A Muscular Mahler

Conductor Mariss Jansons takes matters into his own hands to deliver a stunning reading of Mahler.

Composer: Mahler, Hans Werner Henze
Repertoire: Symphony No.6, Sebastian im Traum
Artists: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Mariss Jansons 

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Orchestral

Label: RCO Live RCO06001

Since Mahler himself didn’t finally make up his mind about the playing order of this vast symphony’s second and third movements, conductors have to make the decision themselves – and it’s one that very much affects the feel of the performance. Jansons places the beautiful, haunting Andante second and the harsh Scherzo third, which suits the movements themselves very well, but perhaps relegates the opening Allegro too much to the status of a prelude. However, his overview of the whole work is spacious and dramatic, with beautiful, translucent Concertgebouw playing. Hans Werner Henze’s exercise in modernist post-Romanticism is sumptuous, sophisticated and weird.