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  RCO live -
  RCO 06001 (2 discs)
  Mahler: Symphony No. 6, Henze: Sebastian im Traum - Jansons
  Mahler: Symphony No. 6, Henze: Sebastian im Traum

Royal Concergebouw Orchestra
Mariss Jansons (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 14 show all

Reviews: 4 show all

Site review by mwagner1962 July 2, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:  
I decided to give this several listens before posting anything, so here goes.

This is my 4th SACD of Mahler's 6th Symphony, and it joins the Telarc/Zander, MTT/SFO, Abaddo/Berlin and Fischer/Budapest.

While Jansons interpretation is not quite on par interpretation-wise with the other four recordings, there is still a lot to recommend. As usual, the Concertgebouw's playing is utterly fantastic, with some excellent playing from the brass and woodwinds. String playing is very fine (as usual) though I would have liked a little more umpf from the opening strings....Jansons opening movement is nearly lacking in passion as compared to the other recordings. Other movements are fine, yet seem to sometimes loose some emotion and passion along the way.

What really shines here is the superb sound captured by the recording team. Space, air, is there in plenty!!! I really prefer the sound of Concertgebouw recording done live, as for many years I found recordings made there to be borderline boomy...what I and friends jokingly called the "Grotte Zaal" effect....and this was not always a compliment. Live recordings removes all of the "effects" in my opinion.

Regarding the placement of the 2nd and 3rd movements. I do not subscribe to the sometimes passionate debate of the arrangement. I can honestly say that if I heard two different orchestras play Mahler's 6th with the two middle movements placed differently each night, I would not be bothered in the least, nor would it affect my enjoyment of the performances.

The Hans Werner Henze piece I will leave to Henze aficionado's/experts, as I bought this SACD for the Mahler. However, I will say that I at least find the piece interesting, but it will take repeated listenings to develop a serious liking/understanding!!!

Overall, while not being the best Mahler 6th I have on both rbcd or SACD, it will still keep its place in my library.


Review by barry guerrero June 16, 2006 (7 of 11 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Here is a very informal mini-review that I posted at I was listening to this in just plain, old two-channel stereo, so I can't help with the multi-channel aspect.

I'm afraid that this isn't going to get much attention since Jansons already recorded the Mahler 6th with the LSO. This new Cocertgebouw one sounds much better. Once again, the Concertgebouw proves that on a day-to-day basis, they're probably the greatest Mahler orchestra on the planet. The sound, as well as their playing, is so transparent that I was hearing minor details that even I never caught before. All four sections of the orchestra are truly well balanced (strings; woodwinds; brass; percussion). Interpretively speaking, this is very similar to how Jansons waved the stick in front of the LSO. But I found the scherzo much more sharply etched here; the slow movement more "moving". To that end, I like the big accellerando Jansons does while heading into the climactic passage of the andante movement, accompanied by strong horns (unison) and plenty of cowbells (onstage). As I'm not a fan of James Mallinson produced recordings, I find this Concertgebouw one to be a big improvement. I also like the coupling, which is some atonal horror-show composed by Hans Werner Henze. Well, to be honest, "like" probably isn't precise enough. Let's just say that I find the Henze piece to be quite appropriate to follow up the Mahler with. Jansons vs. Chailly? . . .

The Jansons M6 is more transparant sounding - a bit more like the old Philips recordings, but with much more heft in the low end of the orchestra. In Contrast, the Chailly sounds a tad like a very good orchestra accompanying a percussion concerto composed by Mahler - not a bad thing in and of itself, and probably not far off the mark from what Mahler had in mind either (read De La Grange).

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Review by willemvoorneveld July 11, 2012 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Mahler 6 and Henze: Sebastian im Traum (2003-04)-Jansons, KCO live.

According to writers of his time, Mahler himself was shocked after hearing the premiere of his own recently (1906) completed 6th symphony. Only the Scherzo gives a bit of relieve but all other movements end into tragedy. The tragedy element is very well exposed by Mariss Jansons interpretation and the Scherzo gives a bit of relieve as intended.
In order to achieve this result, Jansons keeps a very consistent tempo in all movements. He is fast but never rushed. He lets his KCO play with remarkable precision never losing his main goal to deliver an authentic, coherent performance out of sight. On me it had a devastating effect indeed.

Mahler left his conductors in the dark with regard to the specific order of the Andante and the Scherzo. Most conductors prefer to play the Scherzo as second movement but Jansons plays the Andante (movement 2) first followed by the Scherzo (movement 3). I think this works very well in the approach Jansons has taken. The finale (31 minutes) is almost a symphony of its own and needs a bit rest before.

A very interesting addition to this Mahler 6 live performance is “Sebastian im Traum”, composed in 2003/04. Where Mahler needs 85 minutes to deliver his message, Hans Werner Henze (1926) only needs 14 minutes to review all things in life.
Henze uses the same orchestral apparatus as Mahler in this piece but his style is contemporary, light and fluid. Henze’s music is a welcome relieve after the tragedies in the 6th of Mahler and Mariss Jansons gives a convincing interpretation of it in this world premiere recording.

The sound quality is stunning and very realistic. According to the booklet the disc has been compiled from 3 different live performances so in a sense the engineers have some material to play with.

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Works: 2  

Hans Werner Henze - Sebastian im Traum
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 6 in A minor