Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 6 in A minor ‘Tragic’ – Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Daniel Harding (2015) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Mahler – Symphony No. 6 in A minor ‘Tragic’ – Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Daniel Harding (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:22:25 minutes | 839 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © BR Klassik

Daniel Harding follows his first CD recording on the BR-KLASSIK label (Schumann’s Faust Scenes, BR-KLASSIK, 900122) with this live recording of Gustav Mahler’s Sixth Symphony. Counting Sir Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado among his teachers, since 2005 he has constantly made a name for himself with spectacular concerts with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks as a guest conductor. In this live recording of 2014 from Munich’s Philharmonie im Gasteig, BR-KLASSIK presents one of Mahler’s most unusual symphonies. Its dark and complex score contrasts starkly with what appeared on the surface to be a happy and carefree phase of the composer’s life when he wrote it. The world-class conductor Daniel Harding demonstrates great artistic flexibility here; and with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, he encounters an ensemble that has been among the pioneers of Mahler performance ever since the Kubelík era of the 1960s.

Daniel Harding is no newcomer to the music of Gustav Mahler, having recorded the Symphony No. 4 in G major with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Deryck Cooke’s realization of the Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major with the Vienna Philharmonic. With that understood, one may question his choices in the Symphony No. 6 in A minor,”Tragic,” as recorded live with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, because the interpretation as a whole seems rushed and a bit impatient, leaving an impression of superficial treatment and missed opportunities. One may take issue with the sequence of the inner movements; indeed, many contemporary conductors offer the Andante moderato and Scherzo ordering, as does Harding, following Mahler’s performances, even though it’s reversed in the first published score, which makes better sense as a tonal scheme. However, if that were the only problem, it could still be an acceptable reading, but Harding is in too much of a hurry, pushing the musicians too insistently, skimming over inner details of the score, and doing little with the atmospheric tone colors that, in other hands, make this symphony magical. While this performance is still listenable and suitable for study purposes, it’s unlikely to be anyone’s top choice, and this recording must contend with many great renditions of superior quality and musicianship. –AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 6 in A minor ‘Tragic’
1 Allegro energico, ma non troppo. Heftig, aber markig 23:22
2 Andante moderato 15:56
3 Scherzo. Wuchtig – Trio. Altväterisch. Merklich langsamer. Grazioso 12:35
4 Finale. Allegro moderato 30:32

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Daniel Harding conductor