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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 89

post #1321 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Btw, I picked up the Pearl Mahler recordings (Oskar Fried conducted M2) which were also issued by Naxos and although the sound quality is horrid making it far from my favorite recording, the liner notes are excellent. It's really interesting to see how Fried's tempos were really all over the place. There also was an explanation in the notes that Mahler himself claimed that one should be impulsive when conducting his work, and that what he would do on one occassion could be completely different from what he would do on another occassion. It really conflicts with Kaplan's idea that Mahler had one idea of how his symphony should sound. It also negates purists who complain when any of mahler's instructions for tempi or dynamics are altered. It puts Mahler at the top of the expressive conducting school.
On the other hand, Mahler complained that other conductors "got it wrong" when they directed his work. Apparently the big variations in Mahler's own performances where based on the basic speeds he took. He was quoted (not that I remember where off the top of my head) as saying that the basic tempo didn't matter as much as the relationship of tempos from section to section.

I can see his point. I enjoy the Mahler 4ths by Jascha Horenstein and Benjamin Britten; the former is one of the slowest, and the latter is one of the fastest.
post #1322 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
DarkAngel,

Is Szell still at the top of your M4 preferences? Also, do you plan to get the new Living Stereo SACD/Hybrid release of the Reiner M4? In addition, have you heard the Levi/Atlanta M4? I just got that used and was very pleasantly surprised. It is quite good (especially when picked up for less than $5.00).

Has anyone heard Solti's early recording of the M4? It is supposed to be excellent and yet it has been OOP for a while. I'm ordering used from a vendor in New Zealand no less, so who knows when it will arrive. Apparently shipping is costing me more than the cd.
My top 3-4 versions each Symphony to date:
1)Bernstein/DG + Solti/LSO/Decca Legends + Kubelik/Audite +
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

My reference remains Szell/Sony for 4th despite fierce competition on all quarters.......I may get Reiner hybrid if yourmusic.com carries it, but I do not have SACD player.

If you picked up the Mehta/Decca Legends 2nd I think it is one of the very best, even though normally I am no fan of Mehta.......a real eye opener for me.

I do have the Solti/CSO/London 4th from complete Solti set, But I believe you are looking for another performance.
post #1323 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
I can see his point. I enjoy the Mahler 4ths by Jascha Horenstein and Benjamin Britten; the former is one of the slowest, and the latter is one of the fastest.
The Horenstein 4th is indeed the slowest I have ever heard.......I don't really like it but keep it around for reference of extreme performances.
post #1324 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Also I forgot Wit/Naxos 4th.....a real gem
This is a giant killer at budget price, forgot how good it was till played again, amazingly good Naxos sound also. This could seriously sneak into my top 3-4 list, this one is solid in every area and essential for Mahlerites (very cheap also)
DA,

Have you heard any of the other discs from Wit's cycle? I've been meaning to grab one or two and check 'em out, because the few other things I've heard by Wit are well done, and your comments on the M4 make him sound even more intriguing.

Mark
post #1325 of 3714
Thread Starter 
I do have other Naxos Mahler recordings, set is divided between conductors Wit and Halasz........two good ones to start are:
Wit 4th
Halasz 7th

A mixed bag though, some of the Naxos Mahler set are weak.
post #1326 of 3714
DA, I get the feeling that you really like Bernstein
post #1327 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I do have other Naxos Mahler recordings, set is divided between conductors Wit and Halasz........two good ones to start are:
Wit 4th
Halasz 7th

A mixed bag though, some of the Naxos Mahler set are weak.
I have the Halasz 7, and it is good. I'm surprised we haven't heard anything more of him lately. I believe he got his start as an associate of Christoph von Dohnanyi. Back in the very, very early days of Naxos, he did a nice Tchaikovsky ballet suites disc.
post #1328 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson
DA, I get the feeling that you really like Bernstein
I think Bernstein has a deep connection/affinity for Mahler's complex work that other conductors seem to only scratch the surface of........not all Bernstein performances are elite status, but if you pick the best performances of his Sony/DG sets you have a reference set for the ages.
post #1329 of 3714
Naxos also has the Fried M2 now. But I don't recommend that to anyone. It's an antique and there are so many great recordings now that it's not really worth getting except as an historic curiousity. You can learn as much by reading a critical review of the performance.

DarkAngel,

It is indeed the Decca Mehta M2 that I have captured at bargain basement prices. also, please note it is the double decker edition with the Schmidt symphony no. 4. A 2-fer!

Also, the Solti M4 arrived today and surprisingly, it is an lp! Even though it was described as a cd online. Well, atleast I have the performance. Now I'll put it on and hope that the vinyl is in halfway decent condition having travelled halfway around the world to me.
post #1330 of 3714
I bought the Mehta way way back in high school (or shortly thereafter) after seeing Mehta conduct the last movement on TV at the reopening of Carnegie Hall. Luckily I taped it and was able to watch it several times. He didn't stray very far from the recording he did in the 70's.

Even though he's done a lot of pretty bland recordings over the years, he really did shine on that TV broadcast. I really felt there was a unity on that stage, all the performers were with it 100%, it wasn't just some guy up there beating time. To watch Mehta conduct Mahler was pretty fascinating too. Maybe I'll dig up the video one of these days, if it's still playable.

-Mason
post #1331 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
On the other hand, Mahler complained that other conductors "got it wrong" when they directed his work. Apparently the big variations in Mahler's own performances where based on the basic speeds he took. He was quoted (not that I remember where off the top of my head) as saying that the basic tempo didn't matter as much as the relationship of tempos from section to section.

I can see his point. I enjoy the Mahler 4ths by Jascha Horenstein and Benjamin Britten; the former is one of the slowest, and the latter is one of the fastest.
The notes also tell of how Mahler sat in on one of Fried's rehearsals, then dismissed the musicians, took Fried aside and told him specifically how to conduct the symphony, and them paid for another day of rehearsals so that Fried could get it just right. I suppose only Mahler was allowed to be impulsive about the tempos. What ever! After listening again, I was again struck by how fast all of Fried's Tempos were in the first movement. They did slow down, but it still sounded like a much faster interpretation than Kaplan's for instance. I really need to get the Slatkin. I think I'm probably going to end up with a list of 2nd symphonies that will look like a telephone directory.
post #1332 of 3714
Great music can withstand a wide variety of interpretation and tempo modification. So I find M4 sublime with Reiner (one of the quicker performances) as well as with Maazel (maybe the slowest). Farberman's M2 is slow, yet pretty potent. What matters is that regardless of tempo, the conductor can maintain the tension, or whatever that mysterious thing is. Some conductors are great at keeping things interesting even at slow tempos, while in other hands the thing just dies.
As far as Mahler telling people how to conduct his music: could there be any two conductors less alike than Walter and Klemperer? Yet both were Mahler proteges. Unfortunately, Klemperer didn't record that much Mahler. His M2 is one of the faster on record, and no one made a slower M7. The three middle movements are pretty normal, but the outer ones are real snoozers. And Klemperer was at the premier! I can't believe Mahler did the 7th that slowly.
We also know that tempos have gotten slower over the last 100 years in general. Listen to early recordings of symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms, or Mahler! I don't know why this happened, but it did. Long lived conductors like Stokowski, Boult, Monteux mentioned it.
post #1333 of 3714
Tempo slowdown certainly happened for Beethoven! I wonder if it had anything to do with the growth of recording technologies and the recording industry? Perhaps slowing the music had some advantage when recorded? We already know that recording is responsible for the predominance of vibrato techniques in singing and especially violin.
post #1334 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Naxos also has the Fried M2 now. But I don't recommend that to anyone. It's an antique and there are so many great recordings now that it's not really worth getting except as an historic curiousity. You can learn as much by reading a critical review of the performance.

DarkAngel,

It is indeed the Decca Mehta M2 that I have captured at bargain basement prices. also, please note it is the double decker edition with the Schmidt symphony no. 4. A 2-fer!

Also, the Solti M4 arrived today and surprisingly, it is an lp! Even though it was described as a cd online. Well, atleast I have the performance. Now I'll put it on and hope that the vinyl is in halfway decent condition having travelled halfway around the world to me.
Where'd you get the good deal on the two-fer? I must have it!
post #1335 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
My top 3-4 versions each Symphony to date:
1)Bernstein/DG + Solti/LSO/Decca Legends + Kubelik/Audite +
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

My reference remains Szell/Sony for 4th despite fierce competition on all quarters.......I may get Reiner hybrid if yourmusic.com carries it, but I do not have SACD player.

If you picked up the Mehta/Decca Legends 2nd I think it is one of the very best, even though normally I am no fan of Mehta.......a real eye opener for me.

I do have the Solti/CSO/London 4th from complete Solti set, But I believe you are looking for another performance.
You may have already discussed this, but DA have you heard the Kaplan M2 with the VPO? The more I hear it, the more I like it - It's probably the best sounding recording of anything I've ever heard, and the playing (especially in the brass) is without equal. Since it is a purely Mahlerian (no conductor ego) interpretation, I would argue that it is THE reference M2 in the true sense of the word; e.g. a baseline with which to compare other recordings.
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