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The Mahler Project / Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony

Mahler / Thomas / San Francisco Sym
Release Date: 10/11/2011 
Label:  San Francisco Symphony   Catalog #: 39   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Isabel BayrakdarianLorraine Hunt LiebersonMichelle DeYoungAlexander Barantschik,   ... 
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony OrchestraSan Francisco Symphony ChorusSan Francisco Girls Chorus,   ... 
Number of Discs: 17 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This set contains hybrid Super Audio CDs playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

SFS Media presents The Mahler Project - a deluxe, seventeen-SACD set featuring all of the label's highly acclaimed recordings of music by Gustav Mahler, performed by the San Francisco Symphony led by Michael Tilson Thomas and recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall beween 2001 and 2009. Released in installments over the past ten years, the individual volumes of the set have garnered the highest critical acclaim, including seven GRAMMY® awards. With over 18 hours of music, this deluxe edition features the original liner notes from each recording compiled into one complete easy to navigate, 324-page book. As an added bonus,
Read more this set includes a never before released recording of the Rückert-Lieder for piano and voice with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham accompanied by MTT at the piano.

R E V I E W S:

Michael Tilson Thomas’s connection to Leonard Bernstein goes beyond a kindred bravura at the podium, skill at the keyboard, and dazzling conducting debuts at Carnegie Hall by way of last-minute substitution shortly before their twenty-fifth birthdays. They also share a love of Mahler. If Bernstein remains my favorite Mahlerian for his Sturm und Drang and empathy, San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas’s The Mahler Project is the essential Mahler cycle of the twenty-first century. The success and impact of a maestro’s interpretation is subject to dissection, debate and ultimately taste; the playing of the San Francisco players is — more objectively — brilliant. (And it doesn’t hurt that the seventeen disc set pristinely captures every phrase in hybrid SACD, the audiophile format that will, hopefully, obtain more than its current toehold.) Thomas, ultimately, is a more contained and active manager of his orchestra than was Bernstein. Here, his managed approach often achieves stupendous results (Mahler’s First, Second and Ninth) and occasionally dips into micromanagement (Rückert-Lieder, the Third, the Fifth). But the entire set is still worth multiple listens. Bravo.

– Ben Finane, Listen Magazine [Fall, 2011]

"...Thomas' management of tension throughout the work is exemplary. For instance, note the way he builds the great climax toward the end of the first movement (and its return in the finale), or the fabulous return to the finale's opening music after the generously indulgent second subject. The playing of the San Francisco Symphony also is first class..." – David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com, reviewing Symphony no 1, also available as SFS 2

"This is almost as good as it gets... [M]ezzo Loraine Hunt Lieberson, who has much more to sing than her colleague, delivers one of the finest performances of the fourth movement ever, on par with those of Christa Ludwig and Janet Baker... And Thomas has so much of value to tell us about how this music can be played. Listen, for example, to his thrilling way with the arrival of the first-movement recapitulation, where the return of the opening theme follows immediately, maintaining the accumulated tension. Or check out the superbly characterized scherzo, with wonderfully tipsy clarinets, divinely poetic trumpets in the trio section, a huge "cry of despair" climax, and a very imaginative subsequent deceleration and ultimate return to Tempo I... By any standard, there's more than enough here that's new and valid to warrant adding this release to your collection." – David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com, reviewing Symphony no 2, also available as SFS 6

"...The performance's sheer technical perfection, never mind the fact that it was edited from a series of live performances, attests to the exceptionally high standards prevailing in San Francisco at present, and the polish of the playing is complemented by abundant interpretive insight and an equally characterful response from the first chair players... Laura Claycomb sings the finale with exactly the right tone of boyish simplicity and charm, exactly as Mahler directs. The final verse, where 'everything awakes to joy' as the music gently goes to sleep, reminds us as exquisitely as any performance ever has that this music is about dreams--of childhood innocence, of perfect happiness, and peace." – David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com, reviewing Symphony no 4, also available as SFS 4

"The extremely successful SFS/Mahler Project reaches a pinnacle... Leading off the program is the Adagio from Mahler’s unfinished 10th Symphony. From the meandering introduction of the dark, relatively slow Andante, the Adagio swells convincingly, becoming the impassioned plea alluded to in the inscriptions that Mahler scribbled among the staves... [In Symphony no 8] The dynamics of the opening of part II are arresting; violin tremolos, muted in both senses of the word, are nearly inaudible in their delicacy... The episode with harmonium and harps, joined by the celesta and piano (which is audible for a change) that enter with the chorus, is sublime..." – Christopher Abbot, FANFARE, reviewing Symphony no 8, also available as SFS 60021
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan" by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1896 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
2. Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection" by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1896; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Live  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA 
Length: 88 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: German 
3. Symphony no 3 in D minor by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Michelle DeYoung (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1896; Hamburg, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2002 
Venue:  Live  Davies Hall, San Francisco, CA 
Length: 106 Minutes 44 Secs. 
4. Kindertotenlieder by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Michelle DeYoung (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1904; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Length: 26 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: German 
5. Symphony no 4 in G major by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Alexander Barantschik (Violin), Laura Claycomb (Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1900; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2003 
Venue:  Live  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco 
Length: 62 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: German 
6. Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA 
Length: 73 Minutes 21 Secs. 
7. Symphony no 6 in A minor "Tragic" by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904/1906; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Live  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA 
Length: 87 Minutes 30 Secs. 
8. Symphony no 7 in E minor by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904-1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA 
Length: 78 Minutes 11 Secs. 
9. Symphony no 10 in F sharp minor/major: 1st movement, Adagio by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/10/2006 
Venue:  Live  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA 
Length: 27 Minutes 56 Secs. 
10. Symphony no 8 in E flat major "Symphony of A Thousand" by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  James Morris (Bass Baritone), Anthony Dean Griffey (Tenor), Erin Wall (Soprano),
Laura Claycomb (Soprano), Quinn Kelsey (Baritone), Elza van den Heever (Soprano),
Yvonne Naef (Mezzo Soprano), Katarina Karnéus (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Live  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA 
Length: 7 Minutes 28 Secs. 
11. Symphony no 9 in D major by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1908-1909; Austria 
Venue:  Live  Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA 
Length: 89 Minutes 27 Secs. 
12. Das klagende Lied by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Moser (Tenor), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone), Marina Shaguch (Soprano),
Michelle DeYoung (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880/1899; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Language: German 
13. Das Lied von der Erde by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Stuart Skelton (Tenor)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1908-1909; Vienna, Austria 
14. Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Susan Graham (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1896; Germany 
15. Rückert Lieder (5) by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Susan Graham (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
16. Des Knaben Wunderhorn: no 8, Lied des Verfolgten im Turm by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Susan Graham (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Vienna, Austria 
17. Des Knaben Wunderhorn: no 14, Der Tamboursg'sell by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Susan Graham (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1898; Hamburg, Germany 
18. Des Knaben Wunderhorn: no 9, Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Susan Graham (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1898; Hamburg, Germany 
19. Des Knaben Wunderhorn: no 13, Revelge by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Susan Graham (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1898; Hamburg, Germany 
20. Des Knaben Wunderhorn: no 12, Urlicht by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone), Susan Graham (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1898; Hamburg, Germany 
21. Rückert Lieder (5) by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Susan Graham (Mezzo Soprano), Michael Tilson Thomas (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 MTT - San Francisco SO - SACD Recordings. May 28, 2012 By Luke Bryant (Oakleigh South, Victoria) See All My Reviews "Earlier, I payed tribute to MTT and the San Francisco Symphony for their DVD release: "Mahler: Origins and Legacy" I can only reiterate: Each and every one of these 17 Discs of Mahler’s musical achievements under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas - on Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) are superb high quality recordings that stand out as excellent examples of technical achievement and musical understanding with fine playing by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. These works are 20th century masterpieces - if you are not sure, I suggest you update your equipment to play SACD recordings – and listen! As MTT recently said to the audience in Davies Concert Hall “Mahler’s time has come”. Luke Bryant - Australia" Report Abuse
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