Mahler & Henze (2006)

Mahler, Henze

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Mariss Jansons

‘The riddles posed by my sixth symphony can only be solved by someone who has already heard the other five’ wrote Gustav Mahler in 1904, the year in which he put the finishing touches to the symphony that would later become known as the ‘Tragic’ symphony.This quotation is interesting on two counts: firstly, that the Sixth Symphony should prove enigmatic to its listeners, and secondly, that it could only be elucidated if the listener had already heard the first five symphonies – not exactly a straightforward provision by any means, and certainly not for the majority of Mahler’s contemporaries who heard the symphony’s premiere on 27 May 1906 in Essen. The symphony must, however, have made a devastating and yet bewildering effect on those who were already familiar with Mahler’s world. Whereas all of his first five symphonies had ended positively, the Sixth Symphony leaves the listener with a feeling of hopeless impotence, this being sublimated into a thundering A minor chord, the symphony’s main tonality. A minor prevails in three of the four movements; only the charming Andante introduces a sunny intermezzo.The tenor of the three movements is, however, not equally sombre; this is particularly true of the first movement, when ‘the hero’ begins his musical journey. Mahler always had a principal character in mind – ‘the hero’ –whilst he composed his symphonies and this hero displays a striking resemblance to the composer himself. It is therefore Mahler himself who sets out on a walk in the fields in the Sixth Symphony. 

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Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is lauded by the most authoritative international critics as one of the world’s greatest orchestras. Known for its unique sound and stylistic flexibility, it has worked with all the leading composers and conductors. Indeed, such composers as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky conducted the orchestra on more than one occasion. Only seven chief conductors have led the orchestra since it was founded in 1888: Willem Kes, Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons and – starting in the 2016–17 season – Daniele Gatti. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy provides instruction in orchestral playing to young, talented musicians. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra undertook an extensive world tour in 2013 on the occasion of its 125th anniversary. Her Royal Highness Queen Máxima is the orchestra’s patron.

photo by Anne Dokter (from Press Photos on Artist Website)

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Mahler & Henze (2006)

Mahler, Henze

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    Geko-Kurier Salzburg

‘On the occasion of the first combined performances of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle in the Wiener Festwochen concerts, we now pose a theoretical question: Which of the following would you most like to hear perform Mahler’s Sixth Symphony at this time? A: The Vienna Philharmonic B: The Berlin Philharmonic C: Both orchestras together At this moment we would be inclined to say: None of the above, but rather a completely different combination — Mariss Jansons and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra.’

    The Daily Telegraph

‘This was predictably going to be one of the season’s greatest Proms, but as ever with Jansons, he surpassed even the highest expectations’

Geoffrey Norris

    The Evening Standard

‘This was how it was meant to be’

Barry Millington

    Berliner Zeitung

‘This Sunday evening in the Philharmonie was a highlight, perhaps even the highlight of the entire music festival’

Wolfgang Fuhrmann

    Neue Zürcher Zeitung

‘The art of creating colours in sound is here taken to extremes’

Thomas Sacher


‘Jansons takes his place in Amsterdam’s Mahler tradition with a thundering crash’

Peter van der Lint

    NRC Handelsblad

‘One of the most powerful concerts that I have ever experienced’

Kasper Jansen

Mahler & Henze (2006)

Mahler, Henze

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Digital Converters:EMM Labs
Editing Software:Pyramix
Mastering Engineer:Everett Porter
Mastering Room:B&W Nautilus
Microphones:Bruel & Kyaer
Producer:Everett Porter
Recording Engineer:Everett Porter, Roger de Schot, Tiemen Boulens
Recording location:Concertgebouw Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Recording Software:Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64

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RCO06001: Mahler & Henze
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Symphony No. 6 in A minor - Allegro energico, ma non troppo
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Symphony No. 6 in A minor - Andante moderato
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Symphony No. 6 in A minor - Scherzo: Wuchtig
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Symphony No. 6 in A minor - Finale: Allegretto moderato
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Sebastian im Traum - I
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Sebastian im Traum - II. Ruhig fliessend
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