Minnesota Orchestra Releases New Recording of Mahler's Sixth Symphony

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Published: March 05, 2018


BIS Records and the Minnesota Orchestra release second disc in Mahler recording project

The Swedish label BIS Records is releasing its newest collaboration with Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra—a recording of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony. The album will be released on disc in the U.S. and Canada, and digitally worldwide, on April 6, 2018, but will be available in advance at Orchestra Hall and through the Minnesota Orchestra’s website, minnesotaorchestra.org, beginning March 12, 2018.  

Vänskä and the Orchestra recorded Mahler’s Sixth Symphony at Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall in a series of sessions in November 2016, continuing their plan to record all of Mahler’s symphonies. Their recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, which was released last June, received a 2018 Grammy nomination for Best Orchestral Performance. Vänskä and the Orchestra also recorded Mahler’s Second Symphony in June 2017 for a future release, and currently have plans to record the First Symphony, Titan, this month, followed by the Fourth Symphony later this season.

At Minnesota Orchestra concerts on March 16 and 17, featuring performances of Mahler’s Titan Symphony, Music Director Osmo Vänskä will be in the lobby after the performances to sign copies of the new Mahler Sixth recording. 

The BIS team, led by producer Robert Suff, recorded this album as a Super Audio CD (SACD), using surround sound recording technology to reproduce the sound of the concert hall as faithfully as possible. BIS Hybrid SACDs are playable on all standard CD players. Further information about the Minnesota Orchestra’s recordings on the BIS Records label can be found on the BIS website, www.bis.se.

Minnesota Orchestra Recording History

The Minnesota Orchestra, founded in 1903 as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, issued its first recording in 1924 and has since recorded more than 450 works, with Osmo Vänskä leading a particularly rich period of recording since his tenure began in 2003. The Orchestra’s Sibelius Symphonies cycle received critical praise, and the second recording in the cycle—featuring the First and Fourth Symphonies—won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. The first disc was nominated in the same category in 2012. In 2016, Vänskä and the Orchestra released a live-in-concert recording featuring Sibelius’ five-part symphonic poem Kullervo, his beloved Finlandia, and Finnish composer Olli Kortekangas’ Migrations, a new work commissioned by the Orchestra.

The first recording of the Mahler Symphonies project featured the composer’s Fifth Symphony, and received a 2018 Grammy nomination for Best Orchestral Performance. Other recent recordings include two albums of Beethoven and Mozart piano concertos featuring Yevgeny Sudbin; a two-disc Tchaikovsky set featuring pianist Stephen Hough; and a widely-praised cycle of the complete Beethoven symphonies, of which two discs—one of the Ninth Symphony and one of the Second and Seventh—drew Grammy and Classical FM Gramophone award nominations, respectively.

The Sixth Symphony
Mahler’s Sixth Symphony premiered in 1906 and was misunderstood during the composer’s lifetime, receiving only a few performances. It was first heard in the U.S. 40 years later, and the first performance of the work by Minnesota Orchestra did not come until 1974. The opening movement is at times chilling, but also contains an eloquent theme that represents the composer’s wife. The Scherzo’s eerie mood and the balm of the Andante give way to a Finale in which we imagine a hero who goes forth to conquer but is struck down by fate, as three dramatic hammer blows shatter all hope.

Mahler’s Sixth Symphony
(BIS SACD-2266)

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor

MAHLER        Symphony No. 6 in A Minor

For press copies, please contact:

Gwen Pappas, Director of Communications                  
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Emma Plehal, Writer and Communications Coordinator
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The Minnesota Orchestra gratefully acknowledges funding support for this project from Doug and Louise Leatherdale. 



Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations 
(612) 371-5628 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator
(612) 371-5625 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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