52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  


  AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Symphony No.9 in D major
Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester/Claudio Abbado
Recorded live in the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome, 14th April 2004
Directed by Paul Smaczny
PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 Region Code 0 Disc Format DVD9
EUROARTS DVD 2054009 [84:00]

Conventional in format, camera work and presentation this is one of the latest in Euroartsí burgeoning DVD collection. It enshrines a performance given in the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome by Abbado and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester of the Ninth Symphony of Mahler. Itís good to see the conductor looking almost spry after his recent medical alarms; instructive to see his constant encouragement to the young musicians, his smiles and grimaces; also the smiles on the faces of the musicians as he catches an eye, leads an entry point, or draws them sweepingly on. The respect seems to be mutual and total between orchestra and conductor.

The camera angles are, as I suggested, conventional. There are shots of principals and orchestral solos; of the winds of course, and of the string choirs (generally sectional in medium shot). There are also plenty of panning angles and, sometimes less helpfully, shots of instrumental strands (such as the trumpet in the first movement) that we canít hear either because of faulty internal balancing or because of the skewed acoustic in the hall. We can see Abbado, from left and right, and watch the elegant lift, lightly conducted, that he gives in the second movement. Similarly if you want repeated shots of harp glissandi youíll have them in profusion in the third movement Ė thatís after the orchestral tuning up after the end of the second, of course, which has been preserved. As the final movement progresses one becomes aware that Abbado has been framed against an increasingly dark auditorium until by the mid point he is silhouetted against a sepulchral but defined pitch. The effect becomes one of intense concentration and focus Ė but Iíd be interested to know how it was achieved. The vast auditorium shot fuses both the public and the individual in elemental conjunction.

The applause is long; Abbado shakes hands from the stage and is generous with members of the orchestra. The performance is detailed and fluid, architecturally cogent, but not perhaps overwhelming. There are no extra features on the DVD but thereís a fine booklet note written by Donald Mitchell.

Jonathan Woolf

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.