Album: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mahler Symphonies 1-10 (RCO Amsterdam)


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The Independent Culture

Though by no means an inveterate traditionalist, I admit to regarding televised opera with some suspicion until recently.

But this collection of the ten Mahler symphonies by Amsterdam's remarkable Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has converted me, not least because its employment of various conductors enables one to more closely observe their subtle differences in technique, from Pierre Boulez's limp, no-baton diffidence leading the 7th Symphony, to Mariss Jansons' more exacting approach to the 3rd. It's also a delight to see such detailed camera direction, with the musicians foregrounded just as they appear: the revelation of the battery of eight French horns in the 3rd is all the more thrilling for its sudden appearance.

Download: Symphony No 3; Symphony No 7; Symphony No 8