Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler - Symphonies Nos 4 and 7|
Actors: Berlin Philharmonic, Sylvia MacNair
Director: Bernard Haitink
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Mahler lovers must have this DVD
HB | Fort Mill, SC | 03/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love Mahler, this DVD is a must buy. The performances by Bernard Haitink and the Berlin Philharmonic are absolutely superb in every way. Haitink's Mahler has never had the type of adoration given to Leonard Bernstein but after you watch and listen to this DVD you might just wonder why. Haitink does not overinterpret Mahler like Bernstein. He plays the music straight and I for one love it that way. Overinterpreting Mahler is like adding hot sauce to an already spicy bowl of chili. There is no need for it. The music speaks for itself quite eloquently. Needless to say, the orchestral playing of the Berlin Philharmonic is simply wonderful, especially the tenor horn player in the Mahler 7th. And Sylvia McNair, the vocal soloist, sings her part with beautiful tone and great childlike simplicity. As for the video, it is excellent. At less than 30 dollars, this is a real bargain.
Great 4th...Good 7th
W. Steven | Layton, UT United States | 06/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD really for the 4th Symphony. Of the audio versions that I own, no one interprets this wonderful symphony as does Haitink. My personal favorite is the sadly unavailable 1983 recording with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and Roberta Alexander, but the later recording with Elly Ameling and the same orchestra is also wonderful. This performance with the Berlin Philharmonic and soprano Sylvia McNair, though not quite up to the two earlier versions that I mentioned, didn't disappoint. Some conductors just seem to have the ability to bring out certain qualities in a piece of music, and such is the case for Maestro Haitink and this symphony. From the first ringing sleigh bells in the opening movement, to the unbelievable 'opening of the heavens' in the climactic moment of the third movement, to the childlike song of heaven in the closing movement, it is completely mesmerizing.
The 7th was for me good, but not exceptional. Not that anything was played poorly, but for this rather sprawling masterpiece, things either soar or they don't, and for all of the great playing it just didn't for me. I would have prefered a more 'brassy' sound, especially from the trumpets, in the finale (alla the Chicago Symphony Orchestra w/Levine on RCA Red Seal, which is the definative recording as far as I'm concerned). Also, though we got to see the mandolin players face and hands a few times, we didn't get to see the guitar player hardly at all, and both are unique to this piece.
Sound and picture are good, but fall short of the recent work on DVD done by Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. The liner notes were very good.
Small points, and no regrets about purchasing this DVD - we Mahler fans should be lucky to have all of these recent DVD releases.