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Reviews: Mahler: Symphony No. 6 - Zander

Reviews: 5

Review by Chris December 23, 2003 (2 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is my first Telarc SACD, and like the Mahler 2nd on DGG,which I reviewed recently, I find it also a very good recording.
But I am a bit puzzled by the fact, that I tend to like it better, when I hear it over headphones
and the front channels only on the MCH mix. The steromix is very impressive but too upfront for my liking.There is something artificial about it that I don´t quite like.
But heard as MCH over headphones it sounds very clear, clean and natural,with plenty of detail without having instruments pulled around.
Good rendition of orchestral timbres and powerful climaxes.But you don´t hear as much of the venue as on the DGG Mahler 2.
As an interpretation, I still prefer the old 70s DGG LPs under Karajan.The Berlin Philarmonic under Karajan play in a way , that the Philarmonia under Benjamin Zander don´t quite match.
But as a recording the Karajan set, is not as good as the new Telarc in my view.

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Review by Dan Popp April 24, 2004 (3 of 5 found this review helpful)
Sonics:
This is a great package: 2 SACDs including two complete alternatives of the 4th movement, plus a redbook CD containing an 80-minute talk by the conductor on the piece. All that for 16 bucks at BB.

The music itself is powerful, bombastic and disconcerting. Maestro Zander's introduction was quite helpful to me.

I have to be somewhat critical of the sonics because the high strings seem somewhat chilly and the high brass seem thin and brittle. On another piece of music these might be more serous flaws; on this symphony they may even add to the overall effect of "confronting" the listener rather than comforting him.

The performance seems quite good to me, but I have no basis for comparison, so I will leave that rating blank.

Overall a very enjoyable - well, maybe that's not the right word - a very substantial and worthwhile addition to my collection. The alternate final movement and the conductor's lecture really add to the value of the set. If only there was some warmth and body to the high brass...

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Review by thepilot August 29, 2004 (4 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Zander is one of the greatest Mahler conductors of our time. Those who do not like his performances and recordings, should stick to their Mozart's and Rossini's and leave Mahler music to us big boys. The recording is almost perfect, and truly one of the absolutely best high resolution multichannel orchestral recordings of recent years. The performance is again perfect and balances the lyric and neurotic element of this most autobiographical of all Mahler symphonies as convincingly as only Walter, Karajan and Bernstein could. Highly recommended but watch out for those hammer blows n the finale, cause they could ruin your subwoofer or main speakers for good.

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Review by Luukas January 16, 2015 (3 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
WARNING! THESE SACDs DYNAMIC RANGE IS VERY HIGH! IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR HEARING, I RECOMMEND THAT YOU SWITCH DOWN [YOUR] AMPLIFIER'S VOLUME (about -40 dB).

Benjamin Zander has long knowledge about Mahler. This is his third SACD for Telarc - his previous recordings contained Symphonies Nos. 3 & 5.
Mahler's Sixth Symphony isn't "easy" work for musicians and listeners: it is perhaps his the most dramatic symphony. It is also very hard to find outstanding recordings from the SACD catalogue. My own recommendations are Ivan Fischer's interpretation with Budapest Festival Orchestra (Channel), Michael Tilson Thomas' charismatic live recording (Avie) and Jonathan Nott's fine account with Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (Tudor).
Anyway, this ranks to my top 5 list. Telarc's outstanding DSD recording gives its own thrilling add to the performance. Zander understands this score, and he follows Mahler's marking closely. Philharmonia Orchestra plays like they breathes this music. Especially the finale's hammer strike is VERY DEEP - be careful with your subwoofer! It is interesting that this contains both versions of the finale: Mahler deleted the third hammer strike from the revised version.
Recommend.

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Review by Oliver_twist March 2, 2015 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Of all the mahlers I have, this is one of the best sounding performances. The mch mix is absolutely excellent, one of the best sounding symphonic performances I have heard to this day. I also like the performance itself.

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