BIS Records and the Minnesota Orchestra release first disc in Mahler Recording Project

Minneapolis Minnesota (June 6, 2017) — The Swedish label BIS Records is releasing its newest collaboration with Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra—a recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. The album will receive its U.S. release on August 4, but will be available at Orchestra Hall and through the Minnesota Orchestra’s website, minnesotaorchestra.org, beginning June 12.

Vänskä and the Orchestra recorded Mahler’s Fifth Symphony at Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall in a series of sessions in June 2016. They recorded Mahler’s Sixth Symphony last November, and to date, have made plans to record three additional symphonies: the Second during the current season and the First and Fourth during the 2017-18 season.

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 was launched in 2012 with the release of the Second and Fifth Symphonies on a recording that received critical praise and a Grammy Award nomination. The second recording in the cycle—featuring the First and Fourth Symphonies—won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. The third and final disc of the set was released in July 2016. In January of this year, 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. 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 Fifth Symphony
In 1901, Gustav Mahler composed a single-movement scherzo unlike anything he had previously written, and subsequently sought out a way to incorporate it into a complete symphony. The resulting product was his Fifth Symphony, which became a three-section, five-movement work centered around the scherzo. A Funeral March and a stormy lament make up the first part of the symphony, which precedes the scherzo. Then, the elegant Adagietto and a dazzling Rondo-Finale complete the third section. The powerful, large-scale symphonic work has become one of Mahler’s most popular symphonies. The Minnesota Orchestra will perform the Adagietto movement as part of a Sommerfest program on July 21, 2017.

Mahler’s Fifth Symphony
(BIS SACD-2226)

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor

Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor

The Minnesota Orchestra gratefully acknowledges funding support for this project
from Doug and Louise Leatherdale.

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