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Infodad.com, December 2019

…Blomstedt picks up the mood of the Andante comodo again seamlessly, only with even greater depth, as is justified by the simple tempo marking of Adagio. And gradually, with a steady pace and increasing certainty, the destination implied in the first movement comes into focus in the fourth, as the symphony ends with quiet beauty that is part resignation and part acceptance. This is a highly knowing performance by a conductor who, surely cognizant of his own mortality, makes the final complete symphony of a much younger composer into a statement for all ages. © 2019 Infodad.com Read complete review



John Quinn
, December 2019

Among a number of distinguished Mahler issues this year, this one came as a bit of a surprise since Herbert Blomstedt is not a conductor I associate with Mahler. In my original review I described this magnificent live performance as “deeply considered, masterfully conducted and superbly played”. I stand by that verdict and would just add that the recorded sound is excellent. © 2019 MusicWeb International




Peter Stieber
Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award), November 2019

…this recording absolutely convinces musically. Blomstedt lets the orchestra shine and sing without any pathos and sentimentality. Simplicity, intimacy and the highest intensity characterize his music making… © 2019 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Award)



Graham Rickson
The Arts Desk, November 2019

The first movement’s [Mahler 9] seeds are sown in the opening bars, Blomstedt’s attention to detail and structural sense making all that follows seem inevitable. There’s a lot of love, a lot of affection in this reading… © 2019 The Arts Desk Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, September 2019

…It is a distinctive one in mostly positive ways. It also proves to be an important addition to the Blomstedt discography, an artist whose unassuming but musically exalted presence has graced our concert halls for something like seven decades. Beautiful, clear sonics and two discs for the price of one make this a release that most Mahlerians should hear. © 2019 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Edward Seckerson
Gramophone, September 2019

The Bamberg strings are a warm embrace in the finale and the generous saturation of sound towards the far-reaching horizon reminds us just how extraordinary this movement is. But ultimately Blomstedt offers a more intimate, less ‘cosmic’ letting-go… © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, August 2019

… Blomstedt excavates the score, inviting listeners to marvel at what he’s found.

An outstanding Mahler 9, supremely well played and recorded; a very significant addition to the catalogue. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review




John Quinn
MusicWeb International, July 2019

I have lost count of the number of recordings of Mahler’s Ninth that I have in my collection. Many of them are very fine but this one must now be ranked among the small elite group. It’s deeply considered, masterfully conducted and superbly played. Furthermore, recording engineer Markus Spatz and producer Sebastian Braun have reproduced the performance in splendid sound. This distinguished performance is worthy of a place of honour in any Mahler collection. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Colin Anderson
Classicalsource.com, July 2019

Herbert Blomstedt lets Mahler’s music do all the talking, with of course his own certainty of intent evident in every bar, securing playing of sear, sensitivity, eloquence and intensity; and, whether corporate or solo (invidious to mention the wonderful horn-playing, or flute), the Bamberg Symphony is caught up in every aspect of Mahler’s complex invention, scoring and emotions… © 2019 Classicalsource.com Read complete review



Anthony Kershaw
Audiophilia, July 2019

BR Klassik gets the sound right. The Bamberg Keilberth Hall has been refurbished and by all accounts is quite fine, and miles better than the Gasteig to the south. That BR Klassik make the Bavarian Radio Symphony sound so good in that hall is a near engineering miracle. Here, it’s all sweetness and light, sounding superb on both CD and HiRes streaming. © 2019 Audiophilia Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2019

The music dances happily along, in a rich sound, without anything weird or rough. And the burlesque is not defiant either, at first it is very colorful and virtuoso, but with a clear structure and a sophistication that other conductors don’t have. The coda is wild, but never grim. The powerful Adagio comes with the highest intensity. Blomstedt cares for a beautiful and totally transparent sound. Death does not sound bitter and cruel. And when Mahler’s music then rears up, it becomes totally sick. At the end, the farewell is accepted, it is peaceful, but not sentimental, rather simple, but no less moving. So, this is an excellent Ninth Mahler, full of Blomstedt’s experience and wisdom. © 2019 Pizzicato Read complete review



Charles T. Downey
Ionarts, June 2019

 

Most effective is Blomstedt’s first movement, an expansive, elegant rendering of the layers of appoggiaturas leaning on one another in row after row. The reluctant impartial quotations of the “Lebewohl” motif from Beethoven’s piano sonata “Les Adieux” pile up beautifully.

Marin Alsop takes another crack at this elegiac work tonight at Strathmore and Sunday afternoon at the Meyerhoff, even as the identity of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as a full-year major orchestra continues to unravel. © 2019 Ionarts Read complete review





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