
That is the emotional truth Mitropoulos finds at the core of
Mahler's Tragic Symphony and conveys so eloquently."