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Stephen Barber
MusicWeb International, December 2017

This is a reissue of a 2007 live performance, not part of a cycle but a historic occasion when the symphony was played at the Vatican in the presence of the then Pope. Great occasions do not always make for great recordings but this one deserves the accolade, because Jansons has a clear vision of the symphony, as achieving triumph despite confronting darkness. His team do him proud. The soloists and chorus cover themselves with glory. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Stephen Barber
MusicWeb International, September 2017

This performance reflects a clear coherent conception. I do not mean an alien interpretation imposed on the work in the manner of some opera directors, but a clear view of the work, which sees it not as naively triumphant but as achieving hope despite contemplating tragedy, as the sleeve note suggests.

The first movement is the tragedy. What struck me about Jansons here was the way he combined a grasp of the movement as a whole with impressive control over details. The tricky passage for the woodwind at the end of the exposition was as clear as I have ever heard it. The flashes of light from the trumpets at the beginning of the development were dark and sinister. The catastrophic return of the quiet opening at the beginning of the recapitulation, but this time in the major and fortissimo, was as shattering as it should be.

The Scherzo is a companion to that of the Eroica symphony, an assertion of energy, sometimes witty, sometimes relentless, but always insistent, with the exception of the relief offered by the Trio. Jansons gets the balance between the wind and the strings in the second subject right, and the ritmo di tre battute passage brings out the woodwind as it should without exaggeration. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Lark Reviews, July 2017

These are both fine recordings and both come from live performances. The Mahler was recorded last October in Gasteig and the Beethoven is a reissue of a performance given in the Vatican in 2007. The Roman acoustic is quite resonant though it does not fudge the sound as much I had suspected it might. The Gasteig performance is alive with detail and Mariss Jansons’ familiar sensitivity to line. Both warmly recommended. © 2017 Lark Reviews





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