- Audio CD (March 17 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Universal Music Group
- ASIN: B000006ONY
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,854 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. I. Allegro Energico, Ma Non Troppo: Heftig, Aber Markig|
|2. II. Scherzo: Wuchtig|
|3. III. Andante Moderato|
|4. IV. Finale: Allegro Moderato|
Yet, Levi is one I come back to time and time again. To wit:
I have yet to hear a better recorded or played M6. The sonics of this recording are superb, ultra nonplus! Although I find the *volume warnings* on the casing to be a little facetious. As for the ASO's playing, it's phenomenal, not a single note is fluffed in this extremely complex symphony. (Read the booklet notes to find out why.)
Interpretatively, Levi's M6 is absolutely proportioned and balanced. He doesn't oddly stretch tempi or anything of the sort. Frankly, I find his finale to well-nigh perfect. And be ready for the final section, because the hammerblows will BLOW YOU AWAY!!! The scherzo is beautifully characterized. The "Altvaterisch" (literally "Old-Fatherish") trios have a slight lift to them that's really plucky and truly harkens one to the image of "children playing" (ref. Alma M.). The Andante is played "just right", neither too fast (ref. Szell), nor too slow (ref. Barbirolli/Bernstein/Rattle).
It's the first movement where some people have a problem with the Levi M6, where I do not. What is it? The Levi M6 omits the exposition repeat of the first movement. No one knows whether this is an interpretative choice of Levi's or just a timing factor (to constrain this music to one disc).
As a member of the Gustav Mahler Discussion Forum, I know that interpolating the expo repeat back into the movement only stretches it out to about 22-minutes, which really wouldn't change the movement interpretatively (at least to my mind).Read more ›
However, I will give this recording only 4 stars out of 5 for three reasons. One, even though I'm a trombone player, I feel that the trombones and the whole brass section in general were sticking out too much at times, destroying the polyphony that is so important in Mahler's music. Two, there is no exposition repeat in the first movement. If this was because Levi wanted to emphasize the tragic fall of the hero in the last movement, then fine, but I think the repeat was cut in order to fit the symphony one one disc. I feel that the repeat is needed because the major-minor motif that is so important in this symphony needs to be emphasized. Besides, Mahler called for it! Third, after the second hammer blow, it seemed like Levi lost his way and the energy that was flowing so well throughout this performance seemed to be lost somewhat. It sounded like the musicians were tiring, as this is an exhausting work. This makes the ending almost anticlimatcic. Despite these shortcomings, this is a very fine performance of Mahler 6 and one that I am glad to have in my collection. I would put Boulez's recording on DG ahead of this one because he doesn't miss a step through the whole thing.Read more ›