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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 106

post #1576 of 3714
Originally Posted by myhui
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?
Probably the best sounding 9th's are the recently released MTT SACD/hybrid with the SFSO and the Riccardo Chailly SACD/hybrid with the Royal Concertgebouw orchestra. For interpretation and performance I lean more to the Chailly as I find the MTT a bit smooth and shiny for my taste.

Much of Zander's Mahler has been made available in dvd-a or SACD/hybrid, so perhaps the 9th will be remastered as well. It is a really great interpretation and is one of my favorites as well.
post #1577 of 3714
You should try the Ancerl 9th - a budget release and fascinating interpretation, in great sound.


The best thing about Mahler is, of course, that there's room for multiple interpretations. It's never an either/or decision - Get em all!!!

I've not heard the Slatkin 2nd. Maybe I will follow my own advice and pick it up!
post #1578 of 3714

I considered recommending the Ancerl, but he wanted something with the sound quality of the recently remastered Slatkin M2, and certainly the sonic quality of the Supraphon recording comes nowhere near that although the performance is currently my top fave.
post #1579 of 3714
Originally Posted by iDesign
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.

I finally received the MTT Mahler 7th and started spinning it. I liked what I heard, but I have to note that the last 3 movements are much better than the first 2 movements (again 2nd movement is a bit better than the 1st), or should I say that I found them more satisfying personally? After listening to the MTT for a few days, I put on my old Kubelik DG recording (unfortunately not in SACD ) and was immediately struck by the amazingly "sleazy" timbre of the brass in the opening movement. It's as if Kubelik found a quality that MTT is incapable of recognizing! Kubelik also had a much better idea of the grander architecture than MTT. I must sadly say that once again MTT has smoothed out the bitter edge of Mahler with incredibly beautiful symphonic sound. Without doubt the SFSO has never been in better sound, but I'm not sure that this is the only thing Mahler would have demanded from his orchestra. Comparing the SFSO recording to the earlier MTT recording, I found that the architecture of the earlier movements is better sketched out in his earlier recording and that the later one seems more amorphous in the way it develops. The last two movements of the new recording are wonderful and definitely need to be heard by anyone who collects multiple Mahlers. It is not a reference Mahler for me, anyway.

Edit: If given the opportunity to go to a concert of Mahler with MTT and SFSO I would unhestitatingly buy the tickets! This is because there is a curious dynamic in a live performance that you don't get in a recording. You don't have the chance to play and replay sections and analyze what is happening but are forced to "live in the moment." Also, what appears without structure in a particular recording merely reflects the orchestra's point of development in their performance of a work. When I heard the SFSO concert last spring, this symphony was already "in the can," and for me the performance resembled his earlier recording (which I was familiar with) especially with respect to the grasp of the greater structure of the work.
post #1580 of 3714

Thank you for sharing your impressions on the MTT Mahler: Symphony No. 7. Your impressions are quite similar to my own. In fact the same comments could describe my impressions of MTT Mahler: Symphony No. 9. As I continue to spend more time with the recording, I am finding that I am growing more fond of it and the same may prove true for yourself. I recently attended the MTT/ SFSO Mahler No. 5 performance and absolutely agree with you about how special a live performance can be.

post #1581 of 3714

Thoughts on the MTT SFO Set

I have the entire set now (except of course 5 and 8 which have not been released yet). Generally I really like them, with one major exception below. Here are a few observations:


The sound quality is somewhat variable between offerings - surprising since they were recorded in the same venue. In general the sonics are very good (except 2), but you will find that they are a bit quiet - you'll need to crank up the volume. Dynamics are great. There is definitely a "house sound" that takes a little getting used to, it is most evident on 4. Another peculiarity: In each case the clock ticks for about ten seconds before the piece actually begins.

As for the performances, these are refined, smooth interpretations. For some they are a bit too sedate, but I generally think they are good introductions to Mahler, and make a nice set.

1. Along with 6 and 7, probably the best of the series.
2. A real dud, a bland interpretation with substandard sound quality. I honestly don't know what happened here.
3. A good "long-line" approach - generally satisfying.
4. Extremely smooth and refined interpretation; somewhat bright sound which becomes acceptable once one gets used to it.
6. Probably the single best of the set, was famous when released since it was recorded the day after 9/11. The only one of the series that is among the best available recorded interpretations IMO.
7. I like this 7; not everyone feels the same way. Probably the best last movement interpretation of 7 I have heard.
9. Some think it too reserved, I reallly like it as a 9 for a "certain mood", more reflective than most.

YMMV of course.
post #1582 of 3714

Abbado M6

Originally Posted by DarkAngel
all the jagged edges smoothed over replaced with smooth shiny "telarc" like production including the huge bombastic overblown climaxes in an attempt to generate some superficial excitement from an otherwise lackluster 6th,
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Although the Abbado is highly lauded, I find that the sound quality is very peculiar and it inteferes with my enjoyment.
leaving aside artistic comments (I disagree with DarkAngel harsh judgement but I am no Mahler expert) I found the sound quality of this recording almost beyond reproach (perhaps a tad too close miked but that's recent DG style). To my ears "the overblown climaxes" are a manifestation of an impressive dynamic range. The old Karajan/BPO (emotional as it is) sounds muffled in comparison. I have been listening to it with both my rigs (tubey-gooey and ss analytic) and I find the sound quality very natural and pleasant. Strange...
post #1583 of 3714
Originally Posted by calaf
I found the sound quality of this recording almost beyond reproach (perhaps a tad too close miked but that's recent DG style).
I'm beginning to think that I have a dud! I assure you that the sound on my Abbado M6 is so muffled and distant and when I bump up the volume it sounds distorted. I've gotten "duds" before (infrequently), so I know that there's many a slip in the production process.
post #1584 of 3714
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I'm beginning to think that I have a dud! I assure you that the sound on my Abbado M6 is so muffled and distant and when I bump up the volume it sounds distorted.
I just cranked up the volume of my amp to a level I couldn't bear for more than a couple of minutes and I heard no distortion whatsoever, only the occasional creaking of a chair or coughing from the audience. Perhaps you did get a bad copy, I had that experience with Kleiber Traviata...
post #1585 of 3714
What's the impressions for the Chially Mahler recordings? I have a chance to pick up all of them for $33 and wanted to see if it was worth my time.
post #1586 of 3714

If you are referring to the 12 disc London/ Decca Chailly set I would not hesitate to purchase it at the price you have indicated! If you do not already own the Mahler: Symphony no. 9 Riccardo Chailly/ Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra SACD disc I highly recommend it as a starting point.

post #1587 of 3714
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I'm beginning to think that I have a dud!
Maybe that's what happened to my MTT M2 recording. Honestly it's the worst sound quality I've heard on a modern release - SACD, no less. It's an anomaly in the set as far as sonics are concerned.
post #1588 of 3714
Wow, I have a friend with the MTT M2 and the sound is really excellent. Hopefully you haven't had it too long and can exchange it. Unfortunately I got my Abbado God knows Where or When.
post #1589 of 3714
Originally Posted by Tyson
What's the impressions for the Chially Mahler recordings? I have a chance to pick up all of them for $33 and wanted to see if it was worth my time.
$33! Get it. His 2 & 8 weren't so hot (too spiritual??), but the rest are very good to excellent. Great price. Do it.
post #1590 of 3714

$33? That is a no brainer. I wish I knew where you found it for that price!
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