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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 123

post #1831 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Ha ha........when have I ever kept my fellow mahlerites in the dark, of course impressions will follow upon listening.

Bertini/EMI complete set
has arrived and off to great start with 6,9 so far, amazingly good sound I must agree with Bunny here. The layout of symphonies is maddening with only two complete symphonies on 1CD, all others spread all over the place including M4 on two CDs!

The drama/energy level is a bit muted compared to Bernstein, Kondrashin, Ancerl, Mitropoulos etc but nicely balanced and highly dramatic/passionate when needed, more exciting than Gielen/new MTT/new Chailly etc for sure.......somewhat similar to Kubelik's style but too early to make any comparisons just yet, must do my homework.........
I am glad you are enjoying the Bertini. yes the symphonies are split in the worst ways, but I have found that I can put up with it for a change. They are similar to Kubelik but where RK is lyrical, GB is cooly dispassionate and understated. At the same time he is never disinterested; the emotion is there even if it is never demonstrated with histrionics. His orchestra is amazingly transparent, the textures he gets are wonderful, and the great sound quality really shows it off.
post #1832 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Super discount source Berkshire Records got a load of Westminster label CDs recently that contain several Scherchen Mahler symphonies at $3.99 each, I just received:

Mahler 5/Vienna State Opera Orch. 1952
Mahler 1/VSOO 1955
Mahler 7/VSOO 1954

Also got 5-6 other Westminster CDs with Herman Scherchen and Artur Rodzinski of various non Mahler works
post #1833 of 3714
I have already ordered and received the Scherchen 5, so let me know how the earlier symphonies sound.

Have you or anyone else heard the Inbal cycle? I picked up the M5 used but have had no chance to listen.

Edit: On Denon label, not Brilliant Classics and does not include the M4.
post #1834 of 3714
I have the Inbal. Listened to it once and never bothered listening to it again.
post #1835 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears

Have you or anyone else heard the Inbal cycle? I picked up the M5 used but have had no chance to listen.

Edit: On Denon label, not Brilliant Classics and does not include the M4.
My thoughts on Inbal:

1- Fresh and lyrical, good intensity
2- Delves into the details with a good amount of fervor
3- (haven't heard)
4- Charming, but never ignores details like Szell or Reiner
5- I thought this was the least interesting I've heard so far of his cycle
6- (haven't heard)
7- Lucid and compelling. Less high-powered than Solti, Levine, or Abbado.
8- Suitably grand
9- (haven't heard)
10- Okay, but not as good as Rattle or Wigglesworth

I would like to get the rest of his cycle. His strings were refreshingly transparent and he made them play with lots of glissandi and portamento. Gorgeous stuff in places.

Mark
post #1836 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I have already ordered and received the Scherchen 5, so let me know how the earlier symphonies sound.

Have you or anyone else heard the Inbal cycle? I picked up the M5 used but have had no chance to listen.

Edit: On Denon label, not Brilliant Classics and does not include the M4.
I have 5-6 of the Inbal/Denon CDs, interesting a light fresh clarified approach that sometimes can be like magic gossamer of sound and illuminating of various details buried by others. The problem is sometimes lacks projection of power and force needed to fully create dramatic contrasts needed, not enough dark undercurrents for my taste. I think the Inbal M4 with Helen Donath is one of the very best, a delicate light silvery vocal perfect for "childs view of heaven"

The Denon sound is very good by 1980s standards (and today), set was highly touted by critics when first released.......set now available on budget Brilliant Classics label
post #1837 of 3714
I should note that I don't like "lite-Mahler" as typified by Kubelik, and Inbal certainly fits in to that mode. If your tastes are different, then this very well could be a worthwhile set. Personally I prefer more power, angst, drama, and darkness in my Mahler.
post #1838 of 3714
Tyson,

Whatever you may or may not think of Kubelik's Mahler, it isn't Mahler Lite. By any stretch of the imaginaton. Save that description for the thin strings, cheap rubatos and portamentos and other tricks of the most self-indulgent of Rattle's interpretations and the generally well thought out if underpowered Abbado interpretations. Apply it if you wish to MTT's overly glossy, prettified recordings that are so very different from his leaner and more muscular concert performances. Kubelik's dynamics are excellent, his string section as full as anyone could wish and his use of brass and winds classic. His tone is as full as could be wished and as earthy as is called for in the appropriate places. He never stooped to the trick of underpowering the pianissimos inorder to make the fortissimos that much more shocking. Every note in a Kubelik recording is audible and that is not true with many Mahler recordings nowadays. Kubelik was a rare conductor who was as good at revealing the poetry in Mahler as the dramatics. Kubelik is not Mahler-Lite in any description I have read or heard anywhere, unless you think that having a firm grasp of a symphony's architecture and a feel for the long line rather than the incidental effect, and great skill in balancing the drama and poetry constitutes lite. You don't have to like Kubelik but don't denigrate his work with that inappropriate description.
post #1839 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I have 5-6 of the Inbal/Denon CDs, interesting a light fresh clarified approach that sometimes can be like magic gossamer of sound and illuminating of various details buried by others. The problem is sometimes lacks projection of power and force needed to fully create dramatic contrasts needed, not enough dark undercurrents for my taste. I think the Inbal M4 with Helen Donath is one of the very best, a delicate light silvery vocal perfect for "childs view of heaven"

The Denon sound is very good by 1980s standards (and today), set was highly touted by critics when first released.......set now available on budget Brilliant Classics label
Sounds like the Inbal M4 is one that I should pick up. It will provide an interesting comparison to the M4s in my collection.

Edit: Also picked up Levi's M2 (with Atlanta SO) at the used cd store. Now that has been given the 10/10 by Hurwitz and termed Mahlerlite by Gramophone who say Atlanta's strings lack "weight and the lustre" and thus finds the whole overly tasteful.

It would seem that Hurwitz likes interpretations tending toward the objective, cooler side of the spectrum as in Boulez, Bertini, Gielen and Levi while Gramophone prefers a more emotional flavor. Whatever happened to British restraint, stiff upper lip, and so forth? After complaining that Levi is too unemotive, they then love Abbado's brand of strings (Hurwitz terms them underpowered, Gramophone terms them transparent) and "thoughtful" interpretations which Hurwitz describes as Mahlerlite.

What a difference the side of the Atlantic makes. hehe
post #1840 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Tyson,

Whatever you may or may not think of Kubelik's Mahler, it isn't Mahler Lite. By any stretch of the imaginaton. Save that description for the thin strings, cheap rubatos and portamentos and other tricks of the most self-indulgent of Rattle's interpretations and the generally well thought out if underpowered Abbado interpretations. Apply it if you wish to MTT's overly glossy, prettified recordings that are so very different from his leaner and more muscular concert performances. Kubelik's dynamics are excellent, his string section as full as anyone could wish and his use of brass and winds classic. His tone is as full as could be wished and as earthy as is called for in the appropriate places. He never stooped to the trick of underpowering the pianissimos inorder to make the fortissimos that much more shocking. Every note in a Kubelik recording is audible and that is not true with many Mahler recordings nowadays. Kubelik was a rare conductor who was as good at revealing the poetry in Mahler as the dramatics. Kubelik is not Mahler-Lite in any description I have read or heard anywhere, unless you think that having a firm grasp of a symphony's architecture and a feel for the long line rather than the incidental effect, and great skill in balancing the drama and poetry constitutes lite. You don't have to like Kubelik but don't denigrate his work with that inappropriate description.

It's not emotionally overwhelming, so to me it's "lite". There are plenty of other things you could call it, such as "flowing, beautiful, dramatic, lyrical", but "manic depressive" or "over the top" is not among them. So to me, it is emotionally "lite" compared to my preferred interpretations. But to be fair, I'd probably lump almost all the "objectivist" Mahler performances in to the "Mahler Lite" category. Give me Chailly, MTT, (early) Abbado, Karajan, Klemperer, Horenstein, Tennstedt, or Bernstein anyday. Just my preference.
post #1841 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson
It's not emotionally overwhelming, so to me it's "lite". There are plenty of other things you could call it, such as "flowing, beautiful, dramatic, lyrical", but "manic depressive" or "over the top" is not among them. So to me, it is emotionally "lite" compared to my preferred interpretations. But to be fair, I'd probably lump almost all the "objectivist" Mahler performances in to the "Mahler Lite" category. Give me Chailly, MTT, (early) Abbado, Karajan, Klemperer, Horenstein, Tennstedt, or Bernstein anyday. Just my preference.
Abbado is probably the least emotionally overwhelming Mahler around. His interpretations are the most introverted and least dramatic of all, and his early work is considered by everyone but you to be less dramatic than his later work. By your definition he should be the perfect example of Mahlerlite as his hallmark is the emotionally restrained interpretation! He never gives the drama or histrionics of for instance Bernstein, Mitropoulos, Tennstedt or Zander. No matter how well thought out his interpretation may be, the word "dramatic" is not in anyone's description of his work.
post #1842 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I have 5-6 of the Inbal/Denon CDs, interesting a light fresh clarified approach that sometimes can be like magic gossamer of sound and illuminating of various details buried by others. The problem is sometimes lacks projection of power and force needed to fully create dramatic contrasts needed, not enough dark undercurrents for my taste. I think the Inbal M4 with Helen Donath is one of the very best, a delicate light silvery vocal perfect for "childs view of heaven"

The Denon sound is very good by 1980s standards (and today), set was highly touted by critics when first released.......set now available on budget Brilliant Classics label
I used to have the Inbal 2nd, but sold it many years ago. Pretty decent sound on that one.. the picture in my head that I always got listening to that was that the sound was very "tall" but not "deep." If that makes any sense.
The performance was good but not good enough. Plus Inbal's grunting really got on my nerves.

I like his 4th much better and still have it. I haven't heard his 5th or 6th.

-jar
post #1843 of 3714
I'm sitting here listening to the EMI GROTC M2 by Klemper (still one of my favorites, I wonder if it's natural to have a soft-spot for the first perfomance one hears that really turns them on to a composer). Has anyone heard any of the other Klemperer recordings of the M2, I see there is one on Testament, and am curious, but leary of the high price. I didn't realize until recently how many times he's recorded this piece.



Scott
post #1844 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Abbado is probably the least emotionally overwhelming Mahler around. His interpretations are the most introverted and least dramatic of all, and his early work is considered by everyone but you to be less dramatic than his later work. By your definition he should be the perfect example of Mahlerlite as his hallmark is the emotionally restrained interpretation! He never gives the drama or histrionics of for instance Bernstein, Mitropoulos, Tennstedt or Zander. No matter how well thought out his interpretation may be, the word "dramatic" is not in anyone's description of his work.
I am going to have to take issue with this statement. I don't think that Abbado is all that dramatic, but he is emotional. It isn't a broad range, more of a pensive self-aware emotion. To my mind, it is the music of a hero quietly preparing for death, as opposed to raging against the inevitable. Call it "fatalist Mahler." Abbado's Mahler is not manic-depressive or coolly detached (in concept). It is an interpretation that has come to grips with itself. I still prefer Boulez for a lot of reasons, but Abbado's concept is as emotional as anyone else's. Just different.

Do I think the composer would be happy with Abbado? No, but I don't think he'd be particularly happy with any conductor who didn't follow his rather explicit instructions to the letter.
post #1845 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottder
I'm sitting here listening to the EMI GROTC M2 by Klemper (still one of my favorites, I wonder if it's natural to have a soft-spot for the first perfomance one hears that really turns them on to a composer). Has anyone heard any of the other Klemperer recordings of the M2, I see there is one on Testament, and am curious, but leary of the high price. I didn't realize until recently how many times he's recorded this piece.



Scott
You ask about other Klemperer recordings? My first M2 was Klemperer on Vox with a very scrappy Vienna Symphony. Very, very bad. The string playing is execrable. Intonation wretched. And Otto seemed to not understand it all --he was after all, an athiest, and this work best succeeds with someone who is at least moderately spiritual. Terrible (and typical) Vox sound, too. But, it was cheap. His EMI was a vast improvement -- but I sure wouldn't count it among the GROTC. Several years later, I picked up his M7 which has to be the worst thing he ever recorded: it is hard to believe how s-l-o-w the outer movements are. Just awful. That's about the time I decided to stop buying Colonel Klink's father's recordings of Mahler. Later I read an interview with him where he even said he thought most of the Mahler symphonies were crap: 1, 5, & 8 earned special scorn.
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