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Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra - Mahler Symphonie No. 6 -

26 November 2009
Jens F. Laurson

Belonging in this category is also an ‘unlikely incredible' recording I became aware of only this month: Jonathan Darlington and the Duisburg Philharmonic put down a first movement that comes as close to my ideal as any. On the audiophile Acousense label (mentioned when I wrote about their now out-of-print recording of the Hamburg version of the First Symphony) the Duisburg band puts its foot down from the opening notes achieving a gripping, raw cello sound and enormous forward drive. At almost 23 ½ minutes Darlington is on the slower side of first movements, but his opening sounds-and is-faster than just about anyone else's. The pace, if not the speed, is kept up throughout... but then slackens a little in the following Andante, one of the slowest on record. The cowbells, unfortunately, sound more like an inconsiderate caterer's clangy dinner cart is being pushed by the orchestra, but that's my only real complaint. The Scherzo and the Finale are ravishing. A terrific performance  well caught in concert.

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