Mitsuko Uchida has been a committed exponent of Schoenberg's Piano Concerto for over a decade now. It is a work which remains controversial in its adaptation of the serial method to an almost Brahmsian harmonic palette, wedded to a formal approach that takes up the integrated design, and textural richness, of Schoenberg's pre-atonal works. Certainly in terms of the balance between soloist and orchestra, this recording clarifies the often capricious interplay to a degree previously unheard on disc (and most likely in the concert hall too).Interpretatively, it combines Pollini's dynamism, without the hectoring touch that creeps into the Adagio's climactic passages, and Brendel's lucidity, avoiding the deadpan feeling that pervades his final Giocoso.
A host of accomplished conductors including Daniel Harding, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink and Eliahu Inbal lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in these performances of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1-10. Recorded in Amsterdam over two seasons in 2010/11, the collection also includes 'Das Lied von der Erde'.
This is the best Boulez recording in quite a while. He offers the canonic 12 Wunderhorn songs, meaning no Urlicht and no Das himmlische Leben in the original orchestration before it became the finale of the Fourth Symphony. You won't miss them. None of the songs are done as duets, and you won't be bothered by that either. The singing is exceptional: Magdalena Kozená combines a sweet timbre with plenty of personality and attention to the words; Christian Gerhaher's light, somewhat grainy baritone may not be to all tastes, but his unfailing musicality and his gusto (singing but never shouting) in the big "military" songs carries the day.
Thanks to the surprising proliferation of Mahler’s music on DVD, there are multiple performances of this particular symphony with which to compare this new one (not least among them Bernstein’s and Abbado’s); there is also Boulez’s own previous performance with the Vienna Philharmonic, made a couple of months after this concert, available on one generous DG CD, to consider by way of comparison.
Boulez's approach here allows the intelligence and artistry of three admirable soloists and the Vienna Philharmonic to emerge with compelling force.
Music Week (London)
With this new recording of the monumental Symphony no. 8, legendary conductor Pierre Boulez brings his acclaimed Mahler symphonies cycle to a spectacular conclusion
Boulez teams up with Barenboim’s Staatskapelle Berlin, the Berlin State Opera and Radio Choruses, as well as a strong cast of soloists including Michelle DeYoung to deliver his long-awaited reading of what is arguably one of Mahler’s biggest and most impressive scores, also known as “Symphony of a Thousand” due to the large number of musicians needed to perform the piece
This release crowns a more-than-decade-long project involving all the symphonies and major orchestral works of Gustav Mahler – a project that is both of highest personal value to Maestro Boulez and an important document of Mahler interpretation
“Boulez’s Mahler is revelatory in its leanness . . . a life-changing experience for anyone who thought they knew their Mahler.” (Financial Times)
Bold, lush, and exquisite piano quartets by Mahler, Schumann, and Brahms, this core classical album presents some of the finest pieces written in the romantic era. For this chamber music album, Daniel Hope has put together a stellar cast, including CMS Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, as well as viola legend Paul Neubauer.