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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 79

post #1171 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
The Decca Classics remaster/rerelease of Solti's 8th is quite good. The recording sounds nice indeed. It's perhaps a bit in-your-face for me, but so was Solti. Sometimes, the drive and motion is nice, and other times, it's nice to get a rest.
I agree here, Solti really sold the M8 to me.
post #1172 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
Ah. The Mahler effect. In all his works, to my ears, there is a simple or easily reducible surface that glosses over a complex, emotional, and conflicted body. The 4th is, by Mahler's design, banal and glorious at once. One could miss the haunting and longing strains of the Ruhevoll if their lulled into a complacent state by the Bedachtig and In gemachlicher. I have not made my mind up on the Sehr behaglich. That is the thing with all his work that I have heard. On the surface, they are egocentric, banal, and simple. However, they hide (to varying degrees) depths of great feeling. Mahler played a great joke on his critics.
His work has been described as witty, ironic and even sarcastic all too frequently. That is perhaps my greatest difficulty with the MTT M9. The more I listen to it the more dissatisfied I am; he's smoothed over too many of the edges for my taste.
post #1173 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
His work has been described as witty, ironic and even sarcastic all too frequently. That is perhaps my greatest difficulty with the MTT M9. The more I listen to it the more dissatisfied I am; he's smoothed over too many of the edges for my taste.
To call it witty, ironic, or sarcastic manages to capture one aspect of it. However, it seems to ignore the pain and longing that appears so often and so poignantly. Just as we found that Mahler sort of transcended a single period genre, he transcends a single, simple explanation.

Smoothing him out might make him pleasant, but if one makes him pleasant - bourgeois, perhaps? - one ameliorates the power and agony of Mahler. Calming him down resigns his hero to the fate the hero could never accept.
post #1174 of 3714
Okay! I admit it, I prefer my Mahler crunchy and unsweetened.
post #1175 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Okay! I admit it, I prefer my Mahler crunchy and unsweetened.
I think Mahler would like that.
post #1176 of 3714
Oh, boy. Just started listening to the MTT Mahler 9 with score in hand. Had to turn it off 9 minutes in, I was getting so mad. Almost all the dynamics are underplayed, half or more of the accents were glossed over, and even the tempo markings are tweaked in order to flow from section to section. I hate that! When Mahler writes "ploetzlich" he means a sudden new tempo, not a gentle meander over to a new tempo. Good lord, is the whole performance like this?

Mark
post #1177 of 3714
Mark,

I didn't have a score and I still felt the absence of something the more I listened. It was sugarcoated Mahler. The first listen was okay, I even liked it because it went down like honey on a sore throat, but then, as I replayed it just became unsatisfying. I kept turning to the Ancerl more and more. Now, after all you've written I feel that I MUST get the Tennstedt, so I'm just on hold. Btw, the Bernstein (sony) 9th and Kubelik 9th are still much more to my taste as well. I know that I have to get the Dg as well.
post #1178 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Mark,

I didn't have a score and I still felt the absence of something the more I listened. It was sugarcoated Mahler. The first listen was okay, I even liked it because it went down like honey on a sore throat, but then, as I replayed it just became unsatisfying. I kept turning to the Ancerl more and more. Now, after all you've written I feel that I MUST get the Tennstedt, so I'm just on hold. Btw, the Bernstein (sony) 9th and Kubelik 9th are still much more to my taste as well. I know that I have to get the Dg as well.
The Tennstedt is a better than MTT, but he yields to the ones with a more aggressive approach to dynamics and accents, which is what the score calls for. Despite his reputation for extremeness, Bernstein is actually much closer to the score than most. I love the Bernstein/Concertgebouw reading probably more than any other... although Horenstein from May of 1966 is pretty awe-inspiring, too, but in cruddy recorded sound. I'll have to check out the Ancerl that you have noted as a favorite-- although my prior experience with him in Mahler (Sym 1) has me a little skeptical about how closely he'll follow Mahler's often jagged tempo indications.
post #1179 of 3714
We've talked a lot here lately about Kondrashin's recordings of Mahler, but for an even more obscure Mahler recording, has anyone else heard the live recording of Mahler's 4th conducted by David Oistrakh, the famous violinist. It may not land in the top handful, but it makes a surprisingly strong run for it. His tempos are fairly fleet and deftly handled, including Mahler's sudden quirky tempo shifts. I'm listening to it right now. A pleasant surprise!
post #1180 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Oh, boy. Just started listening to the MTT Mahler 9 with score in hand. Had to turn it off 9 minutes in, I was getting so mad. Almost all the dynamics are underplayed, half or more of the accents were glossed over, and even the tempo markings are tweaked in order to flow from section to section. I hate that! When Mahler writes "ploetzlich" he means a sudden new tempo, not a gentle meander over to a new tempo. Good lord, is the whole performance like this?
Mark
He he......you need to hear Ancerl or Kondrashin to establish just what is possible with 9th, the power/mystery of Mahler is revealed in full force with no quarter given.

Bunny
The 1979 Bernstein/BPO/DG live 9th is actually a bit more tension filled than the otherwise very fine early Sony version......I don't like the later 1985 DG/RCO which Lenny goes over to the slow side with a sluggish 89 minute performance.
post #1181 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
He he......you need to hear Ancerl or Kondrashin to establish just what is possible with 9th, the power/mystery of Mahler is revealed in full force with no quarter given.
I have the Kondrashin and will move to it after the Oistrakh 4th is over. I remember it as being a great performance, but one that I was uneasy with the fastness of some of the tempos.
post #1182 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
We've talked a lot here lately about Kondrashin's recordings of Mahler, but for an even more obscure Mahler recording, has anyone else heard the live recording of Mahler's 4th conducted by David Oistrakh, the famous violinist. It may not land in the top handful, but it makes a surprisingly strong run for it. His tempos are fairly fleet and deftly handled, including Mahler's sudden quirky tempo shifts. I'm listening to it right now. A pleasant surprise!
Vishnevskaya is the soprano in the last movement. She's a bit mature sounding for the part, but sings prettily. Her German seems awfully wayward, though. I'll have to check it against the printed text some time-- it seems in a few places she's using different words, but that might be Soviet censorship removing references to "heaven" or the like. Even when the text is right, though, her pronunciation is way off.
post #1183 of 3714
Mark,
I think you will also have to listen to the Chailly M9 as well. As I don't have a score and probably wouldn't know what to do with it, I cannot personally vouch for this, but it is written (by those powers that be) that it is an extremely close reading of the score. Now, what I do know is that the symphony has a lot of tension and dynamism. Definitely no smoothed over edges there and my co-favorite with the Ancerl, which just edges it out. Of course the Chailly is in SACD, so that also adds weight to my preference. I love the way things sound in SACD surround.
post #1184 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
I have the Kondrashin and will move to it after the Oistrakh 4th is over. I remember it as being a great performance, but one that I was uneasy with the fastness of some of the tempos.
Just through with the 1st mvt of Kondrashin's 9th... Wow, no wonder Kondrashin died young of a heart attack! Truly great stuff-- a real seize-you-by-the-throat rendition. The horns are a bit "Russian" (read: wobbly), and K. doesn't slow down at the end of the movement as much as the score suggests, but still, you'd never believe it's a performance that runs just over 25 minutes. Kondrashin was one of those few who could take a fast tempo and make it seem completely natural, indeed, inevitable. On to the rest of the symphony.
post #1185 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Mark,
I think you will also have to listen to the Chailly M9 as well. As I don't have a score and probably wouldn't know what to do with it, I cannot personally vouch for this, but it is written (by those powers that be) that it is an extremely close reading of the score. Now, what I do know is that the symphony has a lot of tension and dynamism. Definitely no smoothed over edges there and my co-favorite with the Ancerl, which just edges it out. Of course the Chailly is in SACD, so that also adds weight to my preference. I love the way things sound in SACD surround.
Will do... I'll have to pay some bills first though: Maxed out my charge card on the Kondrashin Shostakovich set!
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