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Mahler: Symphony No 6 / Kondrashin, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg

Mahler / Baden Und Freiburg / Kondrashin
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 94217   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Recorded in 1981, shortly before his death, this performance is important, both as a noteworthy addition to the Kondrashin discography (he didn’t make the Sixth in Moscow for Melodiya, although there was a Leningrad recording) as well as for Mahler fans more generally. It’s a blisteringly exciting interpretation, featuring fast tempos and a “take no prisoners” approach to the score that’s absolutely thrilling. Kondrashin gets through the work in a mere 68 minutes, albeit with no first-movement exposition repeat. And yet, it never sounds gratuitously quick–everything works, tempos are sensibly related to one another, and the long lyrical lines are expressively, intensely shaped and balanced, nowhere more so than in the not-too-slow third Read more movement.

Just as remarkable is the exceptional playing that Kondrashin gets from the SWR orchestra–hardly a world-class ensemble in 1981. Here they respond with a vengeance, providing playing that’s practically perfect in all respects. This is one of those performances where just about everything goes right, a remarkable testament to Kondrashin’s ability to galvanize an ensemble and get them to realize his interpretive vision with total commitment. Sonically this is a mite studio-bound, dry in the bass, but admirably clear in terms of orchestral balance. You will want to play this recording many times as a gripping and wholly valid alternative to the more studied interpretations of, say, Bernstein or Gielen, and I can easily see it becoming a first choice for many.

– ClassicsToday (David Hurwitz) Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 6 in A minor "Tragic" by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904/1906; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1981 
Venue:  Baden-Baden, Germany 

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