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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 77

post #1141 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
Juliane Banse does a decent job, but she makes no attempt to sound like a child. She plays it straight, as Mahler ordered, but a boy soprano would have hit the mark. Since Boulez is rushing headlong into his great reward, perhaps one of the other big Mahlerians of the age will go and do it with a boy soprano of some skill. Blegen, for Levine, has a more powerful voice for me, but I am coming from the realm of Wagnerian sopranos.
Actually, Bernstein did the 4th with a boy soprano in his DG recording with the Concertgebouw. The results were not the best as the boy's voice sounds alternately harsh and forced in the upper registers. I don't know if this was rhe result of the fact that the boy just was not up to the job or because Mahler's scoring is just that difficult that it really can't be sung with that effortlessness it demands by a boy soprano. This was vey disappointing because Bernstein's vision of the symphony as one of sharp contrasts in mood, tempo and dynamics really is excellent, and the quality of the singing just hurts the whole so much.
post #1142 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Actually, Bernstein did the 4th with a boy soprano in his DG recording with the Concertgebouw. The results were not the best as the boy's voice sounds alternately harsh and forced in the upper registers. I don't know if this was rhe result of the fact that the boy just was not up to the job or because Mahler's scoring is just that difficult that it really can't be sung with that effortlessness it demands by a boy soprano. This was vey disappointing because Bernstein's vision of the symphony as one of sharp contrasts in mood, tempo and dynamics really is excellent, and the quality of the singing just hurts the whole so much.
I am not a terribly big Leonard Bernstein fan, but for a whole host of reasons, it looks like I am going to have to start integrating his work into my collection. I hate that, being forced to buy more CDs. Curses.
post #1143 of 3714
I'll keep saying it: IMO the best 4th out there is Abravanel-Utah Symphony with Netania Davrath as soloist.
post #1144 of 3714
I'm a 'tweener' on M4's right now (in-between deciding on a favorite). I'm looking forward to revisiting the Reiner on SACD when it comes out. Others:

Gatti- Lots of personality, nicely recorded.

Szell- Warm and affecting, but tromps all over Mahler's tempo indications

Maazel- A little cool, but often illuminating. Battle is very good.

Bernstein 2- Wonderful, boy soprano only partially succesful in finale, but still pretty endearing

Horenstein- Great character, but slowish. Margaret Price makes a beautiful, creamy contribution in the finale.

Welser-Most- Serene, but builds up to enormous power in climaxes

Inbal- Delightful, incorporates all of Mahler's tempo markings

MTT- Ultra-refined, gorgeous recording. Not really earthy enough for me.

Tennstedt- Alternately quirky and lush. Decent recorded sound.

Britten- Crisp, witty, and affectionate. Tolerable live sound. (mono, I think)

Of all these, I'm probably happiest with Gatti and Inbal, who actually go to the trouble of trying to perform what Mahler wrote.

I wish I knew which M4 Doc liked... Then maybe I'd listen to it tonight or tomorrow... I'll report back.
post #1145 of 3714
Doc likes the Abravanel and the Reiner, as he has communicated to me. I like the Reiner M4 myself (and the Levine). The Reiner is close to the Szell recording but with more tension and ofcourse, I am the total Lisa Della Casa fan. I wouldn't be surprised if the Reiner finds its way to you as it is part of the next releases from the SACD/hybrid Living Stereo stable (due out in July).

Btw, did you know that the London critics nicknamed Welzer-Most "worst-than-most" during his tenure with the LSO? After hearing him conduct with the Cleveland, I really don't understand it, but who knows what went on then.
post #1146 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
I am not a terribly big Leonard Bernstein fan, but for a whole host of reasons, it looks like I am going to have to start integrating his work into my collection. I hate that, being forced to buy more CDs. Curses.
I'm getting fonder and fonder of his later works. Although not as consistant as the earlier cycle on sony, he really did bring a unique and special feeling to Mahler even though as he aged he became increasingly more idiosyncratic.

Edit: don't worry, we will give you a lot of very good reasons to add to your cd collection. That's really the name of the game here.
post #1147 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Btw, did you know that the London critics nicknamed Welzer-Most "worst-than-most" during his tenure with the LSO? After hearing him conduct with the Cleveland, I really don't understand it, but who knows what went on then.
The full sobriquet was "Frankly Worse-Than-Most". FWM's biggest problem in London was that he took on a major orchestra at way too young of an age. His success in Cleveland has been mixed. The critic at the 'Plain Dealer', Don Rosenberg, strongly dislikes him, but then again, he overpraised Dohnanyi when he was there, so he's clearly partisan. As far as I can tell, FWM doesn't like to 'impose' upon the orchestra. If they show signs of getting excited about the music they're doing, then Franz seizes on that and it takes off. But if they aren't full of adrenaline, he doesn't like to push them. Perhaps that comes from him starting off as a violinist himself-- He only became a conductor because of a car wreck that mangled his hand, ending his violin career. I get the feeling he's happiest in collaborative situations, when the glaring spotlight isn't fully upon him alone. Thus, he's brilliant at opera, and his best concerts in Cleveland tend to be the huge works with chorus and soloists and everything. That provokes him to take charge, and there's plenty of energy flowing just because of the number of people involved. With something more modest like a Mozart symphony, though, he just kind of beats time. But at his best, he's capable of great things: Witness his recordings of M4, Bruckner 5, Korngold's c# minor Symphony, H.K. Gruber's 'Frankenstein!!', and Orff's 'Catulli Carmina'.

M
post #1148 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
I'm a 'tweener' on M4's right now (in-between deciding on a favorite). I'm looking forward to revisiting the Reiner on SACD when it comes out. Others:

Gatti- Lots of personality, nicely recorded.

Szell- Warm and affecting, but tromps all over Mahler's tempo indications

Maazel- A little cool, but often illuminating. Battle is very good.

Bernstein 2- Wonderful, boy soprano only partially succesful in finale, but still pretty endearing

Horenstein- Great character, but slowish. Margaret Price makes a beautiful, creamy contribution in the finale.

Welser-Most- Serene, but builds up to enormous power in climaxes

Inbal- Delightful, incorporates all of Mahler's tempo markings

MTT- Ultra-refined, gorgeous recording. Not really earthy enough for me.

Tennstedt- Alternately quirky and lush. Decent recorded sound.

Britten- Crisp, witty, and affectionate. Tolerable live sound. (mono, I think)

Of all these, I'm probably happiest with Gatti and Inbal, who actually go to the trouble of trying to perform what Mahler wrote.

I wish I knew which M4 Doc liked... Then maybe I'd listen to it tonight or tomorrow... I'll report back.
I am very high on Inbal, Szell also.......mentioned previously Helen Donath as my favorite vocalist for 4th along with K Battle.......list revisions with Kondrashin now taking his rightful place in the list of elite versions.

My top 3-4 versions each Symphony to date:

1)Bernstein/DG + Solti/Decca Legends + Kubelik/Audite + Horenstein/Unicorn
2)Bernstein/Sony + Solti/CSO/London + Rattle/EMI + Mehta/Decca Legends
3)Horenstein/Unicorn + Bernstein/Sony + Rattle/EMI + Barbirolli/BBC Legends
4)Szell/Sony + Renier/RCA + Inbal/Dennon + Bernstein/DG
5)Bernstein/DG + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Sinopoli/DG + Brabirolli/EMI GROTC
6)Mitropoulos/Great Conductors 20th + Bernstein/Sony + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Szell/Sony
7)Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/Sony + Solti/London + Abbado/CSO/DG
8)Solti/Decca Legends
9)Ancerl/Supraphon Gold + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/BPO/DG (live) + Karajan/DG (live)
10)Rattle/EMI
post #1149 of 3714
Mark,

I haven't heard him conducting Mozart, but I did hear him this past season at Carnegie Hall doing the Beethoven Concertos with Radu Lupu. The night I was there, they gave a competent performance of the 2nd (which is not Beethoven at his best) and a really wonderful 3rd, which brought the house down. It is the slight unevenness of performance like that which probably would annoy the home audience the most. Even so, the orchestra sounded wonderful, Lupu as usual was excellent, and the performance was certainly a lot better than some of the performances I had heard with Mehta conducting the NYPO. My biggest annoyance was the fact that there were no encores, which seems to be happening more and more. I'm really surprised that certain orchestras and soloists just don't care to do an encore despite warm audience reception. When the Cleveland comes back, you won't find me getting up from my seat no matter how good the performance.
post #1150 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I am very high on Inbal, Szell also.......mentioned previously Helen Donath as my favorite vocalist for 4th along with K Battle.......list revisions with Kondrashin now taking his rightful place in the list of elite versions.

My top 3-4 versions each Symphony to date:

1)Bernstein/DG + Solti/Decca Legends + Kubelik/Audite + Horenstein/Unicorn
2)Bernstein/Sony + Solti/CSO/London + Rattle/EMI + Mehta/Decca Legends
3)Horenstein/Unicorn + Bernstein/Sony + Rattle/EMI + Barbirolli/BBC Legends
4)Szell/Sony + Renier/RCA + Inbal/Dennon + Bernstein/DG
5)Bernstein/DG + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Sinopoli/DG + Brabirolli/EMI GROTC
6)Mitropoulos/Great Conductors 20th + Bernstein/Sony + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Szell/Sony
7)Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/Sony + Solti/London + Abbado/CSO/DG
8)Solti/Decca Legends
9)Ancerl/Supraphon Gold + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/BPO/DG (live) + Karajan/DG (live)
10)Rattle/EMI
I have to admit that having heard the new Rattle M8 (which is competent but nothing extraordinary) I am curious as to the Nagano recording which was released at the same time. Has anyone had a chance to hear it in SACD? Mark, have you gotten a copy of that one for review? Hurwitz described it as "the most interpretively insightful and moving rendition of the piece on disc," but I'd love to get another opinion before I sink all that money into the SACD/hybrid.
post #1151 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I am very high on Inbal, Szell also.......mentioned previously Helen Donath as my favorite vocalist for 4th along with K Battle.......list revisions with Kondrashin now taking his rightful place in the list of elite versions.

My top 3-4 versions each Symphony to date:

1)Bernstein/DG + Solti/Decca Legends + Kubelik/Audite + Horenstein/Unicorn
2)Bernstein/Sony + Solti/CSO/London + Rattle/EMI + Mehta/Decca Legends
3)Horenstein/Unicorn + Bernstein/Sony + Rattle/EMI + Barbirolli/BBC Legends
4)Szell/Sony + Renier/RCA + Inbal/Dennon + Bernstein/DG
5)Bernstein/DG + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Sinopoli/DG + Brabirolli/EMI GROTC
6)Mitropoulos/Great Conductors 20th + Bernstein/Sony + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Szell/Sony
7)Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/Sony + Solti/London + Abbado/CSO/DG
8)Solti/Decca Legends
9)Ancerl/Supraphon Gold + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/BPO/DG (live) + Karajan/DG (live)
10)Rattle/EMI
I've tried in vain to find the Horenstein M3, without spending a bundle. Anyone have any sources they can point me toward?
post #1152 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
I've tried in vain to find the Horenstein M3, without spending a bundle. Anyone have any sources they can point me toward?
Unicorn is out of business but some performances are released on Brilliant Classics including Horenstein M3 but it is only sold as part of complete mixed Mahler set by several conductors:

Mahler

Cheaper prices at Ebay usually for this set.
The reason Horenstein/Unicorn sells for outrageous prices used is because it is in a class of its own.
post #1153 of 3714

Heresy!

Quote:
Newcomers should also be wary of getting advice from die-hard Mahler fans. They're a stunningly over-opinionated bunch and no two ever seem to agree on anything, even on what to order for lunch. That sort of says something about something. Fact is Mahler--a late 19th Century artist--was a recent recording era phenomenon and it wasn't until the stereo 60s that his career really started to pick up.
From one "wilbod" at Amazon.

Come now, we agree on all sorts of things. Well, we all agree that we like Mahler on one level or another.
post #1154 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
From one "wilbod" at Amazon.

Come now, we agree on all sorts of things. Well, we all agree that we like Mahler on one level or another.
Wrong wrong wrong! Oh wait...never mind....
post #1155 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottder
Wrong wrong wrong! Oh wait...never mind....
Come now. Mahler fans are people too. Conflicted, argumentative people who cannot ever be wrong, no matter how wrong they may be.

Seriously, I don't know who the reviewer was dealing with, because the Mahlerites here are the best-behaved, nicest, and most collegial set in the whole place. Well, until the Wagner thread gets cooking.
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