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  Deutsche Grammophon -
  477 568-4 (2 discs)
  Mahler: Symphony No. 6 - Abbado
  Mahler: Symphony No. 6

Berliner Philharmoniker
Claudio Abbado (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 10 show all

Site review by Polly Nomial April 4, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:    
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Site review by akiralx October 1, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:  
Abbado leads a vigorous and fresh account of Mahler's most classical symphony - and gives us an interpretation that leans more towards a classical approach than the phantasmagorial style we often get in this symphony. Whether that is a loss or a gain is up to you - but I found it very enjoyable. The Berlin playing throughout is superb.

The opening Allegro energico is given an ideal tempo, and the whole movement comes off very well, with an opulent treatment of the Alma-inspired second subject. In fact the whole performance gets better as it progresses - although I do have one slight caveat: I found the Andante a tad too swift and occasionally too improvisatory in style, with a few gear changes that don't sound entirely natural, although I had fewer reservations on a second listening. Also the slightly strange prominence of the horn sounds rather similar to its presence in the Scherzo of the Fifth Symphony. Karajan is still my ideal in the Andante.

The Scherzo is superbly done with ideally prominent timpani - in fact all the percussion throughout (snare drums, cow bells, glockenspiel and hammer blows especially) are very vividly presented in the sonic picture.

Generally speaking the sound is very pleasing, warm and with good depth, though it doesn't match Tilson Thomas's version (also live) in terms of width of soundstage. That fine SACD set does however suffer with rather too much rear channel emphasis (I turned them down by 4dB), as well as a few of MTT's Lenny-like interpretative decisions which may bother others more than they do me. Abbado's recording is perhaps most remarkable for its translucency - you will hear more detail here than in in most recordings, I think. And the multi-channel mix is rather more refined, though overall I would rate MTT's as its equal.

The Finale begins in a suitably malignant mood (if not as much as in Chailly's excellent account on Decca) but then settles down slightly to give less of the phantasmagoria I referred to earlier. All in all, it's very satisfying. The applause is given a separate track, though as it's hardly euphoric I'm not sure why they bothered.

A recommendable set, though I wouldn't prefer it to MTT, even though the latter plays the central movements in the wrong order, Scherzo first - though with only the Finale on the second disc that can be amended. Abbado gets it right and (deliberately?) splits the work after the Andante to prevent any external musicological meddling...

Site review by Castor May 19, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:    
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Works: 1  

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 6 in A minor