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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 125

post #1861 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
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)
The kind of performance that makes you want to time travel with some recroding equipment.
post #1862 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
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.
Awright, some guy on ebay is asking $99 for it.. I don't think that kind of price is what you're talking about by "an investment of relatively little"

Maybe someone at BMG is paying attention and will put the Levine cycle out on budget or something...


-jar
post #1863 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
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.......
Still not impressed with Scherchen M5......listening to Bertini M5 now and besides far better sound I think it is the very best performance in Bertini set and holds up very well against the very best available!

Scherchen/Westminster M1 1955
OMG another home run like the M7, this performance is alive and beautifully animated with exciting flexible rythms, explosive runs almost threaten to get away from Scherchen at times.......but all comes back to earth and order is restored. Very good mono sound (much better than M5) this goes into my top 5 list of M1 replacing the Gielen M1

Also am almost ready to put the Scherchen M7 in the top 5 list, need another listen to be sure........Kondrashin still rules all in M7 however
post #1864 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
Awright, some guy on ebay is asking $99 for it.. I don't think that kind of price is what you're talking about by "an investment of relatively little"

Maybe someone at BMG is paying attention and will put the Levine cycle out on budget or something...


-jar

Considering that the cycle is on RCA Red Seal which is under the BMG umbrella, a reissue would be appropriate. Unfortunately I think they are more interested in crossover classical like Mutter plays Tangos and the Divos (whatever that means ). Btw, I saw the recording at amazon for $25, pricey but affordable. Who knows... Ofcourse, as soon as it would arrive the reissue would be out (and beautifully remastered as well.).
post #1865 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I would really like to buy that patchwork Abbado Mahler set from 1980's featuring VPO/CSO/BPO performances collected together for decent used price.

The few I own from this era all seem to fare better than newest BPO/DG performances.


The early 1992/93 BPO Mahler recordings M1 M5 started out quite good, but after these something changed in Abbado's style:


My Abbado Mahler set arrived, got this at:
Overstock.com

Cost was $65 with almost free shipping, very hard and expensive to find elsewhere, so grab one if interested, packaged in 2 chubby jewel cases with booklet and slipcover. Overstock also has nice inventory of the Ancerl Supraphon Gold series so grab some if you missed first time around, hard to find now.

Let me tell you what is in set since info hard to find:
BPO 1,5,8 (same 1,5 shown above)
VPO 2,3,4,9,10 (M3 can be found used)
CSO 6,7 (M7 available on used DG budget CD)

You can also grab a couple additional used CSO performances not in this set, there is a CSO/DG Galleria M5 and a 2CD DG featuring CSO M2 and VPO M4 (this M4 in set above) The older CSO M2 is much better than new Abbado Lucerne M2 BTW........

Will report more soon as request by Tyson...........




Top 5 Mahler list by symphony, top pick first:

1)Bernstein/DG + Solti/LSO/Decca Legends + Kubelik/Audite + Horenstein/Unicorn + Scherchen/Westminster
*
2)Bernstein/Sony + Solti/CSO/London + Rattle/EMI + Mehta/Decca Legends + Litton/Delos + Kaplan/Conifer
*
3)Horenstein/Unicorn + Bernstein/Sony + Barbirolli/BBC Legends + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Solti/London + Salonen/Sony
*
4)Szell/Sony + Renier/RCA + Inbal/Dennon + Bernstein/DG + Levine/RCA
*
5)Bernstein/DG + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Sinopoli/DG + Gatti/Musical Heritage + Barbirolli/EMI GROTC
*
6)Mitropoulos/EMI Great Conductors + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/Sony + Szell/Sony +Solti/London + Sinopoli/DG
*
7)Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/Sony + Kubelik/Audite + Abbado/CSO/DG + Scherchen/Westminster + Solti/London
*
9)Ancerl/Supraphon Gold + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/Sony + Kubelik Audite + Karajan/DG (live)
post #1866 of 3714
DarkAngel,

Thanks for the tip!

That is an interesting list. I note that you tend to prefer the Kubelik Audite -- understandable as there is more tension in the live performances. I recently picked up another Salonen Mahler -- the 4th which is also quite good. I also got his Bartok concerto for strings and piano concertos and they are extremely good as well.
post #1867 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.
First, as for Klemper's beliefs, read Peter Hayworth's "Conversations with Klemperer." An atheist probably doesn't keep a Bible on the table beside his sitting chair.

But more importantly, as strange as Klemperer's 7th sounds at first, never underestimate its ability to get under your skin. I wouldn't recommend it as a first choice, but I wouldn't ever want to be without it. He was, after all, the only conductor to record the piece who ever heard Mahler conduct it. And he is still the only conductor to date to have done the tempo relationships as Mahler indicated. So it may be the work of an old and ill conductor, but there is more gold there than first glance might suggest.

Mark
post #1868 of 3714
You are correct: I erred in using the word "athiest". Immoralist was the correct term.

But I respectfully disagree that he is the only conductor to have gotten the tempo relationships correct. Hans Rosbaud and William Steinberg had those relations down, and they sure didn't take 27'40'' in the first movement. Some of the most highly rated recordings of the work by people on this site are the worst offenders when it comes to carefully watching those numerous tempo changes. Scherchen dispatches I in under 20, with 21' about the norm. Chailly comes close, at over 25'. Klemp's finale, at nearly 25' loses all momentum and energy, especially compared to Kondrashin who shaves almost 10' off that time. Klemp does fair in the middle three movements, but the scherzo sure isn't that action packed.

Just because Klemp heard Mahler do the 7th means absolutely nothing. We do have recordings of the second which Walter, Klemperer, Fried heard him conduct, and look at how different their performances are. Besides, we have eye-witness accounts: at the Prague premier, Mahler took 20 minutes for the first movement, 14 for II, 11 for III, 11 for IV and 18 (!) for V. Compared to Klemp's 27:39, 22:05, 10:25, 15:45, and 25:15, it's clear that Klemperer either did remember Mahler's tempi or chose to ignore them.
My references: de La Grange's vol. III in his monumental biography of Mahler and the original Angel LP release -- and a horn player in the New Philharmonia during the Klemperer years whom I studied with. He said everyone was bitching about the slow, turgid tempos. Even the producers were complaining. But how do you correct a living legend?
post #1869 of 3714
All that may be true, but I don't think that it diminshes the interpretative worth of Klemperer's recordings. Like Boulez, newer Abbado, or even Bernstein, there are positives and negatives to his stuff.

Klemperer presents a view of Mahler detached from all the soppy emotional baggage that the composer may or may not have left, but his view is still solidly rooted in the late 19th century - fin de siecle, for lack of a better term - milieu that produced Mahler himself. It is Mahler without a moral (Immoralists will do that), and I don't have a problem with that.
post #1870 of 3714
Slightly OT: I saw M5 last night, with the Utah Symphony conducted by Keith Lockhart. Wonderful interpretation - the trumpet soloist in the first movement was the best I've heard on this piece, live or recorded, ever (except for one missed note at the end of the movement). It takes a live performnce to make you realize just how important the soloists are in M5 and indeed in all of Mahler.

This experience also underscores my belief that there is NOTHING like seeing Mahler live. For those who have not: Many of the effects Mahler wrote in just don't translate that well to a recording (even a DVD). You just have to be there. The pizzicattos in the third movement are just one example.

I timed the adagietto; it came in almost exactly at ten minutes.
post #1871 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
All that may be true, but I don't think that it diminshes the interpretative worth of Klemperer's recordings. Like Boulez, newer Abbado, or even Bernstein, there are positives and negatives to his stuff.

Klemperer presents a view of Mahler detached from all the soppy emotional baggage that the composer may or may not have left, but his view is still solidly rooted in the late 19th century - fin de siecle, for lack of a better term - milieu that produced Mahler himself. It is Mahler without a moral (Immoralists will do that), and I don't have a problem with that.
All of this talk of Klemperer being amoral or immoral is a bit disturbing. He was neither amoral nor immoral, both of which words would imply a level of dissolution that is false. Morality is not reserved to those of conventional religious belief. I know atheists who have very high moral values just as we have all heard of priests and other religious figures who are as dissolute and immoral as a man or woman can be. (The latest serial killer in the midwest who was deacon in his church also comes to mind.)

Edit: Certainly Klemperer was not a sentimentalist nor was he a preacher -- hence you get a view of Mahler which has all pretense to sentiment stripped away and no agenda, religious or other to advance. What a novelty -- music for the sake of music. Would someone else suggest that the universality of Mahler's music has also been stripped away so that it is all sound without any intellectual or emotional context? I would hesitate to go that far when describing Klemperer's 2nd.
post #1872 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
All of this talk of Klemperer being amoral or immoral is a bit disturbing. He was neither amoral nor immoral, both of which words would imply a level of dissolution that is false. Morality is not reserved to those of conventional religious belief. I know atheists who have very high moral values just as we have all heard of priests and other religious figures who are as dissolute and immoral as a man or woman can be. (The latest serial killer in the midwest who was deacon in his church also comes to mind.)

Edit: Certainly Klemperer was not a sentimentalist nor was he a preacher -- hence you get a view of Mahler which has all pretense to sentiment stripped away and no agenda, religious or other to advance. What a novelty -- music for the sake of music. Would someone else suggest that the universality of Mahler's music has also been stripped away so that it is all sound without any intellectual or emotional context? I would hesitate to go that far when describing Klemperer's 2nd.
Perhaps best described as a "humanistic" Mahler? I would agree with that description (with humanism taken is the best possible sense, as in focus on and celebration of humanity, including our nadirs as well as our pinnacles). That's perhaps why I love Klemperer's 2nd above all others.

But indeed it is without sentimentality. Listening to it always reminds me of that great mini-monologue in hamlet:
Quote:
Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not 'seems.'
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
post #1873 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
All of this talk of Klemperer being amoral or immoral is a bit disturbing. He was neither amoral nor immoral, both of which words would imply a level of dissolution that is false. Morality is not reserved to those of conventional religious belief. I know atheists who have very high moral values just as we have all heard of priests and other religious figures who are as dissolute and immoral as a man or woman can be. (The latest serial killer in the midwest who was deacon in his church also comes to mind.)

Edit: Certainly Klemperer was not a sentimentalist nor was he a preacher -- hence you get a view of Mahler which has all pretense to sentiment stripped away and no agenda, religious or other to advance. What a novelty -- music for the sake of music. Would someone else suggest that the universality of Mahler's music has also been stripped away so that it is all sound without any intellectual or emotional context? I would hesitate to go that far when describing Klemperer's 2nd.

Klemperer described himself, relative to the "moralist" Bruno Walter, as an "immoralist." I don't think that such a name means that someone is "bad" or "evil." In fact, I take it to mean that he didn't read a moral into Mahler's symphonies. I think you do too.

The moral/spiritual element in Mahler can be argued, depending on how ironic you think Mahler was, and it's frankly a bit distracting to me. The "Resurrection" chorale (for lack of a better term) is moving, but not because it somehow resonates with my personal beliefs. As you know, I prefer my Mahler dry and with a hint of a smirk. Klemperer fits the bill for me, as does Pierre Boulez. For me, to call Klemperer an "immoralist" is not an insult, just a fact.
post #1874 of 3714
Actually I can't stand using immoralist in that sense. Maybe the best way to describe it would be non-moralizing rather than immoral. And I think there may have been a little irony in Klemperer's remark. Btw, were they talking in English or German? These things often have different nuances in other languages.
post #1875 of 3714
Actually, he used the term "immoralist" exactly in the manner expected; it had nothing to do with music. In reality, he was no worse than Walter, but Walter hid his mistresses from the public and had a nicer public persona. Klemperer was cruder, vulgar, "waspish" and not apologetic. Both converted to Christianity, but Klemperer turned back to Judaism after the War. Read Harold Schoenberg's "The Great Conductors" and Norman Lebrecht's "The Maestro Myth" for very illuminating reading. Fascinating stuff.
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