Mahler/Schoenberg

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mahler/Schoenberg
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Symphony No. 10 (ed. Deryck Cooke); Verklärte Nacht
PERFORMER: Berlin RSO/Riccardo Chailly
CATALOGUE NO: 444 872-2 DDD (1988)
Mahler’s closing pages – whatever you think of Cooke’s sensitive orchestration – should move the listener perhaps even more profoundly than the ‘sanctioned’ farewells of the Ninth Symphony or Das Lied von der Erde. That they do so here is due to the miraculous refinement Chailly draws from his unexpectedly fine strings; earlier, approaching crisis and resolution, his often bewitching balancing-act tells a less vivid symphonic story than Rattle (EMI) or Wigglesworth (on the August 1994 BBC Music Magazine cover disc). Schoenberg’s earlier, more prolix transfiguration benefits from lithe textures and a superb recorded presence in the bass-line; a pity David Matthews’s excellent note on it has vanished in Decca’s new ‘2 for 1’ format. David Nice

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