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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 119

post #1771 of 3714

Mahler

Hello everyone.
I have over 1000 unique recordings of Mahler's symphonies (both live and commercial) and I am looking for online exchange of recordings. If you are interested please send me PM or email.

Last Evolution
post #1772 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
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
Yup, Stoki in London 1962 or 63, I don't recall precisely off the top of my head. This concert is now out on BBC Legends, but I haven't picked it up yet. As far as I can tell from the album description, though, it doesn't include the encored finale.

Mark
post #1773 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:

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.

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
Almost done with Sinopoli set initial listen, a mixed bag for sure and main fault when it appears is to broaden/slow tempos in sections and consequently loose intensity and focus, drain the momentum and diffuse the structure of these masterworks.

For sure the Kubelik/DG is the superior set overall and far more consistent and unified view of Mahler, only complete set to seriously challenge the reference Bernstein/Sony set.

The 3 best Mahler performances in Sinopoli set are 3,5,7 and welcome additions especially the 5th where Sinopoli carries the magic and intensity through every note to finish with no exessive broadening or lapses of focus.
The 1st is all over the place, not bad but lacks coherent focus/magic of Bernstein, Solti etc. The 2nd starts off with strong first movement but has excessively slow diffuse closing, like seeing apocalypse on qualudes making this a weak version.

The 3rd is much better overall, 4th unfortunately is nothing special falls far down the list with so many great versions available. The 5th already mentioned is a great one and shining star of this set. The 6th is slower than I like, but like Karajan's 2CD version maintains decent intensity and focus. The 7th is right behind the 5th as top performance of the set, seems like different conductor did 5,7 since they are vibrant and creatively alive with manic intensity and focus intact throughout.

Tonight I listen to 9th. The sound quality is excellent with staggering dynamic range for DG, some of the climaxes literally had my walls shuddering with crashing aftershocks......but the perfromance is what counts right?

More soon........
post #1774 of 3714
DarkAngel,

I have to agree with you about the Kubelik cycle. Definitely the one that I favor with the Bernstein (Sony).

I think I already wrote that I find the Sinopoli M1 dispensable. There are too many great M1s out there especially Kubelik's.
post #1775 of 3714
Btw, has anyone else read Hurwitz's review of the Abbado M4? He described it as "Mahler-lite" and closed by saying, "this is second rate, inexcusably so."

At least he hasn't blown it out of the water the way he did to Simon Rattle's recording of Schubert's symphony no.9. He opened that one this way, "This is a disgusting performance."

Now, ofcourse, I'm curious about both of the recordings. Hopefully they will be stocked at yourmusic and I won't have to spend more than 5.99 on each of them.
post #1776 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Btw, has anyone else read Hurwitz's review of the Abbado M4? He described it as "Mahler-lite" and closed by saying, "this is second rate, inexcusably so."

At least he hasn't blown it out of the water the way he did to Simon Rattle's recording of Schubert's symphony no.9. He opened that one this way, "This is a disgusting performance."
DH may actually be right here........last couple Abbado Mahler releases have been mediocre affairs so it makes sense the 4th would meet a similar fate.

The Sinoploli 9th does nothing to improve the sets standing, so final summary:
3,5,7 - very good to excellent
1,6,9 - interesting but have noticable flaws and compared to best fall well short
2,4 - weak comapred to best
8, Song Cycles - not seriously checked

So in light of the excellence of Kubelik/DG and Bernstein/Sony this set had to be sold......and did so in quick order on Amazon in 4 hrs for good price to me.
post #1777 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
DarkAngel,

I have to agree with you about the Kubelik cycle. Definitely the one that I favor with the Bernstein (Sony).

I think I already wrote that I find the Sinopoli M1 dispensable. There are too many great M1s out there especially Kubelik's.
ha ha.....DH is being DH again at classicstoday declaring the Bertini/EMI as "latest" reference Mahler set 10/10, what????
(Bunny chokes on coffee when reading this)

Never heard of this conductor before mentioned here or seen any professional reviews of his Mahler work (till today) now he is newest reference, cast aside your Bernstein, Kubelik, Solti sets etc.......wait a second, isn't CT the same place that gave rave reviews to new Gielen Mahler set which I find so uninspired and average that I am debating whether to sell my existing Gielen CDs?

Bunny I must ask.........is there any reason I should even remotely consider getting Bertini set knowing my worship of Bernstein, Kubelik, Kondrashin style Mahler?
Or is this just another flavor of the month with good sound?
post #1778 of 3714
No, I do not choke on my coffee. I knew it was an excellent set, I have even said that it beats the gielen at half the price (someone can check what I said). It is however, objectivist Mahler similar in interpretive approach to Boulez and Gielen. However, it is so much better than what I have heard of the Gielen (obviously that set has been languishing since I received the Bertini). However, now that I have read it in the Hurwitz I do have to agree that Bertini always has a grasp of the larger architecture of the symphonies and never loses sight of the direction and destination where Mahler is taking us. Moreover, the performances are stunning, the sound quality excellent (as good as the Gielen), and the performances, especially Das Lied, nos.1, 2, (which I seem to like better than Hurwitz) 5,7, 9 are extremely good (excellent in fact); No. 6 is also quite well considered although not above oue. I am delighted that the Bertini set has ranked so high in Hurwitz's estimation. I rank it along side my sentimental favorite Kubelik and Bernstein.
post #1779 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
ha ha.....DH at classicstoday declares the Bertini/EMI as "latest" reference Mahler set 10/10, what???? (Bunny chokes on coffee when reading this)

Never heard of this conductor before or seen any professional reviews of his Mahler work (till today) now he is newest reference, cast aside your Bernstein, Kubelik, Solti etc.......
What I've heard of the Bertini cycle is impressive from an objective, analytical point of view. In other words, it's very much a branch of the same tree as Gielen and Boulez, though I find Bertini more impressive than either of those, because there's more emotional tension. Still, though, it's nothing like the bear-hug of Bernstein or the warmth of Kubelik.

Mark
post #1780 of 3714
Thread Starter 
OK, will do some more research on Bertinin/EMI and make a decision, with proceeds from used Sinopoli sale I can buy new Bertini set.
post #1781 of 3714
Here's my take on Mahler. This list has not been updated for some time and I have not heard recent recordings. I used to listen to Mahler a lot a few years ago, but now listen almost exclusively to opera.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/lis...147550-9354264
post #1782 of 3714
I started suspecting that Bertini's Mahler was something to reckon with when Gramophone magazine ignored his recent death. I suspected at the time that they weren't noting this because he might just be too much competition for their darling Rattle. That was one of the incentives that led me to take the plunge.
post #1783 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I started suspecting that Bertini's Mahler was something to reckon with when Gramophone magazine ignored his recent death. I suspected at the time that they weren't noting this because he might just be too much competition for their darling Rattle. That was one of the incentives that led me to take the plunge.
I see the old Bertini/EMI 1,2,3,4,5 partial Mahler symphony set is widely available used for a fraction of the set price at Amazon if someone wanted to only make smaller investment.

Bertini only has 7 CDs in entire Tower Records inventory currently.......and I had never heard of him previously, so no wonder his death was not noted in major classical press.
post #1784 of 3714
Darkangel,

Do you like Horenstein's Mahler? Horenstein is the other conductor that most comes to my mind when I hear Bertini's recordings. I don't find Bertini to be quite as feisty as Horenstein, but his sense of strength and refined detail is similar.

Mark

(PS- I didn't think you'd keep the Sinopoli! )
post #1785 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Darkangel,
Do you like Horenstein's Mahler? Horenstein is the other conductor that most comes to my mind when I hear Bertini's recordings. I don't find Bertini to be quite as feisty as Horenstein, but his sense of strength and refined detail is similar.
Mark
(PS- I didn't think you'd keep the Sinopoli! )
I do like Horenstein/LSO/Unicorn M1,M3...........also have Horenstein/BBC Legends M7,M9 which have not held up as well since I have picked up many excellent M9 last 1-2 years like:
Ancerl
Kondrashin
Kubelik/Audite
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