Composer: Gustav Mahler
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Number of Discs: 2 SACD-R
Bit Depth: 64 (2.8 MHz/1 Bit)
Number of channels: 5.1, 2.0
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 5.12 GB
Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado
Mahler – Symphony 6 in A minor
01-I. Allegro energico, ma non troppo. Heftig, aber markig 22:48
02-II. Andante moderato 13:57
01-III. Scherzo. Wuchtig 12:43
02-IV. Finale. Allegro moderato – Allegro energico 29:44
AFAIK DG is still recording in PCM (here @ 24/48) and, like EMI, they are probably so ‘conservative’ as to think 24/96 is good enough for their archives.
The recording, fortunately, has to be 1 of DG’s best efforts in the Philharmonie. Whilst it is not as clear as Channel Classics in Budapest, every detail shines through (& not by over-use of spot-miking). The Mch clears things up considerably compared to the 2ch layer. The audience remains quiet throughout until the separate applause track.
Very highly recommended for fans of Mahler, Abbado & the BPO. The tragic aspect to this release is that DG never followed up with the Mahler 4 recorded the following year in SACD.
~ Copyright © 2006 John Broggio & HRAudio.net
When at last it was revealed what Mahler’s final intentions were regarding the ordering of the inner movements of his 6th Symphony, 90 years of theory, history, & performance practice went right out the window. For theorists, it altered the harmonic structure of Mahler’s A minor Symphony. For historians, it modified the meaning of Mahler’s “Tragic” Symphony. For players & conductors, it changed the musical progress of Mahler’s 6th Symphony. For listeners, it made Mahler’s deepest & darkest symphony even deeper & darker. With the achingly nostalgic Andante moderato now coming before the bitingly bitter Scherzo, the triumph of the opening Allegro energico sounds even more hollow & empty & the collapse of the closing Allegro moderato sounds even more final & total.
For most of his career, Claudio Abbado had performed Mahler’s 6th in the then-standard ordering of Scherzo — Andante & the results were completely convincing. But with this June 2004 recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, Abbado has adopted the Andante — Scherzo ordering & the results are absolutely compelling. Abbado has always been 1 of the finest virtuoso conductors of the past half century, but his interpretations have grown more passionate over the years, even to the point of violence, & this 6th may be the most violently passionate recording he has ever made. Indeed, the unrelenting intensity, unbearable concentration, & overwhelming power in Abbado’s interpretation make it 1 of the most devastating performances of the work ever recorded. The Berlin plays with stunning virtuosity, tremendous dedication, & unconditional love. DG’s sound is warm, clear, & real, but just a little bit distant.