Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Heeere's Klaus!

From July 4, 2011:


This is a live recording from Royal Festival Hall made in 1991. You'll see from the other reviews here that while Tennstedt is universally admired as a Mahler interpreter, there is some controversy about whether his live recordings are more successful than those done in the studio. I come down more on the studio side myself. I acknowledge, though, that there can be some thrilling moments in a live Tennstedt recording, as there were in the 6th Symphony recorded with the LPO the same year as this one; and as there are occasionally in this disc, newly released on LPO's own label. Tennstedt often "milks" a phrase for maximum effect, while losing sight of the longer arcs of the Symphony. His highly emotional approach seems cranked up in these live recordings, while the studio recordings often have more discipline, though they still have real passion.

The sound on these CDs is better than you might imagine from a television recording of this vintage. The soloists mainly acquit themselves well, and the choral singing from the LPO Choir, Eton College Boys' Choir and the London Symphony Chorus is excellent.

If you like your Mahler with a touch of Jack Nicholson in the Shining, this might be your cup of tea.

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