Symphony No. 6
Russian National Orchestra
Sir Mark Elder, conductor
Live broadcast from Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow
April 17, 2009
After the choices offered on the StateWork blog so far in Mahler symphonies, the specific performance for the Sixth was presenting a greater challenge. There isn't excessive repetition of pieces here, although admittedly there are 'other' recordings of #s 9 and 3 planned for the near future.
Then a few weeks ago this crossed the speakers at State Work, and so here it is. I really love the care with which the orchestra negotiates the myriad turns and expanses of this work. For example, at 6:47 in the Scherzo there is a molar-rattling slowdown and drag though the mud like no other; the strings aren't shy to dig in throughout the performance, when called for. It brings to mind a Barbirolli rehearsal recording where he goads the low strings into really pushing it near the beginning of a Bruckner 7th, repeatedly. I think what Maestro Elder and the Russian National Orchestra achieve here would make Sir John proud- the affinities between the two conductors are more than just a few.
The cover was made from a "...Mark Elder and the Russian National Orchestra rehearsing at the Moscow State Conservatory named after Pyotr Tchaikovsky" photo by Vladimir Vyatkin, STF