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Symphony No 9

7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 29, 2010
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Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Andante comodoPhilharmonia Orchestra25:44Album Only
  2. Im Tempo eines gemachlichen Landlers. Etwas tappisch und sher derbPhilharmonia Orchestra15:09Album Only
  3. Rondo - Burleske. Allegro assai. Sehr trotzigPhilharmonia Orchestra12:44Album Only
  4. Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltendPhilharmonia Orchestra24:04Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 29, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Signum
  • ASIN: B003L1N4P8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,327 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Leif Thorsted on September 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Salonen has done it again...Breathed new and refreshing life into an old war horse. I saw him do it at one of his last performances at Disney Hall with Beethoven's 5th Symphony, and I have heard his magic at work again on this recording. Salonen has thoroughly cleaned, polished and oiled Mahler's brilliant and wonderful 9th into an even more beautiful, modern-sounding piece. Every instrument shines. Every single note sparkles. Salonen has carefully sculpted the 9th down to its pure essence, allowing the listener to hear clearly what Mahler is saying. What this symphony is saying to me is that it is a summing-up of life through whimsical memories and sober reflection. The joy and sadness we experience. The lovely and the frightening. The tender moments and the tragedies, the hopes and resignations, etc. An honest appraisal of our journey through this fascinating existence. I wish I had the musical vocabulary to express just how perfectly this 9th forms and plays and finally subsides. Other versions of Mahler are weighted down too heavily, and often are muddied or muffled or even flabby. Salonen lets the melodies and harmonies radiate the warmth and wisdom of the composer by doing away with such excesses as heavy orchestration and/or slower tempos. This complex symphony is stated fluently, clearly and elegantly by Salonen. I predict that this recording will win Mahler many new fans. Stepping-in to conduct Mahler's 3rd at short notice brought Salonen instant fame at the beginning of his career. Salonen proved then and shows again now, that he has an intuitive sense about Mahler. I hope Salonen wants to continue exploring through the cycle.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By drdanfee VINE VOICE on November 14, 2011
Format: Audio CD
After spinning this disc, I quickly found myself thinking that this is the sort of reading of the Mahler ninth symphony that, perhaps, the failed Pierre Boulez disc w Chicago SO may have aspired to be. The Philharmonia of London is playing at top form. The recording sound is good, too, though at these high levels of instrumental expertise, one may belatedly wish that we had this reading in SACD multiple channels. Lacking that, I still enjoyed this single disc version of the symphony to such an extent that it easily finds space on the keeper shelves.

Salonen's take on this gigantic work may raise eyebrows, and as one reviewer here has put it, get demerits for being 'too cool' in Mahlerian angst. I really, really like lots of Weltschmerz overall in Mahler, and the ninth symphony is no exception. What Salonen and the PO London serve up has enough size, dimension, and complexity that it kept me involved throughout. My single disc benchmarks for the M9 started w Barbirolli w Berlin, and evolved from there. I typically like the two-disc readings by, say, Wyn Morris, James Levine, Sanderling, Klemperer, and others. Yet some single disc readings do have staying power. Salonen's may be among the keepers, even though I would never, ever want this single disc outing to be my only Mahler ninth.

Tempos are on the faster side, and the musical flow is always moving forward under Salonen. The balancing of textures is so clear that at times the instrumental playing across band departments seems etched in fine lead crystal, ringing like crystal in many Mahlerian moments. The five-tempo polyphony of the first movement is simply so expertly handled, given Salonen's frame, that it might sound too easy, and to that extent, too cool or less than committed, involved.
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Format: Audio CD
A review of this concert performance in June, 2010 made an astute observation, I think, when he said that Salonen plays the Mahler Ninth more as prophetic music than nostalgic. Although he has made only a handful of Mahler recordings in the past three decades, Salonen's readings make a strong impression for exactly the same reasons as Szell's equally cool and dispassionate accounts did: there is dazzling clarity, detail, and orchestral virtuosity. But Salonen is warmer and more urgent in the Ninth than Szell ever was. The score is actually interpreted rather than ex-rayed. Having taken the performance n tour, the Philharmonia gives a lived-in reading that couldn't be bettered, really, when it comes to accuracy and balance. Signum provides equally impressive, very detailed sound that carries us close, right next to the conductor's elbow.

At 25 min. the first movement has many propulsive moments, and from the almost matter-of-fact way that the opening theme is uttered, one senses that Salonen isn't going to micro-manage the phrasing. His interest is in the titanic sound world of the Ninth, not in Mahler's emotional conflicts. As in his highly successful Sony recording of the Third, Salonen works on such a huge canvas that unfolding cross-rhythms, inner detail, and swirling colors works to stupendous effect.

The Scherzo is such a wide-ranging parody of folk dances that it doesn't work if taken too straight (as Klemperer, for all his Mahler credentials, did). Salonen doesn't aim to be witty or sarcastic, but his quick-footed reading doesn't come off as poker-faced because, as in the first movement, he displays the brilliance of Mahler's orchestration in amazing detail - I doubt that I can remember a rival who comes close.
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