Cover Mahler: Symphony No. 6

Album info



Label: BR-Klassik

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Orchestral

Artist: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra & Simon Rattle

Composer: Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911): Mahler Symphony No. 6:
  • 1Mahler: Mahler Symphony No. 6: Allegro energico24:14
  • 2Mahler: Mahler Symphony No. 6: Andante moderato15:08
  • 3Mahler: Mahler Symphony No. 6: Scherzo. Wuchtig12:52
  • 4Mahler: Mahler Symphony No. 6: Allegro energico29:44
  • Total Runtime01:21:58

Info for Mahler: Symphony No. 6

"Among Simon Rattle's first concert programmes as the new chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra was Gustav Mahler's Sixth Symphony. The performances marked the beginning of a new chapter in Mahler interpretation, for Rattle, like his predecessors Jansons, Maazel and Kubelík, is an ardent admirer of the composer.

BR-KLASSIK has now released the live recording of the concerts. Gustav Mahler's Sixth Symphony is perhaps the darkest work he ever wrote – its nickname is “The Tragic”. And there is something almost destructive about the final movement. ""But strangely enough,"" says Simon Rattle, ""it is also a very classical symphony. Yes, it is extreme, but for long stretches it is less wild than other works of his – although of course it does convey a harrowing message. But it's like a lot of great works: there are always different ways of reading them. I've been conducting the Sixth for forty years now, and over time I’ve come to realise that it also contains hope."" Mahler composed his Sixth Symphony during the summers of 1903 and 1904 at his “composer's cottage” in Maiernigg, near Klagenfurt.

At the Vienna performance in 1907 (the third under his baton), he called it the ""Tragic Symphony"" – a nickname that soon became the stuff of legend. In particular, the darkness and devastating hopelessness of the finale – written at a time when he was at the high point of his life, both professionally and personally – are puzzling. Even his wife Alma could not quite explain the contradiction. As always, it was in and through music that Mahler came to terms with his experiences, exploring themes such as farewell, the meaning of existence, death, redemption, the afterlife, and love.

More than other Mahler works, the Sixth Symphony is committed to ""classical"" symphonic form: it is in four movements and has no vocal parts. Despite all the liberties it takes, the opening movement follows sonata form. The Andante draws on the rondo form, as do the Scherzo and the Finale. The march, which sets the tone from the very first note of the first movement, plays a major role. Very unusually, even the Scherzo has march-like features and seems like a parodistic paraphrase of the opening, with a change of perspective. Simon Rattle concludes: “I think Mahler presents here the whole package of a colossal life – and that includes love and optimism."""

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle, conductor

Sir Simon Rattle
was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

From 1980 to 1998, Sir Simon was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was appointed Music Director in 1990. He moved to Berlin in 2002 and held the positions of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker until he stepped down in 2018. Sir Simon became Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2017 and spent the 2017-18 season at the helm of both ensembles.

Sir Simon has made over 70 recordings for EMI record label (now Warner Classics) and has received numerous prestigious international awards for his recordings on various labels. Releases on EMI include Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (which received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance) Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortileges, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. From 2014 Sir Simon continued to build his recording portfolio with the Berliner Philharmoniker’s in-house label, Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, which led to recordings of the Beethoven, Schumann and Sibelius symphony cycles. Sir Simon’s most recent recordings include Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Turnage’s Remembering, and Ravel, Dutilleux and Delage on Blue-Ray & DVD with the London Symphony Orchestra’s record label, LSO Live.

Music education is of supreme importance to Sir Simon, and his partnership with the Berliner Philiharmoniker broke new ground with the education programme Zukunft@Bphil, earning him the Comenius Prize, the Schiller Special Prize from the city of Mannheim, the Golden Camera and the Urania Medal. He and the Berliner Philharmoniker were also appointed International UNICEF Ambassadors in 2004 - the first time this honour has been conferred on an artistic ensemble. Sir Simon has also been awarded several prestigious personal honours which include a knighthood in 1994, becoming a member of the Order of Merit from Her Majesty the Queen in 2014 and most recently, was bestowed the Order of Merit in Berlin in 2018. In 2019, Sir Simon was given the Freedom of the City of London.

From 2013, Sir Simon took up residency at Baden-Baden Osterfestspiele performing Die Zauberflöte and a series of concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker in his first season. Since then the partnership led to performances of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Peter Sellars’s ritualization of Bach’s St. John Passion, Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust,Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and most recently, Parsifal in 2018. For Salzburg Osterfestspiele, Rattle has conducted staged productions of Fidelio, Così fan tutte, Peter Grimes, Pelléas et Mélisande, Salome and Carmen, a concert performance of Idomeneo and many contrasting concert programmes. He has also conducted Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Berliner Philharmoniker for Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Osterfestspiele and most recently at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Wiener Staatsoper. Other recent opera productions for Sir Simon include Pelléas et Mélisande and Dialogues des Carmélites for the Royal Opera House; L'Étoile, Aus einem Totenhaus, Káťa Kabanová and La damnation de Faust for the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, and Andrew Norman’s A Trip to the Moon at the Barbican Centre, London.

Sir Simon has longstanding relationships with the leading orchestras in London, Europe and the USA; initially working closely with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra, and more recently with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He regularly conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker, with whom he has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos with Alfred Brendel and is also a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Founding Patron of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group..

Sir Simon Rattle was knighted in 1994 and in the New Year’s Honours of 2014 he received the Order of Merit from Her Majesty the Queen.

Booklet for Mahler: Symphony No. 6

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