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Mahler: Symphony No. 6 - "Tragic"

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Customer Reviews

Mahler's finest

If you aren't familiar with Mahler's 6th, this recording might be a real eye-opener for you. The thundering cinematic drama of the opening and closing movements, the very Mahleresque grotesqueries of the scherzo, the romance-novel sweetness of the andante movement, all combine to create an unforgettable impression in the listener. One revelation is that the schmaltzy mawkishness that ruins Mahler's music for so many listeners is, at least in part, the product of interpretation by the Bruno Walters and the Leonard Bernsteins. Pierre Boulez, on the other hand, simply lets Mahler speak for himself. The results are stunning. There are moments in the finale that look forward to Shostakovich. And don't be lulled into a reverie by that romance-novel andante movement: Arnold Schoenberg himself expressed admiration for it. And while you're reeling from the violent contrasts of the first movement, try to notice that it is a fairly good approximation of the classical sonata-allegro form: for all his eccentricities, Mahler was a member in good standing of the guild. Highest recommendation.


Born: March 26, 1925 in Montbrison, France

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After initially studying mathematics, Boulez entered the Paris Conservatoire as a student in theory and harmony (he failed the pianists' entrance examination). His principal teacher was Messiaen, and he also studied counterpoint privately with Andrée Vaurabourg. According to Boulez, composition was a form of aesthetic research and should be pursued logically. He viewed personal stylistic development as having no importance and deemed atonality as necessary. He adopted 12-tone serialism after being...
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Mahler: Symphony No. 6 - "Tragic", Pierre Boulez
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: 1995

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