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GUSTAV MAHLER - SYMPHONY NO. 9 - DANIEL BARENBOIM (Conductor) - STAATSKAPELLE BERLIN - 825646431625 - Warner Classics 64316

Have you noticed the number of great pianists who later in life have changed career paths and have become conductors? Ashkenazy, Eschenbach, Entremont, Kocsis, Barenboim. And all of them are excellent conductors as well. Daniel Barenboim is certainly a case in point in this tremendous live recording from November 15th, 2006. This is the type of performance where Mahler might be saying: "I know I'm going down, but not without a fight, and I'm taking you with me." Barenboim pushes the players to their limits, the woodwinds and brass playing as if their lives depended on it, always on the edge. The first movement is awesome and the Rondo-Burleske here sounds like the massive demonic fugue that it really is. Applause and cheers!

Jean-Yves Duperron