In Tuesday’s (8/31) Mercury News (San Jose, California), Sue Gilmore writes, “The last shoe has finally dropped on the San Francisco Symphony’s massive, nine-year-long Mahler recording project, and it’s definitely more of a buffed Ferragamo than a scuffed Florsheim. Michael Tilson Thomas and the orchestra have put their best foot forward on ‘Songs with Orchestra,’ a 65-minute CD of gorgeously rendered lieder that puts the cap on an all-encompassing survey of Gustav’s Mahler’s nine completed symphonies, his unfinished Tenth and several of his song cycles. The new release, issued on the Symphony’s own SFS Media label, comes out Sept. 14 but is available now through iTunes or by pre-order on the Symphony’s website for $22.95. Its 11 predecessors have won a whopping total of seven Grammys, three of them—best classical album, best choral performance and best engineered classical album—awarded this January for the Symphony No. 8 and the Adagio from the incomplete No. 10. From its first few spins in my CD player, the new release appears to be a surefire Grammy nominee at the very least, thanks in large part to the sublime contributions from baritone Thomas Hampson and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.”

Posted September 1, 2010