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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 118

post #1756 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
behlod? I think you mear hrea.
I dunno, I see bold colors when Klieber does it. Is that wrong?
post #1757 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
Well, there are some of us who aren't all that keen on deeply emotional readings of Mahler. Abbado's 6th is one of my favorites, up there with the Boulez.
My problem with the new Abbado M6 is that somehow he miraculously sucks the life out of it: it has no drive, energy, or excitement. The opening march is lifeless and not the least bit menacing. The middle two movements are in the "wrong" order (now there's a discussion!), and the andante especially seems devoid of tenderness and the nostalgic quality that makes it so memorable. Abbado does better in the finale, but it's too little, too late I'm afraid.
Too bad, really. His DG/Chicago recording from 1980 was much better, and so was the sound.
post #1758 of 3714
Mb,

If you think the Abbado is lifeless, you should hear the Gielen! Talk about lifeless and plodding! Gielen managed to make it boring rather than menacing. Hurwitz gave it a 9/9 because he felt that the Andante and last movement were really great, but they are only great compared to the first two movements. The Bertini is also taken slower and colder than I would have liked but it is so much better. In fact I think the Bertini set really beats the Gielen overall -- and at half the price.
post #1759 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottder
I dunno, I see bold colors when Klieber does it. Is that wrong?
Are you a synesthete? I would love to meet someone who is actually one. Sometimes I think I taste sounds, but I doubt I am one.
post #1760 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Mb,
If you think the Abbado is lifeless, you should hear the Gielen! Talk about lifeless and plodding! Gielen managed to make it boring rather than menacing. Hurwitz gave it a 9/9 because he felt that the Andante and last movement were really great, but they are only great compared to the first two movements. The Bertini is also taken slower and colder than I would have liked but it is so much better. In fact I think the Bertini set really beats the Gielen overall -- and at half the price.
The Gielen M2 as I previously reported is a similar lackluster affair and should be avoided despite the 10/10 (kiss of death) from classics today. The Gielen M7 is a bit better but nowhere near as good as his M1 and does not compete with any top 5 M7 in my listing above, so I have had enough Gielen and will probably sell the M2 and M7 I have.

The Kubelik/DG M2 and M4 have been a pleasant positive surprise from complete set with great analog sound from late 1960s early 1970s that is much better than Gielen/Hanssler new DDD sound. Both the M2 and M4 performances are so good they just miss making the top 5 list.....but very close and easily preferable in general to Gielen/Hanssler. Several of the Kubelik/Audite performances have made my top five so taken as a whole I would have to rank Kubelik right behind Bernstein and Kondrashin as one of the greatest Mahler conductors.......waiting to Sinopoli set to arrive.
post #1761 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
My problem with the new Abbado M6 is that somehow he miraculously sucks the life out of it: it has no drive, energy, or excitement. The opening march is lifeless and not the least bit menacing. The middle two movements are in the "wrong" order (now there's a discussion!), and the andante especially seems devoid of tenderness and the nostalgic quality that makes it so memorable. Abbado does better in the finale, but it's too little, too late I'm afraid.
Too bad, really. His DG/Chicago recording from 1980 was much better, and so was the sound.
I could "almost" say the same for the new Abbado/BPO/DG M7 compared to his older vibrant Abbado/CSO/DG M7 sold as budget price 1CD.......but I think he fared a bit better in the new M7 compared to new M6. Still the old CSO M7 is easy top choice for Abbado fans wanting only 1 M7.
post #1762 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
The Gielen M2 as I previously reported is a similar lackluster affair and should be avoided despite the 10/10 (kiss of death) from classics today. The Gielen M7 is a bit better but nowhere near as good as his M1 and does not compete with any top 5 M7 in my listing above, so I have had enough Gielen and will probably sell the M2 and M7 I have.

The Kubelik/DG M2 and M4 have been a pleasant positive surprise from complete set with great analog sound from late 1960s early 1970s that is much better than Gielen/Hanssler new DDD sound. Both the M2 and M4 performances are so good they just miss making the top 5 list.....but very close and easily preferable in general to Gielen/Hanssler. Several of the Kubelik/Audite performances have made my top five so taken as a whole I would have to rank Kubelik right behind Bernstein and Kondrashin as one of the greatest Mahler conductors.......waiting to Sinopoli set to arrive.
General consensus that I have heard and read is that Gielen's M2 is not the best but that the M3 is excellent. I haven't listened to the M3 yet but will let you know how I find it when I do. Am listening instead to Szell M6 which is filled with just the right level of anxiety and tension. It also has a masterful andante and I would have to rank it right up there with the Oué which may edge it out because of the surround sound.

As far as my impressions of the whole Gielen set go, most of it is very good but not worthy of the 10/10 like the Kubelik which is one of my favorite sets. I think on balance EMI's new Bertini set is as good or better. They are both objectivists and I think you do as well with the Bertini as the Gielen (especially for the M6) and it's half the price.
post #1763 of 3714
Isn't the sound of the Szell awfully congested? The dynamic range seems compressed, too. But the playing and conducting are terrific, and I for one don't miss the 1st movement repeat at all. If only Epic could have gotten the same sound Columbia did for Philadelphia!
post #1764 of 3714
Szell was a live recording which meant that they couldn't cover the seats in Severance Hall with plywood to make it sound more lively. The sound is not so bad, but it's far from great. As to missing the repeat, Yoel Levi left it out in his recording with the Atlanta SO and I love that recording too. (That's the only way to fit the symphony on one CD). Oué's reading includes the repeat so it's on two cds but the timings are very fleet for the first and second movements, and he slows it down with the Andante. Oué's Andante is the best, a total heart stopper. It is so poetic it always makes me cry. The last movement is scary with its clearly defined moodswings and when the hammers drop, you are already turning away because you know something BAD is going to happen. The cowbells gently clang in the most pastoral way -- as if you were suddenly dropped into the Sound of Music. The sound quality of the recording is awesome. Amazing transparency, with the Tam-Tam (call me Ms. Tam-tam) reverberating like crazy and the xylophone actually sounding like rattling bones.

If you prefer objectivist Mahler, then this is not going to be the right recording for you. Oué throws the nastiness at you with great energy and then soothes you with the lyrical interludes, like the sugar coating for the bad medicine. He sets you on your feet, brushes the dirt off with a soft caress and then wham, the discord comes at you like a sucker punch.
post #1765 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Very little fault to find with Szell/Sony M6......great performance sold as budget price 1CD version, the best buy of great M6's. I have no serious problems with sound, just wonder why Szell has so few Mahler recordings since both his M4 and M6 are fabulous.

The Sinopoli set has arrived,,,,,,,,,akways hold my breath when buying cheap version on eBay that no problems surface
post #1766 of 3714
I do have to agree about the quality of Szell's Mahler. There is also an M10 that he recorded that I have on the shelf.

Saw M1 performed last night by Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer conducting. A TRIUMPH!!
The Program:

DOHNÁNYI Symphonic Minutes, Op. 36
BARTÓK Piano Concerto No. 3
MAHLER Symphony No. 1, "Titan"


The Dohnányi was a wonderful piece, very playful. I had never heard it before but I'm going to look for a recording of it.

Then came Richard Goode performing the Bartók Piano Concerto No. 3. What a different work that is in concert than when you listen on cd. It is much more lyrical and even (dare I say it) tuneful than any of my recordings. Richard Goode is a spendid pianist, and not just for Mozart. He has great touch and very clear articulation.

Then after the intermission THE TITAN. Without doubt this was one of the great Mahler performances I have heard. From the opening bars -- that pianissimo note that is picked up by the rest of the orchestra, everything was executed to a turn -- the horns had the proper distance too. Great dynamic range, brassy brass where called for, Klezmer wailing clarinet, sensational flutes. I'm hoping they have this recorded for posterity as it was a tremendous performance.

Orchestra encore and then after the audience continued, 2 violinists and a bass performed some Hungarian folk music, even while some orchestra members sang along (softly) with some Hungarians in the audience. That was a treat. Just before the encore, Fisher turned to audience and asked "What do you want to hear" and people shouted back, The Mahler again. Unbelievable concert. My husband came out and said, "I really like Mahler." He even enjoyed the Bartók.
post #1767 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Very little fault to find with Szell/Sony M6......great performance sold as budget price 1CD version, the best buy of great M6's. I have no serious problems with sound, just wonder why Szell has so few Mahler recordings since both his M4 and M6 are fabulous.
The only other ones I know about are rarities that pop up once in a while on obscure labels, if you can find them. There's a Das Lied from 1970 that ranks up there with the best, and an interestingly thorny M9 from a couple years before that. That M9 isn't the friendliest I've ever heard, but Szell's sinewy strength can really pin you to your seat in places. Apparently, these are the only recordings. He conducted the M1 at least once in Cleveland, but no recording of the concert was made.

Mark
post #1768 of 3714
I may also have that Szell M9. At one point I was looking for all of the Szell pieces I could find. Hmm, now where could it be?

Am sampling the Bertini M2 which is quite good. Much better than Gielen's. My biggest problem with objectivist mahler is that although they are good at drama -- probably because mahler's dramatics can really be OTT -- they usually fall down a bit with the poetic side. Bertini so far has a light enough hand with the poetical so that those passages don't feel just "run through." Imo Mahler needs the poetry done with as much energy as the dramatics or the works lose balance.
post #1769 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Orchestra encore and then after the audience continued, 2 violinists and a bass performed some Hungarian folk music, even while some orchestra members sang along (softly) with some Hungarians in the audience. That was a treat. Just before the encore, Fisher turned to audience and asked "What do you want to hear" and people shouted back, The Mahler again. Unbelievable concert. My husband came out and said, "I really like Mahler." He even enjoyed the Bartók.
Interesting story, Mark told me one time, so I hope I get it right..

Leopold Stokowski conducted a performance of the Mahler 2nd, I don't remember the orchestra/when/where, but the applause was so thunderous at the end and went on for so long, that Leopold turned to the audience and said "would you like to hear the last movement again?" or something to that effect, and that's just what they did. The whole last movement again.

-jar
post #1770 of 3714
That would have been a treat. Btw, the first encore, led by Fischer was something that sounded very Hungarian gypsy. Perhaps Liszt, I'm not that familiar with Liszt's orchestral music, but again very lively and also evocative.
It sounded more like a folk melody.

It's always nice when the orchestra does an encore. Lately they are rare. I don't know why they have gone out of fashion but nowadays you get a great concert, you applaud until your hands swell up, but you never know whether you will be blown a kiss (off) or given a treat.
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