Many thanks to our friend Jean-Luc for this very rare live gem.
There is no arguing that this is an hyper-emotional performance. Too much, however, has been made of Bernstein departing from the score or suffering from ‘romantic’ interpretations etc. Ultimately the test of a performance is if it lives, and this one most definitely does. In fact, Bernstein’s Mahler recordings speak with the composers voice so clearly and consummately that it transcends the barrier of music. There are many very musical versions of Mahler 9 out there, with delicate textures and glowing sonorities and the such. But this recording is more than music; it becomes an actual testament of life and death, something that defies description. Bernstein astutely pointed out that at the end of the ninth one can actually experience the sensation of dying.
# Composer: Gustav Mahler
# Orchestra: Concertogebouworkest Amsterdam
# Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
# Vinyl (1986)
# Number of Discs: 2
# Format: Flac
# Label: DGG
# DR-Analysis: DR 16
# Size: 1.69 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
A lot of conductors throughout history, even the best ones (such as Fritz Reiner or George Szell) are often known for being cold, precise, and totally unemotional conductors. You couldn’t say that about Leonard Bernstein, of course; in fact, you could go exactly the opposite direction and argue that he was hyper-emotional. And like a lot of conductors such as Otto Klemperer or Carlo Maria Giulini, whose tempos got progressively slower as they got older, so too did Lenny’s. But there was nevertheless still something about the way he got the most out of a truly big work, be it a warhorse or something not as marquee-lit; he often reveled in it. And along with his fellow countryman Aaron Copland, the composer that Bernstein most reveled in was Mahler. Case in point, this recording of the Ninth Symphony.
The third such recording he has made of this incredible and grim work (the first being with his New York Philharmonic in 1965, and the second with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1979), this version with the Concertegbouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, made in 1985, is a crystal-clear example of a work of extreme emotionalism given an equally extreme performance by a conductor who understands extreme emotionalism better than most, and an orchestra whose familiarity with Mahler, going from Mengelberg and Van Beinum through Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, and Mariss Jansons, is set in stone. Over a running time of close to 90 minutes, it takes a very strong equilibrium to withstand everything that Mahler put into this particular work, with monstrous orchestral forces and often huge orchestral outbursts (but no choruses or vocal soloists, as in some of the other symphonies), as this is a work that begins and ends in darkness not unlike Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony, but on an even more gut-wrenching level if such a thing is possible. And there is Bernstein and the Concertgebouw, unleashing Mahler like few others have ever been able to do, either before or since.
Understandably a lot of people will say that this is over-the-top, and they would be right. In the end, however, that may be the whole point of the matter when it comes to the Mahler Ninth. Bernstein and the Concertgebouw Orchestra are just doing their job, and they do it extremely well. All the listener can do is to take that big leap into the heart of Mahlerian darkness with them; and for those that can stand it, it is a grim but fascinating leap.
|I. Satz / 1st Movement:||29:52|
|A2||(Hörner / Horns)|
|A5||Wie Von Anfang|
|A6||Plötzlich Bedeutend Langsamer (Lento) Und Leise|
|II. Satz / 2nd Movement: Im Tempo Eines Gemächlichen Länders.||17:26|
|B1||Etwas Täppisch Und Sehr Derb|
|B2||Poco Più Mosso Subito (Tempo II.)|
|B4||A Tempo II.|
|B7||Tempo I. Subito|
|III. Satz / 3rd Movement: Rondo-Burleske.||11:47|
|C1||Allegro Assai. Sehr Trotzig|
|C3||Sempre L’istesso Tempo|
|C6||(Klarineten / Clarinets)|
|C7||Tempo I. Subito|
|IV. Satz / 4th Movement: Adagio.||29:34|
|D1||Sehr Langsam Und Noch Zurückhaltend|
|D2||Plötzlich Wieder Langsam (Wie Zu Anfang) Und Etwas Zögernd|
|D3||Molto Adagio Subito|
|D4||A Tempo (Molto Adagio)|
|D5||Stets Sehr Gehalten|
|D6||Fließender, Doch Durchaus Nicht Eilend|
|D7||Tempo I. Molto Adagio|
Analyzed folder: /96k Mahler – Symphony No. 9 – Bernstein
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR15 -0.47 dB -21.78 dB A 1st movement.aif
DR16 -2.23 dB -23.57 dB B 2nd movement.aif
DR15 -0.93 dB -21.00 dB C 3rd movement.aif
DR16 -0.69 dB -23.42 dB D 4th movement.aif
Number of files: 4
Official DR value: DR16
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
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- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Very light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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