Notes and Editorial Reviews
Following clinical earlier instalments in their respective Mahler odysseys, two master technicians play their trump cards. Sinopoli conducted Mahler’s Seventh in concert a week after Tennstedt, and to everyone’s amazement the Philharmonia performance was both more finely prepared and more expressively fluent.
So, too, it proves in the recording studio. Mahler’s strangest meeting of past rituals and futuristic nightmares needs a master-balancer to keep weird orchestral mixes in harness, but Sinopoli – for once – does much more than that. Every sound is graphically to the point, from screaming high frequencies – the Philharmonia woodwind and first trumpet (John Wallace, I presume) are superlative – to extreme rhythmic tension
in the bass lines; and Sinopoli beats all competition, Rattle included, in his pacing of the outer movements.
The second Nachtmusik is controversially slow, but only to the purpose of lengthening the night shadows in this bitter-sweet serenade and emphasising its pivotal role between darkness and light.
... Bryn Terfel looked, on paper, to be the star attraction of the Sinopoli set; but his score-faithful reading of Kindertotenlieder, though phrased with supreme artistry, only springs off the printed page in the last, hallowed bars. So special a case among song cycles really does need the maturity of a Fischer-Dieskau.
Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 5 (out of 5)
-- David Nice, BBC Music Magazine
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 7 in E minor by Gustav Mahler
Written: 1904-1905; Vienna, Austria
Kindertotenlieder by Gustav Mahler
Bryn Terfel (Baritone)
Written: 1901-1904; Vienna, Austria
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