MAHLER Symphony No. 9 / Chung


Symphony No. 9
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
Myung-Whun Chung
Int. Release 08 Dec. 2014
1 CD / Download
Live recording

Track List

Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911)
Symphony No. 9 in D Major

3. Satz

4. Satz

Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Myung Whun Chung

Total Playing Time 1:19:56

. . . [the first movement] is forward moving, questing, and wonderfully lyrical, due in no small measure to the Seoul Philharmonic's very fine string section . . . what characterises Chung's reading, above all, is a sense of consolation, of optimism, and of joy at being alive, which comes across touchingly . . . [the waltz episode of the second movement] goes at infectious pace . . . delivered with enigmatic gusto . . . Chung has the good fortune, throughout, of excellent solo contributions. This recording is a worthy addition to the Mahler catalogue.

DG is, without question, the label of great Mahler nines . . . But even in such exalted company, Chung's reading stands its ground. His performance sounds expansive without feeling slow. . . He shapes the work with great sensitivity and DG's live recording sounds clear and spacious, with a wide dynamic range. It successfully conveys a natural "concert hall" sound, while allowing lots of subtle inner detail to be heard.

. . . Very good it is . . . The first movement is not just broad but personally inflected in the Bernstein manner . . . The second movement is nicely pointed . . . The finale string textures are confident, even comfy at the outset, perfectly controlled rather than angst-ridden . . . [the performance, captured live in fine sound] holds its own in a crowded market.

There's individuality and beauty of sound here from the start, allowing the valedictory pathos of Mahler's uncrushable procession in the vast opening movement space to breathe; Chung favours a slower than average basic tempo, but it's full of life between the lines, and there's no faking the tenderness embedded in the phrases, beautifully done by the Seoul strings . . . in kicking off the "scherzo", Chung negotiates the movement's three speeds -- country dance, giddying waltz and frail idyll -- as well as any conductor I know. The "Rondo-Burleske" is spine-tinglingly articulate at a fast speed, a dazzling scary coda . . . its biggest climax hitting hard and spacious before the descent into shadowlands, as sensitive as any I've heard . . . the recording has plenty of impact and the inner lines are always clear and meaningful.

Mahler magnifié . . . Le chef d'orchestre coréen Myung-Whun Chung livre une exceptionnelle lecture de la Symphonie no. 9 de Mahler à la tête de l'Orchestre philharmonique de Séoul . . . La phalange coréenne fait très forte impression par la précision de ses pupitres, son homogénéité instrumentale et sa force de projection dynamique . . . Myung-Whun Chung connait son Mahler pour le pratiquer avec assiduité chaque saison. Il impose une lecture idéalement construite et assez allante du côté des tempi. L'émotion musicale est franche et sincère, toute en retenue et jamais démonstrative ou bruyante . . . cette nouvelle lecture coréenne est l'un des jalons contemporains de la discographie. Elle témoignage par ailleurs, avec brio et excellence, de la mondialisation de la musique et de l'élévation du niveau des orchestres vers des sommets vertigineux.