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Edward Seckerson
Gramophone, October 2016

This isn’t at all the Mahler Ninth one might have expected from Barenboim—although maybe, just maybe, his profound fascination with Arnold Schoenberg enables him to push Mahler’s dark night of the soul closer to the edge of reason and radicalism than might otherwise have been the case. A strong pulse is established from the outset—the tempo marking Andante comodo taken at its word though ‘comfortable’ only in the sense of ‘not too slow, not too fast’. Watching Barenboim is also fascinating as the beat is super-emphatic and those traditional, slightly old-fashioned rubatos are pared down to a minimum. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



John Quinn
MusicWeb International, September 2016

Barenboim’s pacing of the great first movement struck me as unusually fleet and fluent. I don’t mean that he rushes the music but he certainly makes it flow. And the sense of fluency is accentuated by the lightness of texture that he achieves for much of the time. Yes, the big climaxes are powerful but the prime impression I received was of delicacy and finesse, an impression heightened by the very fine playing of the Staatskapelle Berlin.

Barenboim is very expressive in the Adagio but never once does he overplay his hand; this is a clear-eyed reading.

In the film we see both of these distinguished conductors talking about conducting Mahler and there’s quite a bit or rehearsal footage of both of them rehearsing with the Staatskapelle Berlin. It’s an interesting film. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review





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