Magazine article Gramophone

Mahler's Ninth Symphony

Magazine article Gramophone

Mahler's Ninth Symphony

Article excerpt

Three recordings that came before Chailly's new DVD and how Gramophone rated them

JANUARY 1939

Mahler Symphony No 9

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Bruno Walter

HMV [LP] DB3613/22 (ten 12in * 3 [pounds sterling])

This admirable recording was made at a concert a year ago. However we choose to regard late Mahler--whether as chiefly a testament of unrest, uncertainty, self-doubt, as a more important future-forecasting than some of our friends consider it, or even as a too poignantly coloured decadence of romance, I cannot think that so remarkable a revelation of the man's spirit at the end of his life can fail to impress any musical mind and move any open heart. WR Anderson

JULY 1984

Mahler Symphony No 9

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan

DG [F] [2] 410 726-2GH2

Certainly this is the finest live performance of a Mahler symphony to have appeared since Mengelberg's 1939 account of the Fourth Symphony. The digital sound on this live Berlin recording is wonderfully clear and thrillingly actual; but I am not always at ease with the conductor's-ear view of the proceedings, though of course long stretches of the score derive immense benefit from the absolute clarity and absolute quiet of the CD. …

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