Composer: Gustav Mahler (1860 — 1911)
Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony
Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas
Number of Discs: 1 SACD-R
Bit Depth: 64(2.8 MHz/1 Bit)
Number of channels: 5.0, 2.0
Label: San Francisco Symphony
Size: 6.22 GB
Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
Mahler – Symphony No. 6
01. 1st Movement: Allegro energico, ma non troppo. Heftig, aber markig 24:33
02. 2nd Movement: Scherzo: Wuchtig 14:02
03. 3rd Movement: Andante moderato 17:27
01. 4th Movement: Finale: Allegro moderato-Allegro energico 31:22
Recorded September 12-15, 2001, recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
I actually attended the phenonmenal performance of this work plus or minus a day or two from the actual live recording. It was just after 9/11 so there was a special significance to this performance.
Between movements MTT was alerted that a San Francisco & worldwide music favorite, violinist Isaac Stern, had just passed away – so the remainder of the performance I attended was dedicated to his memory.
I used to think SACD was a bunch of hooey until I heard this disc (given to me as a gift). After I heard it on an SACD player I went out and got an SACD home theatre system. The total combination of a top-notch world-class performance and a great recording job plus the multichannel recording simply makes this a reference recording.
I’m a Mahler nut and have various great recordings (CDs) of him. All are excellent performance-wise (I do have my favorites, and love Lenny’s interpretations, though my Maazel Mahler #5 is up there too). Unfortunately many of these CDs, esp when released in early 80s, suffer from being radically “bright”. (I do hope some of these performances – even those that were “AAD” – are redigitized from masters.)
And given the quality of this, I went out and bought the SFS recording of Mahler’s #1. (Another performance I physically attended, perhaps even on the same day of the recording.) Equally fine, equally grand, equally wonderful recording & ‘presence’.
[And BTW – the regular stereo CD layers on these two sound pretty damned good in my truck CD as well.]
Can’t wait for SFS to release Mahler’s #2 and #5 in same format. MTT knows Mahler!
Great sense of drama in this performance, beautifully conveyed in the mulit-channel recording. Razor sharp detail, excellent dynamics and a conductor “line” that is maintained in a masterful way. MTT is really at the top of his game here. Love the way he lets the music surge and subside, clearly with a deep understanding of the score. My new favorite 6!
By Dr. O:
Winner of the Grammy for “Best Orchestral Performance” in 2003! Add to this the incredible audio we have all come to expect in this remarkabe series, and you have an offering which is a “must have!”
Recorded shortly after the tragedy of September 11, this recording captures the dark pathos of those days. For Mahler, this symphony was also quite somber and, some think, autobiographical. MTT and the SFS capture this angst in a most powerful manner, unflinchlingly bringing the composer’s intent into the world of sound and imagination.
Highly recommended, as are ALL of the recordings so far in this wondrous symphonic cycle!