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Classical Music

Mahler


Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Mahler: Symphony No. 5 Lowest new price: $11.97
Lowest used price: $1.98
Brand: Deutsche Grammophon
Model: 1989952

Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Mahler's Fifth was one of the pieces Leonard Bernstein owned. This interpretation is broader than the one he recorded with the New York Philharmonic in the early 1960s, but it's little changed in feeling. It is, however, far more polished and a good deal more persuasive. The recording, like all of Bernstein's later Mahler cycle, was made live; here, he and the Vienna Philharmonic give a gripping performance full of telling nuance, intensely expressive yet thoroughly controlled. It's a reading both Dionysiac and "Bachic"--as in J. S. Bach, not Bacchus--one in which the impetuous energy of the score is transmitted to the fullest degree, but not at the expense of the extraordinary (for Mahler) contrapuntal detail. Most remarkable of all, perhaps, is Bernstein's sureness of touch, his ability to realize the many little expressive gestures that no longer merely draw attention to themselves the way they used to, but add up to something miraculous. The Philharmonic players, with him all the way, contribute many wonderful touches, especially the strings. The recording, made not in Vienna but in Frankfurt's Alte Oper, is solid and has remarkable impact. While the bass is a bit diffuse and the sound stage not the clearest, the image is reasonably detailed and well balanced, the atmosphere good. --Ted Libbey

Features:

  • Deutsche Grammophon

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Music to De-Stress

Music to De-Stress Lowest new price: $3.29
Lowest used price: $1.90
Model: 25681888

Music to De-Stress supports deepening levels of mind/body revitalization. Slowing theme and variations are from Mahler's Fourth Symphony Adagio. Instrumentation includes string quintet, oboe, flute, and piano. Combining faraway foghorns and ocean tides with the psychoacoustically-refined music of Arcangelos, this recording is leisurely and unhurried- designed to soothe and strengthen a fatigued nervous system.

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The Most Romantic Classical Music In The Universe [2 CD]

The Most Romantic Classical Music In The Universe [2 CD] Lowest new price: $6.26
Lowest used price: $1.90
Model: 2173181

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Ultimate Classical Relaxation [5 CD]

Ultimate Classical Relaxation [5 CD] Lowest new price: $11.88
Lowest used price: $15.99
Brand: Ultimate
Model: 3867973

The soft, soothing sounds of classical beauty, spread across centuries and five CDs. Includes Suite No. 3 in D: Air on the G String; Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring Bach; Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major: No. 2 "Andante"; Serenade in G "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik": No. 2 "Romance" Mozart; Romeo and Juliet: Love Theme; Serenade for Strings in C Major: Waltz Tchaikovsky; Adagio for Strings Barber; Carnival of Animals: The Swan Saint-Sa+«ns; Peer Gynt Suite No. 1: Morning Mood Grieg; Florida Suite: Daybreak Delius; Morgenblatter: Waltz for Orchestra Johann Strauss II; Daphnis Et Chloe: Daybreak Ravel; La Gioconda: Dance of the Hours Ponchielli, and more!

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Absolute Heaven: Essential Choral Masterpieces

Absolute Heaven: Essential Choral Masterpieces Lowest new price: $7.30
Lowest used price: $0.98

Absolute Heaven: Essential Choral Masterpieces

This sampler, which appeared in 1997, features Robert Shaw, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and its associated choruses in selections from some of the choral-orchestral blockbusters they recorded for Telarc between 1979 and 1993, in consistently excellent sound. Shaw's unrivalled mastery of this repertory shines through in every selection on the disc, not least in the excerpts that frame the program: the final pages of the "Prologue in Heaven" from Boito's Mefistofele, and the towering conclusion of Mahler's Symphony No. 8, both magnificently done. Just one warning: after listening to this, you're likely to find yourself hurrying back to buy the recordings of the complete works. --Ted Libbey

Features:

  • Telarc

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Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde / Ruckert Lieder (Essential Classics)

Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde / Ruckert Lieder (Essential Classics) Lowest used price: $8.80

Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde / Ruckert Lieder (Essential Classics)

This disc is a real sleeper. On LP, with recessed sound, it was a total nonstarter. Remastered onto CD, however, it suddenly reveals a performance of well-nigh incomparable beauty. The only rival to the Philadelphia Orchestra for sheer quality of playing is the Concertgebouw Orchestra on Philips. It's fashionable in vocal circles to disparage Lili Chookasian, a good but not great singer, but here she really gives it her all, as if she understood that this would be her musical testament. It's a very fine performance, and Richard Lewis is a Das Lied pro. Nothing to complain about there. Throw in Frederica von Stade's lovely Rückert Lieder as a bonus, and at budget price, this is an incredible deal. --David Hurwitz

Features:

  • Sony

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Symphony 1

Symphony 1 Lowest new price: $9.98
Lowest used price: $7.59
Brand: Mahler (Solti)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 4 / Berg: Seven Early Songs ~ Abbado / Fleming

Mahler: Symphony No. 4 / Berg: Seven Early Songs ~ Abbado / Fleming Lowest new price: $10.93
Lowest used price: $3.98
Brand: Deutsche Grammophon

This is an oddly unsatisfying Mahler 4th. Abbado very wisely lets us hear Mahler's sensitive, chamber-like scoring and the Berliners play handsomely, but after the first few minutes of the first movement, we get the feeling that he's being fussy, and that we are getting Mahler-under-a-microscope. The work as a whole loses impact. Perhaps in the concert hall (this is a live performance) the specificity worked its magic and the listeners could feel a part of the process, but we, at home, somehow do not get the correct effect. The Adagio is beautifully played--Abbado adds extra drama but some quick accelerandi. The finale, with its beautiful soprano solo, is the worst work I've ever heard from Renée Fleming, who, in an attempt to sound innocent, as the score is marked, actually comes across as a teenaged brat simpering with pursed lips and a big voice she's trying to hide. There are a dozen better performances available--Barbara Bonney (with Chailly), Juliane Banse (with Boulez), to name two. Fleming also sings Alban Berg's Seven Early Songs quite handsomely and imbues each with an ear for both textual and musical nuance. --Robert Levine

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Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Schubert: Symphony No. 8

Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Schubert:  Symphony No. 8 Lowest new price: $15.21
Lowest used price: $13.80

Recently deceased conductor Carlo Maria Giulini had a long and distinguished career and many regard his years at the helm of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as among his most inspired. Both works receive appropriately expansive readings with Giulini taking great care in drawing out the orchestral sonorous and chromatic potential. Giulini's judicious moderate tempos particularly in the Mahler, are especially well suited to the composers spiritual grand plan. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is remarkably good with exceptional presence and detail.

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Movie Adagios [2 CD]

Movie Adagios [2 CD] Lowest new price: $9.37
Lowest used price: $4.27
Model: 1992078

Movie Adagios [2 CD]

Features:

  • Decca

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