Many thanks to our friend Jean-Luc for this splendid “Grandezza”
Vaclav Neumann (1920-95) was the first conductor behind the Iron Curtain to record all the Mahler symphonies. He did so with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, where he was kaepllmesiter from 1964-68, and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra of these recordings, where he gained greatest fame as chief conductor from 1968-90. Perhaps owing to the enforced mantra of Socialist reality in East Germany and Czechoslovakia during his time, beauty tends to replace neuroses in his recordings. Indeed, Neumann’s Mahler is about as far removed temperamentally as possible from the Mahler-as-neurotic standard of Bernstein, Solti, Tilson Thomas and others in the West. Instead, Neumann focuses on beauty of sound and orchestral execution. There is prodigious beauty here in this Symphony. The overall impression this left me is: beautiful. Not overly angsty, tortured Mahler; rather, Mahler led by a dedicated conductor and a fantastic Czech Orchestra.
Composer: Gustav Mahler
Orchestra: Czech Philarmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Vaclav Neumann
Number of Discs: 2
DR-Analysis: DR 16
Size: 3.14 GB
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