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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 99

post #1471 of 3714
wow, I've really appreciated glancing through these suggestions, I'll have to get a few of them.

Mahler's 8th was my first experience hearing a symphony live... unforgettable, that orchestra hall live sound is what I think of when I need something to compare my headphones to
post #1472 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepianobar
wow, I've really appreciated glancing through these suggestions, I'll have to get a few of them.

Mahler's 8th was my first experience hearing a symphony live... unforgettable, that orchestra hall live sound is what I think of when I need something to compare my headphones to
I still love Solti for the M8...wonderful!
post #1473 of 3714
I picked up the Daniel Gatti M5 and it is an incredible reading of the symphony. Probably one of the finest. I highly recommend it if you can find it.
post #1474 of 3714
Solti's Mahler makes me itch. It's just TOO hyper emotional and contrasty. It makes it difficult to listen to. I really like Tennstedt. He takes a more lyrical approach, while still understanding the underlying structure. I feel the same way about Bruckner. I like Bohm's beautiful readings better than the sharply contrasted ones of other conductors. And I like Bohm and Giulini's Beethoven better than the rigidly taut Toscanini readings.

See ya
Steve
post #1475 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
Solti's Mahler makes me itch. It's just TOO hyper emotional and contrasty. It makes it difficult to listen to. I really like Tennstedt. He takes a more lyrical approach, while still understanding the underlying structure. I feel the same way about Bruckner. I like Bohm's beautiful readings better than the sharply contrasted ones of other conductors. And I like Bohm and Giulini's Beethoven better than the rigidly taut Toscanini readings.
See ya
Steve
I have a different take/taste and find several of Solti's Mahler works to be some of the best ever including 1,2,7,8. The majority of Mahler performances by many conductors seem to fall short by being too restrained and smoothed over for my tastes, especially recent modern performances despite great sound are often just soft pretty faces with no real edge or deep emotional conflict.......

Bunny
Good call, that Gatti 5th is very good but the conductor is an enigma with very little recorded work available.........hopefully we will hear more from this young titan since he is not afraid to unleash the power and fury of Mahler like conductors of times past.

MBHaub
I read in another thread where you have 6,000 CDs, you are sick sick man

Scott
I would pass on that new live Abbado/DG 2nd......overrated IMO even if better sound infuses a bit more life into things, the older 2nd with CSO from 1980's is better except I wish it would have closed out in a stronger fashion in finale which then would have earned a spot in my top 3-4 Mahler list since bulk of performance is very good.

On the other hand the Ancerl/Supraphon Gold 9th currently ranks as best 9th on my list, a perfect antidote to the slower smoothed over languid performances conductors seem to prefer today.....this completely blows them away with sharp dramatic contrasts and deep emotional undercurrents that completely elude all but the best........essential purchase in my book.
post #1476 of 3714
Bunny,

Sure throw another M5 out there, just when Barbirolli's is really starting to sink in as my favorite.

Also just got a Boulez Live M2 (Tree on Classical-Chat), will report in.

Scott
post #1477 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel

Bunny
Good call, that Gatti 5th is very good but the conductor is an enigma with very little recorded work available.........hopefully we will hear more from this young titan since he is not afraid to unleash the power and fury of Mahler like conductors of times past.
Are there any online retailers selling this M5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel

Scott
I would pass on that new live Abbado/DG 2nd......overrated IMO even if better sound infuses a bit more life into things, the older 2nd with CSO from 1980's is better except I wish it would have closed out in a stronger fashion in finale which then would have earned a spot in my top 3-4 Mahler list since bulk of performance is very good.

On the other hand the Ancerl/Supraphon Gold 9th currently ranks as best 9th on my list, a perfect antidote to the slower smoothed over languid performances conductors seem to prefer today.....this completely blows them away with sharp dramatic contrasts and deep emotional undercurrents that completely elude all but the best........essential purchase in my book.
The Ancerl is on my "to get" list, I wish i could now when it's on sale. But alas finances right now are a bit tight. As for the M2, I already own the CD, will probably keep it, doubt I'll get the DVD, just thought I'd pass on the info.

Scott
post #1478 of 3714
[QUOTE=DarkAngel]I have a different take/taste and find several of Solti's Mahler works to be some of the best ever including 1,2,7,8. The majority of Mahler performances by many conductors seem to fall short by being too restrained and smoothed over for my tastes, especially recent modern performances despite great sound are often just soft pretty faces with no real edge or deep emotional conflict.......


MBHaub
I read in another thread where you have 6,000 CDs, you are sick sick man

Sick? Nah, just impulsive...I like gadgets, so buying a cd player when they first came out 21 or so years ago was a no-brainer, even though at that time players were very expensive, and disks, which held maybe 45 minutes, cost close to $20. So 20 years of collecting, that works out to 300 a year, and that's not so bad. (tell my wife that.) Besides, some people collect baseball cards, stamps, Hummel figurines. I just collect cds.

As to Solti's Mahler: London 1, 2 great. Chicago 4, 5, 6, 8 brilliant. Chicago 3, 7, 9 low points. Solti doesn't have the patience for the slow adagios in 3 & 9, and totally misses the humor in 7 -- too heavy. His DLvDE is very good, but then has anyone made a bad recording of that awesome work? When he gets Mahler right, he's just great. Same problem with his Bruckner: he pushes too much for effect and doesn't let the music unfold slowly. Just my opinion.

I, too, have high hopes for Gatti: I caught him with the Royal Philhamonic last year in Tchaikovsky 5, and it was a real barnstorming thriller.
post #1479 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I decided to stop messing around and ordered the 1938 Walter/VPO 9th, at 73 minutes probably fastest performance recorded........compare this to several recent 88-90 minute 9ths which seems to be the "trend" now.
The 1938 Walter/VPO/EMI 9th is here........I made a mistake the correct total time is actually 69:50! I find this just amazing and wonder what is going on with all these newer 9ths slow timings, how could performance style change so much:

Chailly/London 89:56
Bernstein/RCO/DG 89:02 (superior early Sony version 79:51)
MTT/SFSO 89:27
Zander/Telarc 89:27
post #1480 of 3714
That particular performance was recorded live all the way through in one take. There might have been a little pressure on Walter to make it fit on the correct number of sides, each one 4 minutes in length. But they had two cutting lathes operating alternately with a second or two overlap, so they would have been able to run over if they needed to. I think the energy of the occasion was responsible for the speed. My transfer comes out at about 69:15, and I checked pitch side by side. If your copy comes out at 69:50, it has been transferred a tiny bit flat. The Vienna Philharmonic pitched to A-445 at that time. Many of their fixed pitch instruments were built to A-445 pitch. The person who did your transfer probably pitched to A-440.

I have information on this particular recording on my webpage...
http://www.vintageip.com/records/vipcl1005.html

See ya
Steve
post #1481 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Interesting background info Bigshot.......I am listening as I type and can't believe how good it sounds, I would have guessed an early 1950's era mono recording without knowing better, this is version I got:

post #1482 of 3714
The three releases I'm familiar with (EMI, Dutton and my own transfer) are perfect examples of the three different approaches to sound restoration. No approach is any more correct than any other... it's all a matter of what you prefer.

My transfer has sophisticated transient noise reduction and very little broadband filtering. This results in elimination of pops, clicks and crackle, but not the grain of the surfaces. My EQ is full ranged, with no rolloffs to eliminate surface noise. I don't use digital reverbs or compression. This results in a transfer that is very similar in sound to the original records, just without the clicks and pops 78s are subject to. The reverberation of the Musikverein comes across perfectly, and the balance of frequencies and dynamics are very natural, but there is more grain to the recording than the other approaches.

EMI's transfer adds more broadband noise reduction to the mix... which smooths out the sound considerably. It can sound very much like a modern recording, but the highest frequencies and texture of the strings and individual instruments are sacrificed. EMI also applies compression to make the overall sound an even dynamic level. You'll notice that there is more detail in the quiet passages and it is easier to listen to at a low volume level, because the dynamic range is narrower. But the compression, along with dynamic filtering tend to blunt the natural reverberation of the hall in the recording. Overall, the EMI transfer is a middle ground compromise, resulting in a recording that is relatively modern sounding and easy to listen to, but a bit muffled and compressed and lacking some of the texture and presence of the recording.

Dutton's transfer is a "sweetened" approach. He does extensive broadband filtering to completely smooth out the sound, then he corrects for the rolloffs this causes with equalization corrections weaving in and out through the orchestration. He also employs digital reverbs to create an synthesized stereo effect to replace the missing hall ambience of the recording, and gain riding to create dynamic effects that have been flattened out by the noise reduction. Overall, his transfer sounds the least like the original records and the most like a modern recording.

You can pick whatever approach you prefer. In general, the work of Mark Obert-Thorne and Ward Marston use the same approach I do, and the major labels use the more interventionist techniques. If you're interested I can go into greater detail about how I restore a recording like this one.

Hope this helps
Steve
post #1483 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Ha ha......you have done enough damage to me in one day, just checked out some used Naxos Historicals at Amazon and picked up Schnabel Beethoven Concertos 1-5 and Furtwangler Tchaikovsky 6th

I am listening to Bunny's beloved Gatti/Music Heritage 5th right now, as said before a compelling vibrant performance that is close to the top of any short list of Mahler 5ths.

I also listened to the Walter 9th twice and very deceptive because overall doesn't sound as fast as time would indicate, the Ancerl & Kondrashin for instance subjectively seem to be more propulsive and fast moving yet they are both about 5-10 minutes slower........at mid price on 1CD every Mahler collector should have this Walter 9th, not going to replace any 9th in my top 3-4 list but important point of reference.
post #1484 of 3714
Whatever you do, don't look at my transfer of Schnabel's Diabellis!

See ya
Steve
post #1485 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
My transfer comes out at about 69:15, and I checked pitch side by side. If your copy comes out at 69:50, it has been transferred a tiny bit flat. The Vienna Philharmonic pitched to A-445 at that time. Many of their fixed pitch instruments were built to A-445 pitch. The person who did your transfer probably pitched to A-440.

I have information on this particular recording on my webpage...
http://www.vintageip.com/records/vipcl1005.html

See ya
Steve
That is VERY interesting! I've only experienced this pitch issue once that I know of--with the famous Furtwangler Beethoven 9th that is smushed onto one LP!
One often hears about how pitch has drifted over the years. How is that determined--just by living memory of people with perfect pitch?
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