Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings

post #1 of 3690
Thread Starter 
We need to share ideas about the the best sound/performance
CDs available for these challenging magnificent works. I have fairly large Mahler collection but can always make room for more,
here are a couple to start:

Mahler 2 - Klemperer/EMI Great Recordings of the Century
This is probably best buy now for Mahler 2, the newest remaster is stunning improvement in sound from old CD, plus you get Schwarzkopf vocals. Remaster now fits on 1 CD sold at mid price,
you must have this version in any decent collection. The final apocalyptic vision may be more powerfully executed elsewhere but a glorious closing passage, this version is excellent throughout and a great value. One of Klemperer's best Cds in the catalog.

Mahler 3 - Rattle/EMI
This is a newer recording on 2 Cds and not only is the the best sounding 3rd but possibly the best sound/recording of any Mahler CD I have heard........tremendous dynamic range, this is demonstration class sound. Fortunately we also get a very good reading of the symphony by Rattle who has several good Mahler CDs under his belt now. I still think Horenstein has slightly better reading overall especially the closing long line, but the sound quality is no comparison. If you want to get a newer full price Mahler 3rd this is the one.

Many more to discuss but would like others to join in.
post #2 of 3690
My favorites are

Sym 1, Bruno Walter, CBS
Sym 2, Slatkin, Telalc
Sym 9, Karajan, DG

The Karajan has a breathtaking adagio
and is one of the best recordings I've
heard; nice balance, great soundstage
(to tell the truth, I only listen to the adagio, as I can't stand the rest of
Mahler's 9th).

BTW, have you heard Bernstien's 3rd?
How does it compare to Rattle?
post #3 of 3690
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Arzela
My favorites are

Sym 1, Bruno Walter, CBS
Sym 2, Slatkin, Telalc
Sym 9, Karajan, DG

The Karajan has a breathtaking adagio
and is one of the best recordings I've
heard; nice balance, great soundstage
(to tell the truth, I only listen to the adagio, as I can't stand the rest of
Mahler's 9th).

BTW, have you heard Bernstien's 3rd?
How does it compare to Rattle?
Yes I also have the Mahler 9 - Karajan/DG 2CD paired with Kindertotenieder & Ruckert Lieder. However I believe this is the studio version, and the preferred live version was recorded 2 yrs later and sounds somewhat different. I don't listen to this often since it demands great concentration and unfolds slowly.

I did at one time have the newer Bernstein/DG 2CD version of Mahler 3 but did not keep it, my memory was good but not great version. I have read that older Bernstein/Sony version is better, remastered using Sony SBM process. I have picked up a couple of the Bernstein/Sony set and like them, many times preferring them to new DG set..........especially the Mahler 2
post #4 of 3690
My Karajan is the live version, though
it's very hard to tell that it was
recorded live. It's one of my favorite discs,
despite the fact that I think 3/4'ths of it is trash. Karajan and Mahler complement
each other nicely I think.

I had the older Bernstien 3rd, which
also included songs sung, if memory seves, by
Fisher-Diesku (sp). A very nice set.
post #5 of 3690
Mahler's 2nd:

I've got a Klemperer - the Jan. 29, 1965 performance from Munchen. I've also got the Scherchen June 1958 from Vienna. I like the crazy pace of the Scherchen. It's really exciting!

Mahler's 5th:

It's a Barbirolli - the only one I've heard.

on the wish list:

Rattle doing the 10th.
post #6 of 3690
(Dark Angel: Talk about a broad topic. Posters could waste half a day on each reply!)

I didn't see anyone post about the 6th. I'm a big fan of the Boulez interpretation on DG. I find the 6th to be Mahler's darkest, most weighty symphony. Boulez keeps the pace up (fitting it on one disc) and holds on to the musical structure from first movement to last.

If you've ever heard a Mahler symphony conducted poorly, you understand how important holding the entire piece together really is.

I've had the Bernstein and Solti cycles in my collection for a number of years. The Boulez recording allowed me to hear the 6th as if for the first time. (Okay...that may be a bit of an exaggeration).

I agree with the kudos given to Klemperer's 2nd. I have heard that the Rattle's 2nd is not to be missed. If only I could remember to pick it up when I am in the record shop...

For the 9th, I'd go with the Barbirolli (and probably just the final movement, like that other poster!).

Rattle's 10th on DVD-A was a recent purchase. No complaints, but nothing to cheer about either. And why are the jewel cases a different size? Jeeze...don't the marketers think about the poor souls who have to store these?
post #7 of 3690
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Odi_et_Amo
I agree with the kudos given to Klemperer's 2nd. I have heard that the Rattle's 2nd is not to be missed. If only I could remember to pick it up when I am in the record shop...

Rattle's 10th on DVD-A was a recent purchase. No complaints, but nothing to cheer about either. And why are the jewel cases a different size? Jeeze...don't the marketers think about the poor souls who have to store these?
The Rattle/EMI Mahler 2 is great all around choice with no real weakness.......very good sound, performance, powerful closing etc but I don't know if it is really great in any area (if you know what I mean) but a solid choice, overall might be best Mahler 2nd.

If you want to hear an earth shattering final passage, a real apocalyptic vision of resurrection, try the Litton/Delos version.
I know you laugh (Dallas symphony etc) but trust me this has explosive power and the sound offered by new Delos recording is better vs Rattle/EMI...........doesn't mean it is better overall BTW.

I also hinted earlier that I like the Bernstien/Sony Mahler 2 better vs newer Bernstein/DG, just seems to have more passion energy and sound is pretty good with Sony SBM remaster. Has strange coupling with 1/2 of Symphony 8 though.

Just breif comment on Rattle's Mahler 10, I like the older version he did with Bournemouth SO vs new version BPO live version. If you ever see it used or reissued grab it.

ARZELA
The Mahler 3 & 7 are supposed to be two of the best from the older Bernstein/Sony set........you can buy the whole 12CD set new for @$50 online.
post #8 of 3690
1st:

Bruno Walter/Columbia Symphony

Sir Georg Solti/Chicago (80's on London)

Judd/Florida Philharmonic (+ Blumine) - now at on budget-- this is a fantastic recording, it starts off so quiet at the beginning, but it explodes later, one of the widest dynamic ranges I've heard in a recording

http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=2350759

2nd:

I need a new 2nd, I've grown tired of Slatkin's on Telarc, though it was a favorite for years. I've always enjoyed Maazel's 80's CBS recording (forget the orchestra) .. and Abaddo's analog 70's recording on DG is nice, but I do need some new blood with this work. Oh.. how could I forget Kubelik's awesome DG recording.. that was the first one I bought (on tape) as a yungin'.

3rd:

Bernstein (the 60's version) - love it.

Solti (the 70's version) - love it too.. not sure which one I like better.. I have the Solti on vinyl and it's really really nice sounding, even though it's showing its age..

4th:
Fritz Reiner and the Chicago, an old RCA record I have.. it just has this amazing charm that I haven't heard in any other recording, though George Szell does a nice account of this too..

5th:

Here's where I'm stepping out on a limb.. anyone heard the 80's DG recording by the late Guiseppe Sinopoli? this one is just wild, recorded in some huge church and the sonics are just.. well, not perfect, but otherworldly. The only problem is, with close listening (esp with headphones) you can hear Sinopoli grunting and moaning on occasion, but it doesn't really detract from it that much.. I don't know if this one has been reissued or not, but it's amazing.. his 6th is pretty good too!

6th:

Karajan's reissued version, just awesome in the 3rd movement.

James Levine - I don't think he's known much for his Mahler, but this recording is one of my favorites.. I haven't heard it in years though, I have no clue as the availability of Levines 70's/80's Mahler cycle on RCA. His 5th is among my favorites too..

Michael Tilson Thomas did an excellent live version of this with the Cleveland Orchestra, but I've yet to pick up the recording..

7th:

this is the weird one.. I heard Michael Tilson Thomas perform this live, and went out and got the CD, but I wasn't as thrilled with the recording. This one is a tough nut to crack. Tennstedt does it well, Abbado does it well, but I've yet to hear one that blows me away.

8th:

I don't have a favorite 8th, it's probably been 10 years at least since I've even listened to the work.

9th:

Carlo Maria Giuini on DG - awesome, natural recording.

Karajan - the reissue of his studio recording.. I don't have the "live" one.. it's been over 10 years since I heard it.

My favorite performance was Dohnanyi conducting it live with the Cleveland Orchestra back in 1992. One of the best musical experiences of my life.. I haven't picked up the recording.

10th:

recordings pale next to the live performance I heard last year by Mark Wigglesworth and the Cleveland Orchestra. Even his own recording with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales didn't touch it. It was so powerful, I haven't listened to the work since then, I don't know if I will. With some music, you just have to hear it live.

That said, Simon Rattle's recording is probably the best one I've heard.

-jar
post #9 of 3690
I've only heard 2 of Mahler symphonies so far (the first 2) and I can second Klemperer's recording on EMI. He took it at a faster pace than other versions I've owned, and the result is very dark and powerful. Mehta's version is pretty good also, but in 2 CD set only.
post #10 of 3690
Quote:
Originally posted by Odi_et_Amo
For the 9th, I'd go with the Barbirolli (and probably just the final movement, like that other poster!).

wow, all I have to say is the first movement of the Mahler 9th is probably my single favorite Mahler movement.

The way it unfolds it just breathtaking.

It's some of the most perfect music ever composed, in my opinion.

I wish you folks could give it another chance!




-jar
post #11 of 3690
I like the LATER Bernstein Mahler 3 a lot, but I've never heard the earlier one...sounds like one to get.

I've also got an SACD hybrid version of Mahler 5 with Zander and the Philharmonia Orchestra which I also like a lot. I prefer it to both the SFO Mahlers on SACD (1 and 6).
post #12 of 3690
Here's what I have:

1 Boulez
1 Bernstein
3 Salonen
4 Maazel
5 Karajan
6 Karajan
9 Bernstein on DG Live w/ Berlin Philharmonic 1979

Honestly, I haven't heard any others, so I can't say how they stack up to anything else. I really like them all though. Between Boulez and Bernstein on the 1st, I think I like Bernstein better, but I have been meaning to sit down and really compare them at some point.

Here is what I am looking at getting if anyone happens to have any comments. I'm looking to (temporarily) fill up my Mahler collection, and these are not only available from BMG, but also fairly well reviewed:

2 Bernstein
3 Abbado
4 Rattle
5 Chailly
5 Zander
7 Abbado
8 Chailly
9 Abbado
10 Rattle

Once (if) I get all of those, I'd say that my Mahler symphony collection will be very interesting.
post #13 of 3690
Thread Starter 
MJar
Quote:
1st:
Bruno Walter/Columbia Symphony
Sir Georg Solti/Chicago (80's on London)
Judd/Florida Philharmonic (+ Blumine) - now at on budget-- this is a fantastic recording, it starts off so quiet at the beginning, but it explodes later, one of the widest dynamic ranges I've heard in a recording
The Solti version to get is the earlier one he did with LSO, not easy to get but the "decca legends" series has just released it in new remaster form, if I see it I will get it:

Solti

I have almost bought that Judd version a couple times, I have the Judd/Dennon Holst Planets which I like......may have to get this.

I have the Walter/Sony Mahler 1&2 which I keep, but I don't really play it much......I am not a Walter fan in general. His slow expansive style can work sometimes but often misses the contrast and raw energy that is required to fully render a performance for me.


Quote:
2nd:
I need a new 2nd, I've grown tired of Slatkin's on Telarc, though it was a favorite for years. I've always enjoyed Maazel's 80's CBS recording (forget the orchestra) .. and Abaddo's analog 70's recording on DG is nice, but I do need some new blood with this work. Oh.. how could I forget Kubelik's awesome DG recording.. that was the first one I bought (on tape) as a yungin'.
We have mentioned a few good ones already here:
Klemperer/EMI
Litton/Delos
Rattle/EMI
Bernstein/Sony

Let me throw a couple more in the mix:

Mehta/Decca Legends
Single Cd at mid price, suprisingly good performance with excellent sound and I am not a Mehta fan.

Kaplan/Conifer
Amatuer conductor doing the great Mahler 2 as his one and only performance.......you have to be joking right? Actually it is surprisingly good but not a first choice, still an amazing accomplishment.


Quote:
3rd:
Bernstein (the 60's version) - love it.
Solti (the 70's version) - love it too.. not sure which one I like better.. I have the Solti on vinyl and it's really really nice sounding, even though it's showing its age..
Bernstein/Sony is very good, also if you want another check:
Rattle/EMI
Horenstein/Unicorn (very hard to find now)

Salonen/Sony - Radrd mentioned this and I have it also, a fabulous sounding new recording that I enjoy very much, but the Rattle/EMI has even better sound (hard to believe but true) and the performance is better overall for me.

Quote:
4th:
Fritz Reiner and the Chicago, an old RCA record I have.. it just has this amazing charm that I haven't heard in any other recording, though George Szell does a nice account of this too..
I have the Reiner/RCA also and enyoy it imensely along with the Szell/Sony from the same period.........you can just about buy any of the Reiner/RCA series since they all seem to be great.

Many people like the new Rattle/EMI but I found it to be a little short of the best available but worth keeping.

I really like the Bernstein/DG here, for me one of the best of DG cycle.
post #14 of 3690
[QUOTE]Originally posted by DarkAngel

I have the Walter/Sony Mahler 1&2 which I keep, but I don't really play it much......I am not a Walter fan in general. His slow expansive style can work sometimes but often misses the contrast and raw energy that is required to fully render a performance for me.


I have that set too, I listen to the 1st more than the 2nd.


Mehta/Decca Legends
Single Cd at mid price, suprisingly good performance with excellent sound and I am not a Mehta fan.


I have this one too, forgot to mention it. I think his last movement is one of the best.. I bought it after seeing Zubin conduct the last movement live on TV at the grand re-opening of Carnegie Hall.. must have been around 1987 or something.. I taped it and must have watched it 50 times..



Kaplan/Conifer
Amatuer conductor doing the great Mahler 2 as his one and only performance.......you have to be joking right? Actually it is surprisingly good but not a first choice, still an amazing accomplishment.


yea, I was surprised at how good this one was too. Plus, it made be feel better knowing that there was someone out there obsessed enough to did what he did.. I felt more justified I guesss.. :-)




Salonen/Sony - Radrd mentioned this and I have it also, a fabulous sounding new recording that I enjoy very much, but the Rattle/EMI has even better sound (hard to believe but true) and the performance is better overall for me.


I have the Salonen too.. I'll agree that the recording is very good, I haven't had this one sink in though as much as the other ones I mentioned. The main problem here is that I seldom have a few free hours to sit down with the 3rd anymore..

-jar
post #15 of 3690
5th by Karajan
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Music
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings