Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Only 2 minutes and some seconds faster than Mahler's time of 74 minutes. It can be done -- now why is not being done? Are there repeats not taken or sections of development being skipped (as they edit Shakespeare for performance perhaps Mahler was edited as well)? We need someone with a score to tell us what is happening.
There are no repeats in Mahler's 2nd. Kubelik's basic tempos are generally fast, and then he makes fast transitions as well. Thus, he comes in with a swift timing. So, yes, that puts him in the neighborhood of Mahler's own timing, but what of it? As a critic, I have certainly written some reviews that put performers on the grill for not closely following a composer's score, but at what point does that merely become reductio ad absurdam? Kubelik may hit the clock mark that Mahler set, but a listening to any of his recordings with Mahler score in hand shows that he misses or glosses over an enormous amount of details that Mahler took the trouble to write down. So it doesn't look like he is truly achieving the vision that Mahler had, he's achieving his own vision. If it's okay for him to achieve his own vision and still make us love Mahler, then I'm coming to accept the notion that it is okay for Bernstein or Sinopoli or Chailly to conduct slow performances of Mahler, because they are using his works as doorways, not as dead-ends. Mahler wasn't so much interested in having others imitate him as he was in seeing others take his music and find their own truths & revelations... Just as we as listeners do, too. I think it is important for a few musicians to devote some energy to obsessing over the scores and other forms of research in order to try and make a Mahler performance that sounds something like it might have in his own day. But in the end, what matters is what we choose to have it sound like today. And tomorrow.