Symphonies No. 6 Hybrid SACD
Top Customer Reviews
Two of the first three (Benjamin Zander with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Thomas Sanderling with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra) got the benefit of some commentary of mine elsewhere at Amazon. The third (Michael Gielen with the SWR Orchestra of Baden-Baden/Freiburg) had been in the queue for similar commentary treatment. And then this Michael Tilson Thomas/San Francisco Symphony Orchestra live performance arrived, putting detailed commentary on the Gielen recording on at least temporary hold.
Tilson Thomas (MTT, for short) has gauged this symphony largely along lines most similar to those of Zander in the outer two movements and Bernstein/Vienna ("Bernstein II") in the inner movements, as a "tale of the tape" (comparative movement timings) shows. Each of these three performances has many strengths and few weaknesses. While I personally think that Zander accomplishes the near-impossible in his shattering realization of the final movement, MTT is very close indeed (and provides two hammer blows vs. three, for those "who are counting"). All three are rather evenly matched in the opening movement, but I give a slight edge to MTT by virtue of the atmospheric effects he is able to achieve with the brief "respite" provided by the celeste and cow bells late in the movement; beautifully done. There is little to choose between Bernstein II and MTT in the second-movement Scherzo; they are within a few seconds of each other and "of a piece.Read more ›
The SFO plays well for MTT: his performance with the LA Philharmonic revealed even more attention to inner voices and intensity of feeling, perhaps in part due to the superior brass and woodwind sections at his command. Every nuance can be appreciated in the sonics of Disney Hall. This new approach by an ever-growing conductor should be recorded as well. The evening was resplendent! MTT's approach to Mahler continues to command our respect and alter our lives.
The first movement is rather militaristic with very gritty and staccato marches appearing throught the 24 minutes of the movement. This harshness is interrupted by what has been called, Alma's theme, a very lush and swiftly majestic melody that shows the hero's human characteristic of love and devotion. This giant movement keeps switching between majesty and tragedy ultimately ending with Alma's theme, suggesting the possibility of hope.
The next movement depends on what recording you have, for this recording, the scherzo comes next, which I think is the best way to do it. This movement, the shortest in the symphony, has been called a parody of the first movement, which is kind of mis-leading.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Now don't get me wrong, Mahler's always good for a nap...but if it's a "I need a good night's rest before my big interview tomorrow" type of sleep you need, head over to... Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2003 by Robert Lewis
It is in my personal opinion that this is the best Mahler 6 recording I have ever listened to simply because the orchestra under the direction of MTT responds to details that in... Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2002 by Alex Bedner
This is a great recording of this great work, a unique and special one, and not for everyone. This live performance cannot be separated from the context of events - this CD was... Read morePublished on Aug. 27 2002 by gtra1n
Mahler's 6th symphony is either the highpoint(ask Bernstein, Solti or Karajan) or the lowpoint (ask Abbado, Rattle and Chailly) of a Mahler cycle. Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2002 by Rodney Hrvatin
When it comes to playing the very loud sections of this score Tilson Thomas is in fine form but then so is virtually every other Mahler 6th recording. Read morePublished on June 25 2002
I cannot add much to others that have praised this recording and performance. The sound is wonderfully clear. Read morePublished on June 13 2002
One of the finest performances of the Mahler 6th in concert that I have heard was by Tilson Thomas and the Buffalo Philharmonic back in the 1970's. Read morePublished on June 11 2002 by NNNNN
If you read the featured review in the May 2002 issue of Grammophone, you'll know that they raved over this recording and performance by MTT and the SF Symphony of the Mahler Sixth... Read morePublished on May 3 2002 by John L. Anderson