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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 124

post #1846 of 3714
Ok, I hope as an athiest I can at least enjoy it then.
post #1847 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
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 [atheist - pjs], 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.
Easy does it. There is no reason to bring Werner Klemperer into a discussion of Otto.

Now, to the point: Klemperer called himself an immoralist. His studio performance of the 2nd is not Mehta, Bernstein, or even Kaplan. However, it has a style and a reserved solidness to it that endears it to me. No, it isn't particularly spiritual. However, it's sheer strength makes up for that. I don't really want to wax poetic, but it is majestic in its own way.
post #1848 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
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
Bunny
Listened to Scherchen M5 and was not really impressed, scratching my head over some people's claim to the stature of this performance. Must consider very early 1952 before any other recording I have and like much better, sound is only OK.

Scherchen M7 is far better with far better sound also, what a difference 2 years makes. Will listen again but completely different better league than M5 for me, lively vibrant and caputuring the sublte nueances and tricky tempo changes that elude most modern versions, may even sneak into position 5 of top 5 M7 list........it is very good.

Scherchen M1 is next.......

Scott
As for Klemperer I would just stay with EMI GROTC M2 and move on, money better spent elsewhere. Klemp not important figure in the Mahler universe compared to others.....much better in Bruckner, Brahms etc
post #1849 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottder
Ok, I hope as an athiest I can at least enjoy it then.
There's a spiritual dimension to M2 that both encompasses and transcends any particular religious belief. Thus, there's something for everybody.
post #1850 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.
I prefer Klemperer's BRSO version (EMI, 29.Jan.1965) to his studio version. I've listened to eariler CD version only, not GROTC version. But I think BRSO version is more livelier, or less tedious. IMHO his studio version was a bit too timid. There is also an Amsterdam version (Decca). The sound is poor, the reading is a bit hastely paced, but Kathleen Ferrier's voice is worth to note.
post #1851 of 3714
I need a recommendation on where to go from Symphony no. 2 & 5. I like them both but prefer 2 by Slatkin. Looking to pick up another and would like something energetic and dark
post #1852 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
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.
PSmith,

I agree that Abbado is emotional, he's just not over the top histrionic or dramatic. His emotion shines in the lyrical passages -- an introspective view. I just don't understand how anyone can term Kubelik Mahlerlite while calling Abbado dramatic or manicdepressive! There is no detachment in Abbado or Kubelik which is also why I never understand Kubelik being linked with objectivist Mahler either.

As for Mahler being content with other composers today? I think he would be delighted to see how correct he was when he said "My time will come." Certainly he conducted his music very differently each time he did it -- or at least that is what has been written about him. He changed the order of movements in the 6th symphony in performance never really being able to decide whether to put the scherzo 2nd or 3rd in the order. He was rewriting and rewriting until his death. I think he knew that his scores would be he launching pad for interpretations and discussion for years after his death.
post #1853 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
There's a spiritual dimension to M2 that both encompasses and transcends any particular religious belief. Thus, there's something for everybody.
I agree.. I always find the line (translated) "What you have fought for shall lead you to God" very moving, even though I don't really believe in a god.

But it does say something to me, that maybe all the effort that I've put into my life will one day mean something in the bigger picture. That I can have an impact, so to speak. To maybe make the world a better place.

To quote Tom Waits:

"I'm gonna leave this place better
Than the way I found it was"

("Jesus Gonna Be Here")

-jar
post #1854 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
I need a recommendation on where to go from Symphony no. 2 & 5. I like them both but prefer 2 by Slatkin. Looking to pick up another and would like something energetic and dark
I'd go with the 7th next.. I'm not sure which one to suggest, among older ones I really like James Levine, but that might be difficult to find. Among newer ones, I have no problems with Michael Tilson Thomas' BMG recording with the London Symphony (1999). I haven't heard his newer one.

Tennstedt and Abbado both have excellent 80's readings of the work as well.

-jar
post #1855 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
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.
If you had the Klemp M7 then you also had one of his own works with it. Clearly Klemp's symphonies have not made it into the modern repetoire. However although his M7 is glacial there are some interesting things to be gleaned there. I have actually gotten into that recording on certain days of my life. However, I do agree that the M7 wasn't his best work.

Scott,

I don't know anything about that BBC recording. I have the EMI Klemp 2 and while I enjoy it occassionally, it's not really my favorite. I probably like Bruno Walter's recording a little better which is also on one disc. I do like the Klemp on those days when I don't want to have to get up and put in another cd (how did he fit it on one?).
post #1856 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
I need a recommendation on where to go from Symphony no. 2 & 5. I like them both but prefer 2 by Slatkin. Looking to pick up another and would like something energetic and dark
Energetic and Dark = Mahler Symphony No. 6 "Tragic"

If you want it on one cd, then you lose the first exposition repeat, but that's not something that many worry about -- just a preference when you are more familiar to the music that may develop.

Mitropoulos' live recording in the GROTC series is excellent for interpretation and insight into the music. It's in monophonic sound (cleaned up and fairly bright) and is always a good starting place if you don't mind the mono sound. (1 cd)

Yoel Levi/Atlanta SO has also a good interpretation -- slightly objectivist in feeling, but nice energetic performance with great sound quality. (For those of us who keep up with these things, Hurwitz has given it the thumbs up while Gramophone has not. ) In addition it can be picked up very cheaply at amazon. (1 cd)

Bernstein (Sony) is also a good choice, and is priced very well. (1 cd)

Zander has a great 2 cd version (he takes the repeat) in SACD/hybrid that also includes a lecture on cd or dvd -- I haven't listened to that yet. It includes alternate finales with either 2 or 3 hammerblows so that you can hear it both ways imagined by Mahler.

Abbado has an introverted recording that emphasizes the lyric passages -- also available in SACD/hybrid and I believe on dvd as well. (1 cd)

Bertini has a good recording, but it is objectivist which means that it is a restrained performance. Split onto 2 discs in the set, but at the price today...

Avoid Michael Gielen's M6 until you really have gotten into the symphony -- it can be described as slow and heavy handed. (2 cds)

Mark from HFR has recommended the Sinopoli M6 and it is also a winner if you can find it anywhere. (2 cds)

I don't know about the Tennstedt as it's so expensive. I'll hope it's worth the $30.00+ the remastered recording commands now. His complete Mahler cycle is selling for around $75 so I don't know if it's cost effective to buy the individual recording.
post #1857 of 3714
Excellent, thank you guys for the great info I'll be sure to look into both over the weekend!
post #1858 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Energetic and Dark = Mahler Symphony No. 6 "Tragic" I don't know about the Tennstedt as it's so expensive. I'll hope it's worth the $30.00+ the remastered recording commands now. His complete Mahler cycle is selling for around $75 so I don't know if it's cost effective to buy the individual recording.
I love the Tennstedt, it's one of my favorites.. Slow but menacing from the start, but has a lighter hand in the 2nd movement so there's a nice contrast there. Sounds painful to buy it new, I'd keep an eye out for a used copy.

Also, by all means snag the Levine 6th if you find it at an affordable price!

-jar
post #1859 of 3714
Jar,

I've been looking for that Levine 6th for a while and it always has eluded me.

I've also been considering the Tennstedt cycle -- if only Caiman would offer it at a special price.

I am beginning to think that there is no such thing as overvaluing any great music. For an investment of relatively little we are rewarded so much.
post #1860 of 3714
Dark Angel: Hermann Scherchen's name doesn't come up too often. He was certainly a progressive, interesting conductor who was unfortunately saddled with consistently 2nd and 3rd rate orchestras. He was very fond the the 7th, and found in it a wealth of ideas. Most of all he like the coloring. Anyway, there are several different Scherchen M7s out there. The best played and recorded is from Toronto (1965) on the King Record label from Japan. Frustratingly, its in mono - 1965! The 1960 Vienna Symphony version on AS Disk is worth a listen. The 1954 Vienna State Opera Orchestra is one of the most brooding versions. All are fraught with many orchestral errors, not so state- of-the-art recording, and using the Bote & Bock edition with countless errors. The Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft version wasn't in wide use until the late 60s.
I have Scherchen's M1, 2, 5, 7, 9 and while none are top recommendations (the sound quality alone disqualifies them), they are certainly very individual performances and anyone wanting to hear very European approaches before the Bernstein/Solti/Tennstedt/Kubelik era recordings should seek them out.
One unfortunate thing about the Westminster recording: the original LPs has a magnificent booklet written by Kurt List that are a model of clarity and go into great detail analysing the complex symphony. Oh, that cds today had such great notes!
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