BPYO: Mahler Symphony no. 6 (Performing Arts Review)
Daniel Kepl - Performing Arts Review
CD Reviews — July 1, 2017
This beautifully packaged 2 CD set is without doubt, the most exhilarating recording of Gustav Mahler’s deeply moving Symphony No. 6 (Tragic) I have ever heard – on several levels. The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and its extraordinary conductor, Benjamin Zander, offer a live recording from Boston’s historic Symphony Hall that is nothing less than perfection. The Symphony’s sprawling four movements – a monumental test of endurance and musicianship – sparkle with energy from first note to last. Consistently superb intonation, nuanced phrasing, extraordinary sectional and solo playing, and an electrifying urgency of intellectual purpose and message, drive the imagination and nurture the soul – a recording to cherish, extol, and pass along to others.
The sound capture on this recording is equally gratifying. Little wonder, these are the same engineers responsible for the Boston Symphony’s last two Grammy-winning triumphs. Minuscule detail – the famous sound of distant cowbells, the tinkle of a triangle – can be discerned with pristine clarity, while Mahler’s gigantic orchestral climaxes are allowed full-throated sonic resonance.
A performance of such exquisite beauty and profound depth is no accident. Maestro Zander is one of the world’s great Mahler interpreters and the incredible musicians of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra attend to his vision willingly and with spirit in this recording. The result; a vividly colorful narrative of the human condition that explores the composer’s complex psyche and illuminates the tender mercies and bittersweet longings of Mahler’s inner world.