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Symphony No. 6 [Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import]

Mahler , Valery Gergiev , London Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Composer: Mahler
  • Audio CD (April 8, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import
  • Label: Lso Live UK
  • ASIN: B0013V9RHW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,608 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Allegro energico, ma non troppo
2. Andante moderato
3. Scherzo: Wuchtig
4. Finale: Allegro moderato

Editorial Reviews


'... It shows how Mahler's neurosis and Gergiev's volatility are ideally matched: this is no plain-sailing excercise in orchestral virtuosity, but a deeply wrought journey of the soul ... The performance as a whole achieves an impressive balance between structure and detail'. -- Daily Telegraph (UK)

'The Finale is Gergiev's masterpiece ... All concerned play their hearts out. The hi-res sound engineering is superb'. Best of the Year Discs 2008 -- Audiophile Audition (USA)

'The massed horns sound magnificent in the finale's battle-cries, and all of the principals tackle their parts with aplomb. It's good to hear this symphony played with the sort of gruff, raw vigor that suits its heroic cast so well'. Artistic Quality 9 Sound Quality 9 -- (USA)

'This is a reading of great intensity, creating a most powerful impact ... a stunning performance of considerable musical belief in the demonstable fact that Mahler's Sixth is a great and original masterpiece'. -- International Record Review (UK)

'it is difficult to resist Valery Gergiev in full flow. He summons such reserves of power and commitment from the LSO that one cannot help but be swept along'. Editor's Choice -- Gramophone June 2008

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truly exciting and quite fast (but not THE fastest) April 8, 2008
Format:Audio CD
First, the facts: Gergiev's Mahler 6 is in andante/scherzo order, and has two hammer strokes (not 3). Timings are, I - 21:59; II - 13:53; III - 12:34: IV - 28:45. Now the review.

I completely concur with the previous reviewer. It's unfortunate that Gergiev has been taking a lot of flack for his Mahler in the London press, but there's no way for us outsiders to judge his results beyond this first release. But if you're going to take a fast and furious approach to any Mahler symphony, the "tragic" 6th one is a great place to start - especially given the rather lean and mean, British sportscar-like attack and sound-world of the LSO; combined with The Barbican's relatively dry acoustics. This orchestra knows their Mahler as well as any on the planet, and they always respond best to conductors who bring some genuine excitement to the table. Just think back on some of these golden oldies with the LSO: Solti M1; Horenstein M1; Stokowski M2; Bernstein M2; Kaplan M2; Horenstein M3; Benjamin Britten's M4; Rudolf Schwarz M5; Jame De Preist M5 (great playing, but De Preist ruins the ending by slowing down waaaay too soon); Levine M6 (Gergiev is even better!); Tilson-Thomas M7 (really better than his S.F. one); Bernstein M8 (hugely underrated!); Leopold Ludwig M9; Solti M9 . . and on and on it goes.

Yes, Gergiev is a tad fast with the symphony's opening march, but he's joined by some very illustrious company from previous decades: Bernstein, Kubelik, Solti, Karajan, Kondrashin - all these guys were quick goose-steppers. Mahler writes "Allegro energico, ma non troppo". All that he's asking for is an energetic allegro, but no faster. In my opinion, many conductors and critics have been making too big a deal of the "non troppo" part of that description.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
An amazing CD out of left field, considering that the conductor is Russian and known mostly for Russian music. The arrival of Valery Gergiev at the LSO was a huge event in 2006-7, and this season London is being treated to "Gergiev's Mahler," a festival of the symphonies. This LSO Live release takes advantage of the hoopla. It's fascinating to see how a newcomer to Mahler(on disc at least) hears the Sixth Sym. differently from his equals. Overall, Gergiev has quite a few original ideas and quickly steps forward as a major Mahlerian.

To begin with, he hears the first movement very fast, not just the opening march but the Alma theme as well. A total timing of 21+ min. only partly tells the story. Gergiev strips the music of weight and darkness. His beat is very flexible (unlike Szell, another fast one), and he caresses the line, insofar as anyone can at this speed. Overall he's making it plain that Bernstein's emotionally conflicted Sturm und Drang is not for him. The orchestra rsponds alertly, and after you get over the initial shock, the interpretation justifies itself by its incredible variety and excitement. Now we have the full spectrum of approaches from Barbirolli's fateful tragedy to Gergiev's joyful triumph.

Gergiev continues to make a statement in the Andante, which is phrased almost two beats to a bar instead of four. Once again he's served by his natural, flexible beat -- a fixed tempo would have seemed more rushed. Just as important, the LSO, which can sound pretty business-like, gives of itself emotionally. This is a songful reading that surprises with surges of intensity -- one of the very best on disc. Beautiful solo work all around, by the way, and state-of-the-art recorded sound.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, not good, just another Sixth April 19, 2008
By MartinP
Format:Audio CD
Before I heard this disc, my experience with Gergiev's Mahler consisted of two very different concerts: a spellbinding Sixth in Rotterdam, sometime in the early 90s; and more recently a near-catastrophically muddled 8th in Amsterdam. This disc sets the record straight in so far as to prove that Gergiev is as adequate a Mahler conductor as any. The British press has hurled an inordinate amount of abuse at this recording, which I find mostly undeserved. Gergiev may lack a distinct individual vision, but he clearly has a grip on the architecture of the piece, and the playing throughout is quite fine, disregarding a few moments of suspect intonation and an occasional rough entry. Instruments in the lower registers come through particularly well, and the horns are brilliant throughout.

Critics, freely projecting their prejudice without apparently actually listening, have called the recording blunt and rough, whereas to my ears one of its main faults is that it is generally too polite, and lacking in bite. Just before nr. 84 in the Scherzo, for instance, it is obvious the oboes haven't got a clue what the word "grell" means (or maybe they did, but the engineers failed to catch it). On the other hand I love Gergiev's brisk, purposeful tempos - there are so many recordings where the first movement's "non troppo" kills the "energico", but here the pace is just about perfect. Elsewhere, too, tempos are consistent, unmannered and well-judged, even though Gergiev like so many seems to think that "Nicht eilen" means "slow down".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The most exciting version of 'Tragische' on record
Mahler's Sixth is one of the least-performed symphonies of the great composer. It's not as accessible as 4th or 5th, and not as mind-blowing as 2nd and 8th. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Rosomax
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, espcially in terms of sound quality
I already had reservations about Gergiev conducting Mahler, espcially given his tendency to play everything at breakneck speed, but figured that hearing him at the helm of the... Read more
Published on November 8, 2010 by rayray
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend buying here
It was a good experience. The item was sent before the day promesed. C. service very good.
I would buy again and I'm very satisfied
Published on March 10, 2009 by Graciela M. Victorica
3.0 out of 5 stars Rushed and Perfunctory
I don't care much for Gergiev's way with this most "classical" of the Mahler symphonies. The opening movement, taken at a very rapid clip, allows little room for subtleties of... Read more
Published on January 11, 2009 by Virginia Opera Fan
2.0 out of 5 stars a disappointing 'Tragic'
Well, the recorded competition to this new Gergiev 'Tragic' is just too strong to allow a positive review. Read more
Published on August 24, 2008 by Rodney W. Helt
4.0 out of 5 stars LIVE, ALIVE-O
This recording is from a series entitled `LSO Live', and the first thing to be clear about is what this terminology denotes. Read more
Published on May 4, 2008 by DAVID BRYSON
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful mahler 6th
I am an avid Mahler fan. I have multiple copies of all of Mahler's symphonies. However, I hardly ever listen to the 6th. Read more
Published on April 25, 2008 by D. Paper
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome power, profound mystery - Great
This is a great performance of the Mahler Sixth. Gergiev's approach is one of dynamism and forcing the music ever forward. It is percussive and the marches have fantastic momentum. Read more
Published on April 20, 2008 by Eric
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