The Latest Release in Ongoing Mahler Cycle Nominated For Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance, and Best Engineered Classical Album in the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards
"This most recent recording is amazing in its clarity, depth of expression and sheer power, continuing the ascent their a breath-taking Mahler project." - Interchanging Idioms
SAN FRANCISCO, December 2, 2009 –The San Francisco Symphony’s (SFS) live concert recording of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and the Adagio from Symphony No. 10 conducted by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) received three Grammy® Award nominations today in the categories of Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Classical Album. This recording is the latest release in the ongoing Mahler recording cycle for the orchestra’s own SFS Media label. Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in E flat major, Symphony of a Thousand, was recorded live in Davies Symphony Hall November 19, 21, 22 and 23, 2008 and features performances by sopranos Erin Wall, Elza van den Heever, and Laura Claycomb; mezzo-sopranos Katarina Karnéus and Yvonne Naef; tenor Anthony Dean Griffey; baritone Quinn Kelsey; and bass-baritone James Morris. The San Francisco Symphony Chorus under the direction of Ragnar Bohlin is featured on the recording as well as the San Francisco Girls Chorus and the Pacific Boychoir. The Adagio from Symphony No. 10 which opens this two-disc set was recorded April 6-8, 2006. A short video with behind the scenes footage and insights from the recording can be viewed here: “A Universe of Sound: Recording Mahler’s Symphony No. 8.”. The 52nd annual Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 31, 2010.
With these three nominations the SFS’s Mahler cycle has now received a total of nine Grammy nominations and four Grammy awards to date. The first recording, Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, was released in February 2002 and won the Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance of 2005 and was also nominated for Best Classical Album. Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Kindertotenlieder, featuring mezzo-soprano Michelle De Young, the women of the SFS Chorus, the San Francisco Girls Chorus and the Pacific Boy Choir won Best Classical Album in 2003, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, with soprano Laura Claycomb, was nominated for Best Surround Sound Album in 2004. Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 won Best Classical Album and Best Orchestral Performance in 2007.
Since the Mahler recording project began in 2001, the San Francisco Symphony has recorded all of the Mahler symphonies, the Adagio from the unfinished Tenth Symphony, Kindertotenlieder and Das Lied von der Erde and released a re-mastered recording of Das klagende Lied. Additional works still to be released include Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, Songs Of A Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) and selected songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. All of the new SFS/MTT Mahler symphony recordings were produced by Andreas Neubronner and have entered the top ten of the Billboard Classical Chart.
Michael Tilson Thomas has distinguished himself as one of the world’s foremost Mahler interpreters, and through his signature performances, as one of the composer’s most compelling advocates. In 1974, at the age of 29, he made his SFS debut conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 9. Now in his fifteenth season as Music Director, he and the SFS have formed an orchestral partnership acclaimed for their interpretations of the music of Mahler as well as for innovation and artistic excellence.