The end of a long journey – the road to the Vienna Musikverein
For some orchestras concert tours are part of their normal work schedule. However, for an opera orchestra a tour with symphonic programs is always something unusual. The Bavarian State Orchestra is considered to be one of the most significant of orchestras with the richest of traditions in the international opera world; playing as we do, in one of the most highly regarded opera houses in the world. What on an international scale is less known, is that in addition to our work in the orchestra pit, we have a long and outstanding tradition as a symphony orchestra, performing with the "Society of the Musical Academy" (founded in 1811) in a similar way to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, under our own roof in our own series of concerts; the "Academy concerts" at the Bavarian State Opera.
The European tour 2004 was organised by the Bavarian State Orchestra itself; alone the last two concerts in the hall of the Vienna Musikverein being performed under the auspices of the Bavarian State Opera. The musicians had to sacrifice two weeks of their annual holiday from the beginning to the middle of September to play in ten different cities thirteen concerts with varying programs.
There is most probably no place more noble or rich in history for the closing night of a European tour such as this as the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein. Its acoustics are legendary, the history of the building is a veritable representation of European music history – think only of the scandal that there was when Mahler himself conducted performances of his own symphonies!
It was with all this in mind that we decided to record the concert in Vienna, thus enabling this period of intense music making to be secured for future reference.
Felix Gargerle – Member of the Bavarian State Orchestra, Producer
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"… This live performance […] displays an organic "wholeness" suffused with a lean delicacy of sound and phrasing which is chamber music like. The dynamic range of this performance is startling. Mehta achieves an idealized Mahlerian sound from his players. Mahler within the home of The Vienna Philharmonic and to attain a performance of such beauty and sublety is extraordinary. … The Bavarian winds and brass are resplendent, while the string playing is wonderfully responsive to the Mahler idiom. …this recording will galvanize you. Enthusiastically recommended!" Audiophile Audition
"[…] a truthful recording… Mehta is in the majority in allowing this great movement to become an explosion of sound but little more… Of course there is more than one way to perform a great symphony, but there are the subtleties that can mark a great performance… Marjana Lipovsek […] is particularly powerful in its darkly expressive way… the offstage posthorn solo in the third movement is admirably played by Christian Bold…" MUSICWEB
"As far as recording techniques are concerned, this is the best Mahler recording […] The spatial and natural sound, […] beats recent recordings of this work made by Tilson Thomas and Zander hands down." Stereo
"… Mehta […] concentrates this gargantuan opus into one single eternal moment…" Fono Forum
Elegance in sound: Mehta’s Mahler
"… Mahler’s third, recorded last September, can hold its own against huge competition. …Zubin Mehta’s interpretation with the Bavarian State Orchestra has a lithe, well-balanced elegance of sound, never erring into the unconventional, which especially in the main movement allows one to breathe something akin to pure beauty. Years of nurturing this orchestra by Mehta have made this possible." Münchner Merkur
" […] a release with superb sound quality […] And in the fourth movement when Marjana Lipovsek sings: "O Mensch! Gib acht", the music appears to hold its breath in face of the omnipotence of nature." Das Orchester, Johannes Killyen, 7-8/2005