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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 105

post #1561 of 3714
Last spring (Mar.) I went to the MTT SFSO performance of the M7 at Carnegie Hall and it was terrific. It was much like his earlier recording with the London SO recorded on RCA, so hopefully his new recording will be great. Unfortunately, I have found that frequently live performances are far better than recordings made by the same performers. One can compare Kubelik's DG recordings with his Audite recordings of Mahler to see just how much more exciting the live performances are! So far reviews of MTT's M7 have been tepid at best, so if anyone has taken the plunge and bought the recording, please post and let us know how it is.
post #1562 of 3714
Bunnyears,

In regards to Michael Tilson Thomas/ SFSO October 2005 release of Mahlers symphony No. 7, I also recently purchased it. My early impressions leave me somewhat indifferent about this recording. The first two movements are not as successful as the last there and are not typical of MTT's compositional logic. The last three movements are quite good and reflect the fine playing of the SFO. The Finale is also very well done and terrific in multichannel format. The updated recording is not wildly different than the earlier MTT/ LSO version and I still prefer Bernstein and Abbado in the seventh. Overall the recording is good and certainly worth purchasing.


Best,
iDesign.
post #1563 of 3714
iDesign,

Thanks for the word. Kubelik, Bernstein, MTT (LSO) and Kondrashin are pretty much my favorite M7s but I was really hoping for a socko MTT M7 after hearing it live. What I have noticed is that MTT's timing on the newer recording is faster than his older one, enabling it to fit on one cd. I don't really know whether this benefits it or hurts it, but I'll probably pick it up when the price comes down a bit.

I had a similar "underwhelmed" reaction when I heard his M9: although it was good it just didn't have the emotional punch that I look for in that symphony.
post #1564 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I had a similar "underwhelmed" reaction when I heard his M9: although it was good it just didn't have the emotional punch that I look for in that symphony.

In regards to the Mahler: Symphony No. 9 Michael Tilson Thomas/SFSO recording, I also share this view. After spending more time with the recording I am finding that it lacks that emotional tension typical of Mahler's style. I suspect that this is more of a function of MTTs version being some nine to ten minutes longer than most Mahler No. 9 symphony recordings. The playing and sound quality are very good but for me, it does not displace the Riccardo Chailly version. Curiously, which of Mahler's symphonies do you prefer?

Best,
iDesign
post #1565 of 3714
That's odd, usually it's the shorter length Mahler recordings that get slammed for being uninvolved and unemotional -- like Solti's 9th. Maybe MTT drags it out too long -- I'll have to hear this. For M9, Karajan and Barbirolli remain tops here.
post #1566 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDesign
In regards to the Mahler: Symphony No. 9 Michael Tilson Thomas/SFSO recording, I also share this view. After spending more time with the recording I am finding that it lacks that emotional tension typical of Mahler's style. I suspect that this is more of a function of MTTs version being some nine to ten minutes longer than most Mahler No. 9 symphony recordings. The playing and sound quality are very good but for me, it does not displace the Riccardo Chailly version. Curiously, which of Mahler's symphonies do you prefer?

Best,
iDesign
For Mahler, I guess I love all of the symphonies, but I go through periods where I listen to one more than the others. Most recently, I had been listening to the 6th and the 9th with Ancerl's 9th being the one I listened to most. For the 6th, I have had a lot of trouble finding the one that best suits me. Although the Abbado is highly lauded, I find that the sound quality is very peculiar and it inteferes with my enjoyment. Similarly, although the Mitropoulos is excellent, the monophonic sound just misses. I would really love to hear the Michael Gielen. The closest match to my idiosyncratic tastes is probably the Levi/Atlanta SO which is probably not a favorite of most. Despite liberties that Levi is supposed to have taken with the score, I still find that it's tension and its almost hysterically frenzied build up really came close to matching the emotion and intensity I crave from it. Zander's M6 also is a favorite, especially as it is in multichannel format. I also have MTT's M6 and although it is probably the best Mahler he has yet produced, it still has that California gloss that everything the SFSO seems to do has since he has stood on the podium.

The more I listen to Mahler, the more I find. I'm still looking for an M7 to supplant the Kubelik (Audite and DG). I may yet give in and buy the Gielen set. His M7 is supposed to be one of the very best. Ofcourse, I always love whatever Bernstein did with Mahler, but Bernstein and Mahler were a very special and rare combination -- as much about Bernstein as about Mahler.
post #1567 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I'm still looking for an M7 to supplant the Kubelik (Audite and DG).
Bunny - I've only listened to it once, but I really like what I've heard so far of the MTT M7 (bought at CD Universe on sale). Very melodic, and "storytelling" in approach. Probably the best final movement of M7 I've heard. I remember how much you liked his live interpretation...Have you heard the new SACD? Anyone else?
post #1568 of 3714
Doc,

I loved the performance that I heard last spring (mar. I think) but I've found that there are so many differences between the way an orchestra and conductor perform a work from venue to venue that liking the live performance is really no guarantee that you will also like the recording. My perfect example is the Andsnes Bostridge Winterreise. In performance in NY last year they performed it one way and their recording is substantially different from the way it was performed, especially the ending and nowhere near as excellent. Although I love MTT's M6 recorded just after 9/11, I had problems with his recent M9 which I found too smooth and serene, and although I love his earlier recording of the M7 with the London SO I've heard from friends that the newer recording isn't as good. So, I'm really waiting on this one, especially as the price is very high. Ofcourse, if Tower had it really cheaply for a day or so, I know that I would jump in and buy it.
post #1569 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
So, I'm really waiting on this one, especially as the price is very high. Ofcourse, if Tower had it really cheaply for a day or so, I know that I would jump in and buy it.
Bunnyears,
I think that day came sooner than you expected.
http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=3324053

Best,
iDesign

Note: At time of posting the price is 25% off the original price.
post #1570 of 3714
Well, you may be right! I also have a coupon for another 10% off on any purchase until 12/31! It has become very tempting.
post #1571 of 3714
I've now had a few more opportunities to listen to the MTT SFS M7, and I will say again: I think that, along with 6, it might be one of the highlights of his set so far. It's an unconventional interpretation, with the first movement taken at a slower-than-normal pace (at least it seems that way, I haven't compared the timings), the middle movements characterized by a long-line "storytelling" approach, and the finale taken more seriously (as "grand" music) than any version I've heard. All in all the thing works well for me - but I've liked most of the other MTTs in this series (although the series' sound - while excellent - takes some getting used to, especially in the strings).
post #1572 of 3714
Doc,

I've got the 7th ordered now, but comparison of the recording times show that this recording is actually faster than his earlier recording. As I said before, I loved his performance last March, but that's not a reliable gage for the merits of the new recording which has garnered some very mixed reviews.

Time will tell as to whether it supersedes the Kubelik and Bernstein in my affections.
post #1573 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Doc,

I've got the 7th ordered now, but comparison of the recording times show that this recording is actually faster than his earlier recording. As I said before, I loved his performance last March, but that's not a reliable gage for the merits of the new recording which has garnered some very mixed reviews.

Time will tell as to whether it supersedes the Kubelik and Bernstein in my affections.

I am anxious to hear your impressions on this recording. As both you and Doc Sarvis noted in your posts, there is a tendency to perceive the first interpretations that we hear as "the way" and upon hearing subsequent interpretations it takes more acclimation with a work to percieve it as another "way". Perhaps this may have something to do with why I have been sluggish to grasp MTTs updated 7th.

Best,
iDesign
post #1574 of 3714
I've read this past week's postings, and have a question about Mahler's 9th symphony that I hope someone will post an opinion on.

I am looking for a recording of the 9th symphony that has similar qualities to Leonard Slatkin's recording of the 2nd symphony with the Saint Louis S.O.

That recording is just superb, both in its musicianship and sonic qualities. It is especially impressive that an old 48KHz recording back in 1983 sounds so magnificent when it is remastered in SACD format. Maybe only Jack Renner can record it like that, and no one since then can do it that well?

I have listened to Benjamin Zander's recording of the 9th symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra many times, in CD format only, and I just find the sonic qualities sub-standard and the performance too analytical.
post #1575 of 3714
I don't know what to make of your request: I was never that thrilled with Slatkin's 2nd. He is not a natural Mahlerian. Yes, all the notes are in the right place, it's well played and sung, but it's missing that elusive something that puts fine Mahler performances over the top. I haven't heard the SACD of that recording.

But, if you want a fine performance in excellent sound, there's no shortage of 9ths to fill the bill. Chailly on London, or Lopez-Cobos on Telarc should do nicely. For the most riveting performance it's hard to beat Karajan on DG, although the sound (in the Philharmonie) is not as good as the other two.
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