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Symphony No 6 Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, November 21, 2006
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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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5:06
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2
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3:55
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3
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7:50
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4
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6:21
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5
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1:49
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6
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7:34
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7
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5:37
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8
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5:17
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9
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7:12
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10
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21:20
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Disc 2
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16:02
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B000HWZANS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,033 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
To know if this old Barbirolli Mahler 6th is for you, all you have to do is click on the Windows Media excerpts above. The first movement takes over 21 minutes, and that's without an exposition repeat! Barbirolli was among the first to record the sixth Mahler in andante/scherzo order, which has put him in good standing with today's Mahler "scholars". Since his scherzo is no slower than his first movement, I think this performance works either way: andante/scherzo, or scherzo/andante. The scherzo is a bit over 13 minutes (rather normal), while the slow movement is proportionally correct sounding at 16-something (in other words, not too slow). The finale reaches out to almost 33 minutes. In short, this is one of the slower M6's out there. Yet, the whole thing has a very rhythmic and persistant quality about it. To make matters better, the Philharmonia of old - possibly the best orchestra in Europe in those days - plays exceedingly well, and EMI's sound quality is better than it is on many of their newer digital recordings. If you like the sound and playing on any of the old Walter Legge produced, Philharmonia Orchestra recordings (Klemperer; Maazel; Karajan, etc.), you'll like the sound on this. Considering the fact that EMI also throws in a decent "Ein Heldenleben" (slow but clarified during the famous and dense sounding battle episode), this is an absolute steal at $12.

This wouldn't be my first choice for a Mahler six recording, but it would make a good supplement for those days when you want to hear something truly grim (yet, tonal).
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This recording has had an odd history. When first released on LP in Great Britain, the companion piece was Sir John's recording of Strauss' "Metamorphosen".
When it was released in the U.S., although the cover art still proclaimed "Metamorphosen" as the companion piece, it was no where to be found. The 6th stood alone, covering all four LP sides, albeit with a side break in the final movement.
When it was initally released on CD, "Metamorphosen" reappeared.
Now, "Metamorphosen" seems to have, well, metamorphed into "Ein Heldenleben". Such are the exigencies of the record companies these days.
I can't recall I've ever heard Sir John's "Ein Heldenleben", so I will not comment on it.
However, as for this recording of the Mahler Sixth, first let me say that I was fortunate enough to see and hear Sir John conduct Mahler live, in the house. Toward the end of his life he conducted a series of concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic that included the Mahler Ninth. It was one of the greatest live performances I have ever been fortunate enough to attend, ranking up there with Rubenstein's Beethoven 3rd Piano Concerto, Nilsson's Elektra, Varnay's Senta, Sills' Roberto Devereux, and Klemperer's Brahms German Requiem.
I purchased Sir John's recording of the Ninth and, I must admit, was a bit disappointed. It just didn't seem quite the same. I came to the conclusion it just simply is never as good on record as it is in the house.
That conclusion was blown all to hell when I first heard this remarkable recording of the Mahler Sixth.
Superlatives are superflous here. Adjectives are hopeless.
I have simply never heard another performance of this work that is so jaw droppingly overwhelming.
If this recording doesn't have a profound effect on you, well, you must be dead!!!
1 Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Mahler is a composer who, intentionally or not, sometimes lapses into a state of melodrama where his objectives may be unclear to the listener. This is seldom truer than in Mahler's Sixth, where the "tragedy" often seems more conceived than really felt, as opposed to the indisputable emotional veracity of a work like Bruckner's Ninth or, less disputably, Mahler's own Ninth. Bernstein's temperament was particularly well suited to Mahler's histrionic nature (incidentally, Bernstein was not a great Bruckner conductor), but Barbirolli comes closer than anyone in making the tragedy, even horror, of this symphony sound real. Just a few seconds of the very martial opening movement will convince you that this is like no other performance. The sound (from 1967) is very good. I can't comment on the performance of "Ein Heldenleben" because I have the original CD issue coupled with Strauss' "Metamorphoses".
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Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite version of Mahler Symphony No.6. Some people may think that there is too much of tragedy right from the beginning and the starting tempo is a little draggy compared to most other versions. But I don't feel that way at all. In contrast, I think Barbirolli's expression and tempo is just absolutely right. There is a real sense of tragedy and our MAN in the music is determined in facing the fate. Put it in short: this performance is the most convincing and satisfactory to me.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When Barbirolli starts Mahler 6 with that trudging gait, you might think you're going to get so bogged down you'll never never come out. But this is as grim and relentless a take on this grim and relentless symphony as you'll find. I think it's amazing. There are other great ways to hear the piece (Bernstein, Tennstedt), but every Mahlerite should spend some following # 6 in the weighty tread of Sir John's footsteps.
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