Mahler: Symphony No 6 / Leinsdorf, Bavarian Radio So

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Recorded live in Munich on June 10, 1983, this has got to be one of the most gorgeously engineered Mahler Sixths on the market. The orchestral image emerges with amazing clarity and proportion, no matter how complex or exposed the scoring may be, and at all dynamic levels. Cases in point include the sublime interplay between the hushed strings, celesta, and muted horns at figure 21 in the first movement, and the gorgeously aligned woodwind solos throughout the third movement. In general, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra plays sensitively and quite superbly for Leinsdorf, notwithstanding inconsequential moments of iffy intonation (clarinet solo, third movement) and not-quite-together chords--remember, we're now in a live, unspliced environment. The results still outclass the conductor's lackluster, underplayed Boston Symphony studio recording for RCA in the 1960s (never transferred to CD, incidentally).

Bear in mind, though, that Bernstein's New York and Vienna Mahler Sixths dig deeper into the music's exultant heights and darker depths, to say nothing of Solti's exciting 1970 Chicago recording, with its pulverizing energy and macho-man brass section. But if you've got a hankering for Leinsdorf in this work and don't mind the lack of a first-movement repeat, by all means acquire this disc. It's a fine, regulation model Mahler Sixth: nothing more, nothing less.

--Jed Distler,

Product Description:

  • Release Date: June 28, 2001

  • Catalog Number: ORF-C554011

  • UPC: 4011790554112

  • Label: ORFEO

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Gustav Mahler

  • Conductor: Erich Leinsdorf

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra