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Claudio Abbado had realized a dream with his Lucerne Festival Orchestra. The orchestra, an exclusive ensemble of handpicked orchestral musicians, opened up new dimensions in the interpretation of symphonic music, especially with the interpretation of works by Gustav Mahler, with exceptional soloists such as violinist Kolja Blacher, cellist Natalia Gutman and clarinetist Sabine Meyer filling the first desks. The sixth symphony – first performed in 1906 and sometimes referred to as “Tragic” – ends on a much sadder, almost nihilistic, note than most of the other Mahler symphonies. This imposing music is captured live in a performance marked by awesome silences and towering climaxes conjured by the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.

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