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Mahler & Boulez

Adagio (Tenth Symphony) and
Des Knaben Wunderhorn

Christian Gerhaher - baritone
Magdalena Kožená - mezzo
The Cleveland Orchestra/Pierre Boulez

Severance Hall, Cleveland [April 2010]

Accentus DVDACC20231

Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A minor
Stravinsky: Le Chant du Rossignol
Webern: Passacaglia for Orchestra, Op. 1; Variations for Orchestra, Op. 30

Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra / Pierre Boulez

Accentus Music 2-CDs: ACC30230

Previously available on sound-only CD, these great Mahler performances, produced and directed by William Cosel, were filmed during live performances in February 2010 at Cleveland, Ohio's elegant Severance Hall and shown on telecast in May.

They challenge all the competition and are surely far better on DVD, filmed with discretion and good taste (c.p. the excesses of, e.g. the misconceived Endellion Quartet's Beethoven DVD with "cutting to rhythm and movement" !). Boulez, batonless and with economical getures is - with his Lucerne colleague Claudio Abbado - amongst the few conductors who conduct the orchestra , not the audience, so that seeing him never palls or irritates. For a fuller appreciation of these performances, see Anne Ozorio.

We have reported attendance at Lucerne's KKL for some of Pierre Boulez's 2010 rehearsals of his Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra. Their 2010 repertoire was recorded live during rehearsals and concerts of the Academy in summer 2010. The first fruits of that season are now available on a double-CD of exceptional interest and accomplishment. With his students rigorously selected (only one was accepted from the UK !) there was no compromise in standards, and the commitment of these young musicians can be felt on this release.

Both are recommended unreservedly, and they complement each other nicely.

Peter Grahame Woolf