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Mahler: Symphonies No 1-10, Das Lied Von Der Erde / Inbal, Frankfurt Radio So, Et Al


Release Date: 09/30/2003 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 92005   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Doris SoffelHelen DonathLívia BudaiJane Henschel,   ... 
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony OrchestraDale Warland SingersNorth German Radio Chorus Hamburg,   ... 
Number of Discs: 15 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 14 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Review of original release 3625300.zzhf_MAHLER_Symphonies_Nos_1.html

MAHLER Symphonies Nos. 1–10. Das Lied von der Erde Eliahu Inbal, cond; Helen Donath, Faye Robinson, Teresa Cahill, Hildegarde Heichele (sop); Doris Soffel, Livia Budai, Jane Henschel, Jard Van Nes (alt); Kenneth Riegel, Peter Schreier (ten); Hermann Prey (bar); Harald Stamm (bs); Bavarian RCh; North German RCh; West German RCh; Stuttgart South RCh; RIAS CCh; Limburg Cathedral Boys’ Ch; Hessian R Children’s Ch; Read more Frankfurt RSO DENON COCO 85030-45 (15 CDs: 842:06)


Eliahu Inbal recorded the first digital cycle of the complete Mahler symphonies for Denon between 1985 and 1988; the cycle was a co-production of the Hessian Radio and the Denon (Nippon Columbia) engineering staff. The venue was the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, and the symphonies were recorded in chronological order, one of the rare instances of such a procedure. In its original configuration, the set included Das Lied von der Erde but only the Adagio of Symphony No. 10. Four years later, in 1992, Inbal and his Frankfurt orchestra recorded the second (of three) versions of the Deryck Cooke performing edition of the 10th; this recording was added to the set, which was reissued in this form in 1997 (and is the release cited in the headnote).


At the time the cycle was recorded, Denon was generally considered an audiophile label (and its prices reflected that). Denon prided itself on its use of a minimal number of microphones—often only two—in its classical recordings; for the larger pieces, a small number of auxiliary mikes was employed. The sound that was thus reproduced was notable for the clarity of the orchestral textures, producing a remarkably balanced, mid-hall sound, free of spotlighting or highlighting; offstage effects projected a significant degree of depth. It is true that the lowest tones often lacked the sheer impact of recordings from London/Decca or Columbia/Sony, but the trade-off in fidelity was worth it. In addition, Inbal’s seating of the first and second violins in opposition to each other, with basses to the right and cellos in the middle, allows for the kind of inner-voice detail and clarity of counterpoint that this seating provides.


All of this would be negligible if the performances that were preserved were only average. It’s true that Inbal steered clear of the kind of emotion-laden interpretations of Leonard Bernstein, or the kind of extremes often found in the early performances of Simon Rattle; and yet, his versions of the symphonies are not short on drama. Above all, these recordings display an internal logic that is consistent from symphony to symphony—Inbal wrote in the original program booklet that he approached the symphonies as one symphony in 11 movements, a comment that Mahler himself would surely have appreciated.


No cycle of Mahler symphonies is perfect, and Inbal’s is no exception. The performance of the Second can’t measure up to the kind of excitement generated by Rattle in his first recording from Birmingham, or to Otto Klemperer’s classic EMI version. The Eighth has power and a fine cast of singers, but it doesn’t create the kind of momentum that Georg Solti does in his Decca recording, and the Frankfurt orchestra, as fine as it is, doesn’t produce the heft and firepower of its counterparts in Chicago (or in Vienna, Berlin, or New York, for that matter). But the purely instrumental trio of the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh is a model of Mahlerian contrasts, while his Ninth finds the emotional heart of the music as surely as Bernstein, or Bernard Haitink, or Claudio Abbado. The performance of the 10th is on par with more recent efforts by Michael Gielen and Gianandrea Noseda.


I’ve come to depend on the Inbal cycle as a kind of standard by which to measure more recent additions to the discography. It’s true that the sound production is no longer the last word in audio: With the advent of SACD and DVD-Audio, not to mention multichannel recording, even Denon’s vaunted clarity is no match for the best of the newest (Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s Mahler cycle is the benchmark now). When played back (with the volume tweaked a bit) these stereo recordings still provide a very satisfying experience. This set has been deleted for some time by Denon; however, the complete cycle is once again available as a box set courtesy of Brilliant Classics.


FANFARE: Christopher Abbot
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan" by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1896 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 54 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (02/28/1985 - 03/01/1985)
Composition written: Leipzig, Germany (1888).
Composition revised: Germany (1896). 
2.
Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection" by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Doris Soffel (Alto), Helen Donath (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Dale Warland Singers,  North German Radio Chorus Hamburg
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1896; Germany 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 84 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (03/28/1985 - 03/29/1985) 
3.
Symphony no 3 in D minor by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Doris Soffel (Alto)
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Frankfurt Kantorei Women's Chorus,  Limburg Cathedral Boys Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1896; Hamburg, Germany 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 97 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (04/18/1985 - 04/19/1985) 
4.
Symphony no 4 in G major by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Helen Donath (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1900; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 56 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (10/10/1985 - 10/11/1985) 
5.
Symphony no 6 in A minor "Tragic" by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904/1906; Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 83 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (04/24/1986 - 04/26/1986) 
6.
Symphony no 7 in E minor by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904-1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 77 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (05/14/1986 - 05/17/1986) 
7.
Symphony no 8 in E flat major "Symphony of A Thousand" by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Lívia Budai (Alto), Jane Henschel (Mezzo Soprano), Kenneth Riegel (Tenor),
Harald Stamm (Bass), Hildegard Heichele (Soprano), Hermann Prey (Baritone),
Jane Henschel (Alto), Teresa Cahill (Soprano), Faye Robinson (Soprano),
Fritz Walter-Lindqvist (Organ)
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Stuttgart Radio Chorus,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 78 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (10/14/1986 - 10/18/1986)
This selection is sung in German and Latin. 
8.
Symphony no 9 in D major by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1908-1909; Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 80 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (09/24/1986 - 09/27/1986) 
9.
Symphony no 10 in F sharp minor/major: 1st movement, Adagio by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 22 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (09/24/1986 - 09/27/1986) 
10.
Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor: 1st movement, Trauermarsch "In gemessenem Schritt" by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 13 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (01/23/1986 - 01/25/1986) 
11.
Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor: 2nd movement, Stümisch bewegt by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 14 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (01/23/1986 - 01/25/1986) 
12.
Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor: 3rd movement, Scherzo "Kräftig nicht zu schnell" by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 18 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (01/23/1986 - 01/25/1986) 
13.
Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor: 4th movement, Adagietto by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (01/23/1986 - 01/25/1986) 
14.
Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor: 5th movement, Rondo by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 14 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (01/23/1986 - 01/25/1986) 
15.
Das Lied von der Erde: no 4, Von der Schönheit by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Jard Van Nes (Mezzo Soprano), Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1908-1909; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (03/24/1988 - 03/25/1988) 
16.
Das Lied von der Erde: no 5, Der Trunkene im Frühling by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Jard Van Nes (Mezzo Soprano), Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1908-1909; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (03/24/1988 - 03/25/1988) 
17.
Das Lied von der Erde: no 6, Der Abschied by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Jard Van Nes (Mezzo Soprano), Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1908-1909; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany 
Length: 28 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Old Opera House, Frankfurt, Germany (03/24/1988 - 03/25/1988) 

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