You will probably be as incredulous as I was to learn that the greatest cycle of Mahler symphonies comes not from any of the usual suspects - Abbado, Bernstein, Chially, Haitink, Kubelik, Rattle, Sinopoli, Solti, Tennstedt - but from the unsung Gary Bertini, who spent the better part of his career as music director of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Unlike any of those more publicized sets, each of which includes a misfire or two, Bertini is consistently successful from first to last; his performance of each of these works can stand comparison with the very best available.
"Bernstein stamps his outsize personality on every bar and regularly has you convinced it is Mahler's own" (Gramophone). Filmed on tour at Berlin's Philharmonie, this account of the valedictory Ninth Symphony is an intense interpretation, expressing Bernstein's conviction that modern man had at last caught up with the message encoded in Mahler's last completed work. Having made his famous 1966 studio recording of "Das Lied vin der Erde" in Vienna, Bernstein re-recorded this in Israel with the same searing subjectivity. René Kollo draws on the voice of a great Wagner tenor, while Christa Ludwig, the greatest exponent of the contralto songs at the time, is unbearably poignant in the final movement's fusion of elation and sadness.
This release owes its original inspiration to a book published in 2013 entitled “Nachtmeerfahrten” (Sea Journeys by Night), which takes the reader over to the dark side of romanticism, to a world of fantasy, of eerie shadows, and things that go bump in the night. Producer Siggi Loch edited the “Meer”/ sea part out of the title, which therefore became “Nachtfahrten” (Night Journeys), which suits this pianist, who is a creature of the nocturnal realm. He feels very much at home in a world of grey cats and blurred outlines, where the contrasting emotions of the moment can leave all rational expectations behind; this is a backdrop which is alive with possibility, but…
[em] Live , recorded at Jazz Baltica Salzau 2010, is definitive evidence of the biggest success story in German jazz in recent years. With their debut release in 2004, and with two more studio albums since, the trio [em] have been showered with awards in several countries. So what exactly is the secret of this trio? On the one hand, it is of course the exceptional individual skills of its members: that unique combination of excellent technique, inexhaustible creativity and instinctive interaction as is embodied by Michael Wollny and which is proven, besides [em], by other duet recordings with Heinz Sauer, Joachim Kühn and Tamar Halperin. On the other hand it is also the ever sonorous and rhythmically driven bass of Eva Kruse which sprawls from classical to modern music and is in demand from Sweden to Germany. And, of course, the highly precise, unrivalled versatility and extremely percussive drumming of Eric Schaefer. ~ Amazon