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Esoteric releases SACD version of Boulez/VPO/DG Mahler 6th

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John Kim:

John Kim:
Along with his VPO M3rd, this is Boulez's BEST Mahler recording. It sounds rich and sumptuous on my 4D CD.

I wish I had some way to hear this, and SACDs. Boulez is one of my favorite Mahler conductors. I rank this M6 as one of my favorites, and I just wish the hammers were more impactful. If they were, it would no doubt be my own top pick.

I think Boulez's Mahler is stronger than we give it credit for. It just feels like most of his recordings are one step below ideal. If the M2 had more organ, it would be one of my top picks. If the M6 had louder hammers, it would be my top pick. If the M8 had better tams, it would be my top pick. If the M9 had a slower finale, it would be my top pick. Et cetera.

Those are just my personal thoughts on those recordings. That doesn't mean they're objectively great.

John Kim:

Your thoughts on Boulez/Mahler are spot on. To me, his Mahler is touch too cool for my taste. However, with the right kind of sonics, e.g., that of VPO M6th, it may sound perfectly convincing. Have you heard his Staatskapelle Berlin M2nd DVD? It's far more engaging than the VPO M2nd and quite dramatic (for Boulez!) too.

I too like to hear the SACD. It's priced around $60.00 though.


I haven't heard that M2 performance yet, but I've read only very good things on here and elsewhere.

 I agree Boulez conducts coolly, but I like that he lets the music speak for itself (or the musicians, more specifically). To me he is the antithesis of Bernstein: zero ego, cool conducting, everything is in the details, balance, and pacing (tempo relationships). It all comes down to what you're in the mood for each day.


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