Review by mwgfrg January 27, 2013 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
|Having already added one of EMI's two great Mahler 9ths of the '60s to the SACD catalogue, the early '60s Barbirolli recording, EMI Japan follows with the other, the later '60s Klemperer recording. This is vintage, very great Klemperer, powerful and moving. Unlike the Barbirolli, the emphasis is less horizontal and flowing, but never episodic. The tempos are definitely on the slow side, 3-4 minutes more per movement than Barbirolli, who does not exactly rush through any of them (the exception is the finale, which is only a bit less than a minute more). I could not be without either, but I guess if I had to choose, it would be Klemperer. Never in either recording is there a moment where I feel either has gone a bit astray, as I often feel in other, even other great, recordings. As to sound, it used to be a common conclusion that the original EMI Columbias were in a class by themselves, and that on all subsequent British and German LP releases someone had brightened things up a bit, losing some of the golden clarity and richness of the string sound of the original release. I always found this to be true, and even more so of the CD versions. This SACD transfer, to my ears, comes closest to the original LPs. To me it is, in sum, a great and valuable re-release of a classic recording, the best reissue of it ever since the originals disappeared.
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