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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 110

post #1636 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
EMI plans to release the complete Bertini Mahler cycle in a "budget" box set on Jan. 10, 2006. Anyone know anything about Bertini's recordings?

I only know the 8th from this set, and of all the recordings I have of this symphony, (Chailly, Nagano, Bernstein [Sony and DG DVD], Solti, Stokowski) Bertini's ranks darn near the top. I must say it is a towering achievement, and while I haven't heard the other recordings in the box set, I'm sure the 8th is the best, or one of the best. Everything sounds absolutely right when listening to it; Bertini has some wonderfully judged tempos. The playing is also wonderful, special mention to the horn section, they are very powerful with a large, heroic tone. The vocal soloists are first rate as well, something that somewhat detracts from the otherwise spectacular Nagano recording.

I don't think anyone has nailed the closing pages of this symphony better than Bertini (Nagano comes close). It is slow, grand, and overwhelming in its power. I love it, and you can tell everyone is having a field day with it. The brass are going nuts, the organ is great, everything sounds wonderful. If you like your Mahler 8 ending in the spirit of Bernstein, then this perhaps isn't the ending for you, but I encourage you to hear it anyway. I, however, think Bernstein always rushed to the end of this symphony; though his ending on the DG DVD (which BTW is spectacular and should be seen and heard by everyone) is not so rushed like his Sony performance.

All in all, a spectacular recording of the Eighth. I hadn't listened to it in a while, this thread got it back in my CD player.
post #1637 of 3714
I've also heard that the Bertini M4 is a standout.
post #1638 of 3714
Thread Starter 
I don't think Bertini is my style of Mahler after reading this review of M2,M9:
http://home.wanadoo.nl/jdpt/reviews/..._9_bertini.htm
post #1639 of 3714
Thread Starter 
I don't think Bertini is my style of Mahler after reading this review of M2,M9:
http://home.wanadoo.nl/jdpt/reviews/..._9_bertini.htm

Also why have I never heard of this guy?
post #1640 of 3714
It also comes with DLVDE, which is supposed to be excellent too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I don't think Bertini is my style of Mahler after reading this review of M2,M9:
I never know what I'm going to like or dislike from reading critics anymore. I've heard enough about the Bertini to be curious, thus I took the plunge.

Btw, I saw that review, but t'is the season to be profligate...
post #1641 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I don't think Bertini is my style of Mahler after reading this review of M2,M9:
http://home.wanadoo.nl/jdpt/reviews/..._9_bertini.htm

Also why have I never heard of this guy?
Bertini wasn't one of the world-traveling superstar conductors that the major labels glom on to and market. From what I've read and heard, he was very consistent, committed and a wonderful musician.

As for Gramophone, they didn't even report on Bertini's recent death. That was a big shame for them to ignore that, if they are supposed to be some big musical authority. Plenty of other sources knew of Bertini's death almost immediately, so them not knowing just doesn't seem like an option.

I haven't heard Bertini's M2 or M9, so I can't comment on the reviews. But, from what other reviews I've read, the judgment of the M2 in the review seems to be a little harsh. Also, I've read nothing bad about the sound in the new box set.
post #1642 of 3714

mahler's 4th and 8th

I am very grateful to hear opinions on Mahler's recordings, especially because it seems that there is nobody who managed to nail all of them, some like Klemperer did even bother to try 5th and some other. When posting opinion it would be really nice to mention how big was the sample. For example I heard 20+ different 4ths and only maybe 3 10ths, so no matter how much I like particular version of 10th I am not sure that my opinion about it carries much weight.

Regarding 4th, if anybody wants to know about my humble opinion here it is: I never heard 4th before but I knew it is his most popular work. I decided to create as perfect testing conditions possible so I borrowed about 20 different versions of it filled my cd charger randomly, turned off my phone and spend a day doing nothing but listening them. My blind testing produced clear winners, but for the sake of fairness they clearly have to be separated in two categories: "historical" i.e. great performances with some audio issues and "modern" ones. Among historical ones each movement has clear winner: 1st: Klemperer+Philadelphia, 2nd: Rainer+Chicago, 3rd: Szell+Cleveland, 4th: Gielen+SWF. I do not believe that so far I surprised anybody.

Among modern ones two versions in my opinion stand head and shoulders above others: Von Dohnany+Cleveland and Levi+Atlanta. They are quite different, Dohnany plays it very aggressive, Levi's version is smooth as silk. Maybe good way to describe the difference would be: Dohnany makes it sound bit like Beethoven, Levi like Mozart. From what I gather it seems that Levi's approach is more in sync with Mahler's original vision, but if I have to chose I would probably pick Dohnany's as the ultimate one, primarily because of Dawn Upshaw and her wonderful singing. Levi uses Frederica von Stade, who is great singer but her current range is too low and dramatic, not appropriate for something that should resemble singing of wide-eyed child. I suspect she got the part because she has the name, and her husband is CEO or something like that of the record company.


Now I am trying to figure out 8th, and it is quite hard to do it, the sheer volume of it overwhelming...I heard that Chally and Rattle have very good new versions of it. Any suggestions?
post #1643 of 3714
Try the Kubelik (Audite is a live performance, DG recorded in studio) and Solti (Decca Legendary Performances) which are historic performances. For modern performance, try Nagano in SACD/hybrid (Harmonia Mundi). I don't know the Chailly, but I do know the Rattle, and it is no where near as impressive as the Solti.

Also, I have the Levi Mahler 4 and I agree that it is a masterful performance. The Reiner is also one of my favorites as is the Szell. Now I suppose I'll have to at least listen to the Dohnányi, or more likely buy it.
post #1644 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by zen
I am very grateful to hear opinions on Mahler's recordings, especially because it seems that there is nobody who managed to nail all of them, some like Klemperer did even bother to try 5th and some other. When posting opinion it would be really nice to mention how big was the sample. For example I heard 20+ different 4ths and only maybe 3 10ths, so no matter how much I like particular version of 10th I am not sure that my opinion about it carries much weight.

Regarding 4th, if anybody wants to know about my humble opinion here it is: I never heard 4th before but I knew it is his most popular work. I decided to create as perfect testing conditions possible so I borrowed about 20 different versions of it filled my cd charger randomly, turned off my phone and spend a day doing nothing but listening them. My blind testing produced clear winners, but for the sake of fairness they clearly have to be separated in two categories: "historical" i.e. great performances with some audio issues and "modern" ones. Among historical ones each movement has clear winner: 1st: Klemperer+Philadelphia, 2nd: Rainer+Chicago, 3rd: Szell+Cleveland, 4th: Gielen+SWF. I do not believe that so far I surprised anybody.

Among modern ones two versions in my opinion stand head and shoulders above others: Von Dohnany+Cleveland and Levi+Atlanta. They are quite different, Dohnany plays it very aggressive, Levi's version is smooth as silk. Maybe good way to describe the difference would be: Dohnany makes it sound bit like Beethoven, Levi like Mozart. From what I gather it seems that Levi's approach is more in sync with Mahler's original vision, but if I have to chose I would probably pick Dohnany's as the ultimate one, primarily because of Dawn Upshaw and her wonderful singing. Levi uses Frederica von Stade, who is great singer but her current range is too low and dramatic, not appropriate for something that should resemble singing of wide-eyed child. I suspect she got the part because she has the name, and her husband is CEO or something like that of the record company.


Now I am trying to figure out 8th, and it is quite hard to do it, the sheer volume of it overwhelming...I heard that Chally and Rattle have very good new versions of it. Any suggestions?
Great post - and it looks like your first??? Welcome!

Regarding the 8th, some do not hold it in as high esteem as the rest of the Mahler canon - maybe because it doesn't have as much "angst" - it's all about the spectacle. I happen to love it.

Some highlights: I'm a shameless shill for Abravanel as others will attest ; in truth he has (IMO) two outstanding Mahler recordings: 4 and 8. Time was, his was the standard interpretation of 8 - but that was a long time ago. In any event he's a historical 8 worth checking out. Also on the historical front, you should check out the Solti/CSO 8 - mammoth and epic, to say the least, with incredible CSO brass in full force. I also really like the Kubelik/Audite (available on SACD!).

I'll let others chime in from there...
post #1645 of 3714
Levine M7: Wow! I just heard this again after it had sat on my shelf for a long time. Maybe its my own growth as a Mahler listener, but it's MUCH better than I remembered. I liked it before, but now I LOVE it. That brass - amazing. I might need to check out more Levine Mahler.
post #1646 of 3714
Doc,

I have found that Levine's Mahler has a very lush feel and the vocals are always very well done. I have his M4 and it is one of the best (among so many best M4s). Masonjar loves his M5 and I have a friend who swears by his M9. I have it but haven't listened in a long time.
post #1647 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Doc,

I have found that Levine's Mahler has a very lush feel and the vocals are always very well done. I have his M4 and it is one of the best (among so many best M4s). Masonjar loves his M5 and I have a friend who swears by his M9. I have it but haven't listened in a long time.
Does anyone know if a complete Levine Mahler set has been packaged ?
post #1648 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Does anyone know if a complete Levine Mahler set has been packaged ?
I have yet to see a complete Levine set.
post #1649 of 3714
wow, im a newbie when it comes to mahler. Went to best buy yesterday and grabbed the dvd-a of mahler's symphony number 1 "titan" and popped it straight in my dvd-a player and my face just lit up. What a great composer! I like how the first two movements are slow and drifting and lead into a climatic last movement. I just close my eyes and let the music take me where its playing. Wow
post #1650 of 3714
aznsensazian,

Welcome to the club!

Which dvd-a was it, the Naxos musical journey? I've seen that but there are no details as to conductor or orchestra.
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