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Guy Wagner
Pizzicato, September 2014

Digging profoundly into Mahler’s ‘Fate Symphony’, Markus Stenz inspires his excellent orchestra to respond with tremendous bravura to the dark score. © 2014 Pizzicato

BBC Music Magazine, September 2014

MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 6 (Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, Stenz) OC651
MAHLER, G.: Symphonies Nos. 9 and 10 (Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, Stenz) OC654

Everything we’ve come to expect from previous instalments reaches its apotheosis with these works. They may have been recorded in a studio but there’s still the same vividness and tendency to let each instrumental department shine.

Most of Stenz’s tempo changes feel perfectly right. There’s a very clear and emotionally rich path to the climax of the Sixth’s great Andante, placed second; and the billowing at Nicht schleppen, usually taken as a cue to speed, sounds perfect. Stenz also negotiates very clear and easy distinctions between the different paces of Mahler’s two most complex scherzos; the three strains of the Ninth’s part clumsy, part demonic-peasant landier have never been better delineated. © 2014 BBC Music Magazine

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, September 2014

…Gürzenich Orchestra has no trouble with the score technically…[and] Stenz flashes fire in the scherzo, finding ways to etch its biting sardonic quality into the listener’s imagination. The finale…gathers momentum and excitement as it goes.

The Sixth is one of the high points in Stenz’s cycle. It ends with a thrill…The recorded sound is immediate and full-range in its dynamics. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Blair Sanderson, June 2014

As Markus Stenz and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln approach the completion of their cycle of the symphonies of Gustav Mahler on Oehms Classics, they present what is arguably the most powerful and compelling of the lot, the Symphony No. 6 in A minor, “Tragic.” Consistent with their other Mahler recordings, Stenz and his musicians deliver the symphony with abundant energy, textural richness, expressive depth, and extreme clarity, and this hybrid SACD captures every aspect of this brilliant live performance… Stenz has another superb recording to his credit, and it must be ranked among the finest releases of 2014. © 2014 Read complete review, June 2014

Stenz launches the first movement strongly and maintains its march character throughout its faster sections, allowing the slow ones plenty of breathing room but handling them more as interludes within the march…Stenz’s Scherzo is very well played throughout, with especially good percussion…Stenz does a top-notch job with the symphony’s conclusion, offering strong and even pacing, a propulsive sense of inevitability interrupted by the famous hammer blows, and particularly outstanding brass playing. The Stenz approach…is…involving and emotionally compelling… © 2014 Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, June 2014

This is a compelling reading of Mahler’s Sixth and one of the high points of Stenz’s cycle. The playing is superb throughout and the engineers have done a fine job, producing sound of great clarity, depth and range. I now look forward to hearing what Markus Stenz and this fine orchestra bring to the Ninth. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Classical CD Choice, May 2014

While not rivalling some of the titanic performances this masterpieces has received in recent years, this is nevertheless one of the most plangent and dramatic of recordings, captured in sound that encompasses the widest range of the composer’s vast tonal palette. © 2014 Classical CD Choice Read complete review

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