sábado, 26 de junio de 2010

A UN AÑO...

Gustav Mahler
SYMPHONIE NR.6
New York Philharmonic
Dir: Dimitri Mitropoulos
(Live Recording 10-04-1955)
(ARCHIPEL)
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A un año de la desaparición terrena del inolvidable amigo Gabriel "Cuervo López"...
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La inspiración de este modesto BLOG ha sido mi admiración por el titánico trabajo dejado por El Cuervo en el suyo propio, y de alguna manera ARPEGIO, al igual que otros Blogs hermanos, es descendiente ó al menos tributario de aquella gran enciclopedia virtual cuerviana, respetando las abismales diferencias.
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Su pasión por Mahler no la he conocido en más nadie, y su discoteca mahleriana debe ser hoy todo un patrimonio cultural... En una de mis últimas correspondencias con El Cuervo le pregunté sobre la grabación que hoy presento, y no la poseía, y hasta donde sé nunca llegó a escucharla. De todas las sinfonías mahlerianas probablemente su gran pasión era la 6ta, y su versión favorita era su enguerrilladamente defendida grabación de Solti, que muchísimas diatribas levantó en los foros de discusión.
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Buena como es esta grabación de Solti, la 6ta es una obra con un rango dinámico y expresivo que acepta casi cualquier tipo de enfoque, desde el sombrío estoicismo espartano de Barbirolli hasta los límites y umbrales de la psicopatofonía de versiones como las de Bernstein ó Tennstedt.

Un referente obligado en esta sinfonía es uno de los indiscutiblemente grandes intérpretes mahlerianos: el maestro Dimitri Mitropoulos... el mismo que hizo la primera gran grabación de la 1ra, la "Titán" (entrega futura de ARPEGIO). Mitropoulos, director por una decada de la Filarmónica de New York, introdujo la 6ta sinfonía, hasta entonces una obra muy impopular e incomprendida, nada menos que en el ambiente musical de los Estados Unidos. Si bien ha dejado una grabación comercial y conocida con la orquesta de la Radio de Colonia, su verdadero hito histórico lo constituye una grabación anterior, digna de atesorar, realizada el 10 de abril de 1.955 con la Fil. de New York, y con semejante grado de intensidad y penetración del pathos mahleriano, se puede considerar como el rasero a través del cual deben medirse el resto de las grabaciones, habidas y por haber.
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A tal respecto, el reputado mahlerólogo Tony Duggan escribió en su revisión a esta grabación:
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"A truly great recording of this work is one by the New York Philharmonic under Dimitri Mitropoulos "live" at Carnegie Hall in 1955. Unfortunately this is only available as part of a very expensive multi-disc NYPO commemorative box called "The Mahler Broadcasts" but is the one performance in that box that cries out for individual release. I’m still using this survey to make a strong plea that the orchestra authorities contribute to the Mahler discography and licence it to one of the major companies as the remastering engineers have certainly done it proud. One critic described this as a "dramatic, intense reading of molten heat and energy" and I wouldn’t disagree with that. Mitropoulos was a Mahler pioneer who gave the first American performance of this work in 1947 and it’s extraordinary to hear this performance when you consider that it predates all but the earliest released versions by Charles Adler and Eduard Flipse, both of which are available on compact disc still and deserve to be heard, even though I am left with the impression that even the 1950s were early days in the consideration of this forward-looking work. The playing by the New York Philharmonic for Mitropoulos more than justifies their reputation as one of the great Mahler ensembles and proves beyond doubt they could play Mahler magnificently long before Leonard Bernstein came along and usurped his old mentor.
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The first movement begins with another superbly weighty yet also forward moving tempo, each element of the exposition crucially integrated: energetic yet reflective at the same time, classical structure maintained with expressive contours. Alma is urgently conveyed with a real sense of the "Schwungvoll" ("Gusto" or "Spirited") Mahler asks. There is no exposition repeat from this era but Mitropoulos has invoked such a sense of the "all-or-nothing" you feel you just want to press on regardless. He makes no apologies for the relentless quality to the march rhythm, of course, with really unforgiving percussion battering away at us so that the pastoral interlude with cowbells seems a welcome place to catch our breaths before the recapitulation pitches us back into the maelstrom which seems to grow out of the music. Mitropoulos proves, if proof were ever needed, that to keep the symphonic argument to the fore brings the greatest dividends.
This performance took place before publication of the work’s critical edition so it reverses the usual order of the inner movements. Mitropoulos’s cor-anglais soloist manages a fine lamenting quality at the start of the Andante, as does his solo trumpeter later with some nice vibrato, really idiomatic, charged in its nostalgic feel but absolutely part of the whole. Mitropoulos also maintains the link to the Kindertotenlieder song already noted and the whole movement is taken "in one" with just the merest assistance to the melodies from Mitropoulos. The central climax of the movement is absolutely overwhelming in its power but by virtue of its nobility. Then the scherzo is remarkable at the start for, as with the first movement’s opening, great forward momentum matched with weight. The crucial trios find Mitropoulos aware of the various changes in meter that are there, bringing out that impression of children playing on the beach Alma Mahler has left us with. I also liked the perky woodwinds of the New York Philharmonic. All in all, Mitropoulos conveys the ugliness of this music without playing it in an ugly fashion.
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It cannot be said enough just how remarkable it is to find that in 1955 an orchestra could give such a performance as this of Mahler’s then least played and most difficult work. The opening pages of the last movement under Mitropoulos show he has appreciated their importance but he never lingers over them, showing they must be seen as prelude of the titanic drama to come. I’ll say straight away that, for me, this is the finest performance of the last movement I know. Mitropoulos keeps such a firm grip on the symphonic structure, such a single-minded concentration on pressing ahead, that the drama the movement delivers seems to hit us head on, rather like the blows of fate the hammer delivers. Note the passage 237-270 which, in more than any other version, recalls the corresponding passage in the first movement and so knits the symphony together across the movements. Then, soon after, the astonishing contribution of the trumpeters as the first hammer approaches with the latter a real blow of fate - heroic ambition emphatically stopped in its tracks. Then the "whipped" passage between the first two blows also has to be heard to be believed. So towering, so thrillingly conceived and delivered, with the orchestra playing like things possessed. Likewise in the final assault leading to the place where the third hammer blow used to be there is the same feeling as with Sanderling of the work’s "hero" going for one final throw before utter disaster. Too often we hear described the three blows of fate that fell the "hero". We never hear anywhere near enough of that which is felled, that which the hero loses and Mitropoulos seems aware of that. As I have said before, how are we to appreciate the devastating nature of what fate delivers unless we appreciate what it is that will be lost ? A man "in full leaf and flower", as Alma described Mahler at this time, must be depicted in this movement. Right up until the last note the orchestra never flags. In a studio recording this would be remarkable enough but in a "live" performance this has to be one of the great public recordings of anything, up there with Furtwängler’s Beethoven Ninth from 1942. If there is any justice this recording will become available singly at some point. If you cannot get the NYPO version by Mitropoulos but still want to experience this man’s special view of the work look out for a Cologne performance on Living Stage (LS4035155). Not quite as compelling as in New York but still formidable in its own way and a Mitropoulos Mahler Sixth to treasure."
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La Petición y anhelo del Sr. Duggan han encontrado finalmente respuesta a través de ese maravilloso sello que es ARCHIPEL, que ha obtenido los derechos de esta grabación, y la ha reeditado en un fabuloso disco que se encuentra ya disponible a la venta.
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Sirva esta entrega de homenaje y de cálido recuerdo al amigo que ya no está, pero que tantas horas de esparcimiento me brindó, y del que tanto aprendí... "No está muerto, se fue de viaje por un millón de años, quizá un poco menos."



"Cuando un amigo se va queda un espacio vacío que no lo puede llenar la llegada de otro amigo. Cuando un amigo se va se queda un árbol caído que ya no vuelve a brotar porque el viento lo ha vencido..."

6 comentarios:

Mahlerite-Shosta dijo...

http://www.4shared.com/file/w7za3pi5/Mahler_SymphonieNr6_NYP_Broadc.html

Quinøff dijo...

Hermoso homenaje, Dr. Un fuerte abrazo con admiración, y un brindis por ese fenómeno que fue Grabriel

LaClau dijo...

Yo también he escrito sobre nuestro querido Cuervo en mi blog. Un abrazo y un aplauso por este homenaje,

http://conversacionesdecafe.blogspot.com/2010/06/un-ano-de-la-partida-del-cuervo-lopez.html

Mahlerite-Shosta dijo...

El Cuervo tiene varios legados, y uno de ellos es dejar una red de
amigos, a cual de mejor calidad humana, para seguir perpetuando de algun modo su labor y tener la bendición de que, aun sin tener la interacción personal, sabemos que en un extremo de esta vasta red contamos el uno con el otro.

Gonzalo dijo...

¡Por fin!
¡Mil gracias!

David Federman dijo...

Having just heard the Mitropoulis live performance of the Mahler 8th before listening to this seamless performance of the 6th, I now see why this man was the peer of Horenstein, Klemperer and Walter when it came to Mahler. Thank you for this incisive and at times electrifying reading of a score with more twists and turns than a pretzel.