MAHLER: Symphony No. 3 in D minor
EUROPA KONZART 04/
RODRIGO: Concerto de Aranjuez. Shadows & Light.
Late in 2006 this site mentioned a superb multiple-disk Philips set of some of the Mahler symphonies recorded during the the Christmas Matinee concert series (REVIEW). Arthaus Musik now is releasing some of these performances on single disks; last December this site mentioned Symphony No. 4 (REVIEW) ,and now we have this magnificent performance of Symphony No. 3 recorded Dec. 25, 1985. Mahler Three was a favorite of the Dutch conductor and there are recordings available of later recordings with the Concertgebouw and the Chicago Symphony, as well as a video with the Berlin Philharmonic, but this earlier one is superior. First-rate video and a rich representation of the warm acoustics of the Concertgebouw.Let us hope Arthaus Musik will issue other symphonies from this special Christmas Matinee series.
Every year since 1991 the Berlin Philharmonic has presented a concert to commemorate their founding in May of 1882, each year in a different site. These are called Eurokonzerts and Many of these have been issued on DVD, and have been reviewed on this site. For th4e 2003 concert, they went to the famous ancient Herodes Atticus Theatre in Athens, a a vast space seating thousands. The performance was given on a platform constructed in the center. Sir Simon had just become music director of the Berlin Philharmonic and this apparently was the first time he and Barenboim had performed together. Splendid performances indeed, a nd the engineers have provided excellent audio, doubtless quite superior to what the audience actually heard. This video was released some years ago; now it is available on Blu Ray, There is a fascinating bonus, about the venue and its history.
One of the most beloved of all classical compositions is featured on this reissue of a video made some years ago. It features Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, a masterpiece indeed. The documentary was filmed in 1992 to commemorate the composer's 90th birthday: Rodrigo died in 1999, .The set features two films by Tony Palmer. The first is a documentary about the composer, Shadow & Light, featuring interviews with his family and friends, and scenes of his life. The second is an elaborate film presentation of a concert performance with Pepe Romero , a close friend of the composer, as soloist, with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin0in-the-Fields, who also made a famous recording for Philips. This video was released some years ago with a different coupling (REVIEW). As the music is played, we often see images of Spain; it is unfortunate they didn't also include a performance without all of the scenic effects. At any rate, this is a loving tribute to a gentleman who added much to the world of music.
R.E.B . (November 2015)