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Attention to Detail that is Unrivaled, October 22, 2002

This rendering of the Mahler 9 is simply the finest I have heard, that goes for Karajan, Bernstein - anyone. Zander's attention to detail is what is so non-pareil. His tempo in the first movement is wonderful. He seems one of the few conductors to actually give full expansion to the music - allowing an entire half hour to get through this movement alone. The Rondo-Burlesque is intense and riveting. The last movement is simply marvelous. You will rarely encounter another conductor who insists on such close scrutiny of the dynamics as Zander seemingly does. At bar 28, there is a very high passage for the first violins marked pp and "ohne empfindung" - without expression. You will scarcely hear it played in more stark and diaphanous fashion, and the effect is magnificent.
I would recommend this recording without reservation. If you have heard others, you need to hear this one - it will show you Mahler's Ninth in a new way, probably closer to what Mahler intended than any other conductor.


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