My local “Borders” in Downtown Crossing always has some interesting music. I have no idea why but they have it all but if I stop by in their small classical section I always fish something “kinky”.
Today I pulled of from there a few CDs and among them there was Barbirolli performance of the Mahler 6. It was not the wonderful Barbirolli’s performance with New Philharmonia Orchestra in 1968 – the ultimate Maher 6, as far as I concern, - but it was a “live” performance in 1996 with Berlin Philharmonic.
This Berlin’s performance does not have that gorgeously slow tempo and the overwhelming sense of agonizing straggle that Barbirolli loaded his performance with NPO. It is somewhat faster and I would say more “compiled” and less self-destructive.
Me, being me, I still prefer the NPO version, exactly because it was more vicious, nasty and malicious but the Berlin’s performance has own merit. Besides, the Berlin’s performance still is more Barbirollian then Bernsteinian…
Also, it is nice to note that this performance was released by “Testament” and the quality of Sound is very good. (Testament SBT-1342, Recorded in Berlin 13 January 1996, live to Mono)
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche