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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 115

post #1711 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
The Judd 9th rings a bell, but I've never heard it. Probably read about it somewhere. Sounds interesting. I've heard some mighty fine youth orchestras before..

Yea, as for Sinopoli, whatever the opposite of Objectivist is, that's his Mahler. Though I've used the term "metaphysical" to decscribe his 6th.. I'm going to have to pester an old friend about hearing this one again

Haven't seen him around these parts in a while...

-jar
I'm not too far away!! Egads, I've been up to my neck in directing a local production of "Noises Off." It opens tomorrow night, and I promise to come catch up with all the threads I've missed lately. I'm only reading the Mahler thread now because 1) It's mandatory, and 2) Even though I've only had 2 hours of sleep in the last two days, my brain is racing way too fast for me to fall asleep.

Okay, my take on Sinopoli. Jar nails it by describing Sinopoli as the opposite of a Gielen-style objectivity. Sinopoli tends to exaggerate tempo changes and play up the sense of psychological extremes in the music of Mahler. But the odd thing is, that same description could be used for Bernstein's Mahler, whereas Sinopoli is an utterly different creature. One feels the heat in Bernstein, where Sinopoli is several shades cooler. But yet Sinopoli's very personal and often eccentric visions are nothing like the brutal efficiency of Gielen or Boulez (or even Dohnanyi, for that matter). Perhaps the best descriptor is "deeply contemplative."

What with Dark Angel's recent enthusiasms for the febrile, forward-pushing Kondrashin recordings, I don't know how the wayward prospecting of Sinopoli will strike him. I have heard all the Sinopolis except 3, 4, and Das Lied, and here's my two cents:

Das Klagende Lied- My favorite recording of this, so far. More incisive than Chailly, which is probably a more well-known recording.
1- Lyrical, but really too melancholy to ever bloom freshly. Not surprisingly, the grimly ironic third movement goes best in Sinopoli's hands.
2- Wonderfully surging first movement, but too diffuse in later movements. Originally coupled with an excellent version of the Wayfarer songs by Brigitte Fassbaender, as well as some nice orchestrations of early Mahler songs (by Harold Byrns) featuring Bernd Weikl.
5- Sometimes a bit wayward but quite alive and spontaneous. I've heard many better-played, more securely conducted versions than this, but this one has life blood, which is far more important than mere polish. This was the first in Sinopoli's cycle, and I don't think he had the technical security as a conductor that he later developed, but his strong commitment ultimately carries the day. (Though I must confess I still prefer a sharper, more sarcastic finale.)
6- Broad and dark, one of the highlights of Sinopoli's cycle. I like this one more and more every time I hear it. Again, some of his transitions are a touch awkward, but this is a conductor with a real vision. I can't say in so many words what his vision was, but there is a strong sense of personal emotion here, although it is expressed stoically, not with heart-on-sleeve a la Bernstein. The slow movement is far slower here than in any other recording I've heard, but Sinopoli has the concentration to pull off such an "altered state". It makes it a completely different piece of music. There is a passage in the major just before the big collapse in the finale where the third hammer-blow was originally slated to be. Sinopoli brings a passionate, yearning quality to this passage which I've never heard from anyone else. Instead of overlooking this passage in the quest for the "big boom" at the end, Sinopoli plays it with such emotion, one can feel the tide of the symphony almost-- almost-- shift to triumph. Thus, when the collapse does come just moments later, it is unusually cruel and complete. Also note the depth of sound Sinopoli gets from having his players dig deep into the strings for a truly Mahlerian "klagende" ("wailing") tone.
7- Extreme tempo changes threaten to fragment this reading into something close to cubism, which means its pretty far away from the flowing, organic approach to Mahler. Startlingly effective in places, though.
8- Perhaps Sinopoli's most straight-forward Mahler. There is an emphasis on lyricism, though the bombast isn't short-changed, either.
9- Emphasis on the uncomfortable, visionary aspects of this piece. Cerebral in comparison to a Barbirolli or Ancerl, but quite arrestingly so.
10 (Adagio only)- Very slow and otherworldly. This recording so powerfully and thoroughly enters an "altered state" of mind that you'll either hate it, or else become convinced that every other conductor underestimates the frightening vistas of this music. Sinopoli makes it sound like secrets uttered from beyond the grave. It doesn't so much erupt in a passionate outburst at the height of the movement as it finds a bone-crushing gravity to form a whole new world.

Sinopoli's cycle is destined to always be slammed by literalists, but open-minded Mahlerites will find much strange and fascinating food for thought on those peculiar, often visionary discs.

Mark
post #1712 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
You are correct!

Btw, someone at another forum cited a Judd recording with the E.C. Youth Orchestra of Mahler's 9th (Regis) as worthy of a budget list of Mahler. Having never heard of such a recording, I wonder if you know anything about it?
I've got it. It's good-- very committed. I'll have to go back and review it at some point, but I remember it as being unexpectedly competitive with the finest versions. I hope to hear more of Judd in the future. I can't imagine what the Florida Philharmonic was thinking when they got rid of him-- Oh well, I guess they paid the price. They're gone now.
post #1713 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Okay, my take on Sinopoli. Jar nails it by describing Sinopoli as the opposite of a Gielen-style objectivity. Sinopoli tends to exaggerate tempo changes and play up the sense of psychological extremes in the music of Mahler. But the odd thing is, that same description could be used for Bernstein's Mahler, whereas Sinopoli is an utterly different creature. One feels the heat in Bernstein, where Sinopoli is several shades cooler. But yet Sinopoli's very personal and often eccentric visions are nothing like the brutal efficiency of Gielen or Boulez (or even Dohnanyi, for that matter). Perhaps the best descriptor is "deeply contemplative."

What with Dark Angel's recent enthusiasms for the febrile, forward-pushing Kondrashin recordings, I don't know how the wayward prospecting of Sinopoli will strike him. I have heard all the Sinopolis except 3, 4, and Das Lied, and here's my two cents:

5- Sometimes a bit wayward but quite alive and spontaneous. I've heard many better-played, more securely conducted versions than this, but this one has life blood, which is far more important than mere polish. This was the first in Sinopoli's cycle, and I don't think he had the technical security as a conductor that he later developed, but his strong commitment ultimately carries the day. (Though I must confess I still prefer a sharper, more sarcastic finale.)

Sinopoli's cycle is destined to always be slammed by literalists, but open-minded Mahlerites will find much strange and fascinating food for thought on those peculiar, often visionary discs.

Mark
Thanks for detailed impressions........I suspect I will like the Sinopoli set, quite sure I will like it better than DH at classics today. I do have the Sinopoli 2CD M1,5 set and think that 5th is one of the best around.....must be the life blood.
post #1714 of 3714
Since I will likely be seeing Benard Haitink with the BSO performing Mahler's 6th, I recently recieved a copy of Haitink with the Orchetre National De France doing the 6th, just to get a bit of feel for how it's handled. I'm looking forward to it (a chance to hear Mahler performed live).
post #1715 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
I've got it. It's good-- very committed. I'll have to go back and review it at some point, but I remember it as being unexpectedly competitive with the finest versions. I hope to hear more of Judd in the future. I can't imagine what the Florida Philharmonic was thinking when they got rid of him-- Oh well, I guess they paid the price. They're gone now.
I believe Judd is down under in New Zealand now (or some such place). He has a number of recordings with a NZ orchestra available at amazon uk where you can also pick up the 9th I mentioned. It should make an excellent companion for the Barshai M5 which is also a student orchestra.

Perhaps student musicians are temperamentally suited for Mahler. They are getting their baptism in fire with the works and when led well seem to give total commitment which is not always the case with veteran orchestras. For whatever reason, I really love the Barshai M5 and it stands up very favorably with the Bernstein 5 (DG) and the Gielen and the Gatti (which has become one of my very favorites). Now I'm ordering the Judd M9.
post #1716 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottder
Since I will likely be seeing Benard Haitink with the BSO performing Mahler's 6th, I recently recieved a copy of Haitink with the Orchetre National De France doing the 6th, just to get a bit of feel for how it's handled. I'm looking forward to it (a chance to hear Mahler performed live).
I can't believe I've got tickets to hear Rattle with the BPO doing the M4 in about 2 weeks time! Hopefully Rattle will not be feeling too eccentric and it will be a safe performance. Has anyone noticed D Hurwitz's total panning for Rattle's new Schubert 9th release? Here is it's first sentence: "This is a disgusting performance." Words to strike fear in my heart!

Hopefully it's an example of DH's extreme bias against Rattle and not totally on the mark. Well, I adore reading DH when he is in this mode whether the review is fair or not as it really enlivens my breakfast. As soon as I saw it I thought "Let the games begin!" I'm sure that the comment is sending the fur flying in the music world.
post #1717 of 3714
Bunny,

I hope the performance goes well. As you said, Rattle can either be GREAT at Mahler, very very odd...and not in the good way.

Not sure what to expect from Haitink either.
post #1718 of 3714
Hi Scott,

I don't think Haitinck is as much a problem. At his worst he will merely put you to sleep, not cause you to grind your teeth and want to leave mid performance. I only hope this is close to the Gramophone review of the recording of the Symphony in quality or close to the Classicstoday review of his 5th. If he's in an eccentric frame of mind then all bets are off! Anyway it's the shortest Mahler so if I'm suffering it won't be that much time.
post #1719 of 3714
I tend to be a lot more forgiving in a live performance, but that may be because I have been to relatively few.
post #1720 of 3714
Unless the performance is a complete disaster or one is a professional critic, everyone is more forgiving at a live performance.
post #1721 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Unless the performance is a complete disaster or one is a professional critic, everyone is more forgiving at a live performance.
Agreed, it's hard to argue with the total experience (save the seats at Symphony Hall being very uncomfortable, especially for a guy who is 6'5" tall).

Scott
post #1722 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottder
Agreed, it's hard to argue with the total experience (save the seats at Symphony Hall being very uncomfortable, especially for a guy who is 6'5" tall).

Scott
Try balancing on the the cocktail stools they give you in the first tier of Carnegie Hall. If only the music didn't sound so divine from that vantage. There is far from enough legroom there as well, and I'm 5'9½" with all my height in my legs!
post #1723 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Try balancing on the the cocktail stools they give you in the first tier of Carnegie Hall. If only the music didn't sound so divine from that vantage. There is far from enough legroom there as well, and I'm 5'9½" with all my height in my legs!
Yikes, sounds just as miserable, hopefully for the M6 we'll be able to get 2nd Balcony center this time.

Scott
post #1724 of 3714
Good Luck! Seats are such a crapshoot even when you buy a subscription.
post #1725 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Good Luck! Seats are such a crapshoot even when you buy a subscription.
I listened to the Haitink Mahler 6th I mentioned earlier and it was actually quite good, not earth shattering, but great sound and solid performance.

Scott
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