or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 135

post #2011 of 3714
Have any of you heard the "Chamber" versions of the 4th, prepared by Erwin Stein? There are three that I know of now. Very interesting. There are also chamber versions of Das Lied, that are very pleasant. No pretending either is as good as the original, but certainly a nice way to hear them.

Horenstein: in an era before Mahler on steroids, his 1st and 3rd on Unicorn were considered the top of the heap, although the sound was never top notch. His 6th and 7th which followed (both live) were not so great, both having numerous deadly flubs and not-so-great sound. His Das Lied, also live, is a marvel despite flubs and sound, and after you hear it you'll understand his once saying that the worst thing about dying is never being able to hear Das Lied again.

Levi 4th: does he get the sleigh bells right? Hardly anyone does. They are not to slow down with the rest of the orchestra in the opening. They're supposed to keep on moving at the same tempo. Most conductors ignore it. Levine gets it exactly right.
post #2012 of 3714
Actually I think Levi gets them right too. The worst sleigh bells are Rattle's with the CBSO. That whole recording should be pulled from the catalog and after the concert I saw a few weeks ago, Rattle should be fined $1,000,000 at the least everytime he even thinks of conducting the symphony! Can you imagine, he started the bells twice as slow as they should be and then brought in the strings twice as fast as they should be. It was weird, bizarre and awful. He continued playing with tempo and dynamics through the whole work, never letting anything have any sort or climax or resolution. Things just got hot and then petered out as he killed the forward motion. To cap it off, he had his wife, an earthy mezzo who sounds more like a grandmother than a child. No innocence to be found anywhere. It wasn't just bad Mahler, it became boring Mahler and that's a crime worthy of tar and feathers.
post #2013 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears

I ask about the Horenstein because I have the Vox (coupled with Bruckner) and was thinking of buying the Unicorn as well as Tony Duggan has just reassessed Mahler 1s and put it in his top recommendations along with the Kubelik Audite. I saw it at a very reasonable price at amazon uk and decided to get it anyway. I guess that trigger finger of mine is too jumpy. So, more Mahler on the way. As you can guess, the Kubelik is already on the shelf.
I'm a huge fan of the Horenstein LSO Mahler 1st. What he does with the last movement moves it up into a realm that no one else quite touches. It may not be as noisy as some (nor as fast) but it takes on a larger-than-life epic quality that has to be heard to be believed. It is as if Horenstein was determined to wring every last drop of emotion out of the work, and those drops make a heady brew. Interestingly, it is more rhetorical than any other Horenstein performance of anything. It doesn't exactly swagger a la Bernstein, but it struts with a helluva lot of attitude. Horenstein here goes for the glory, and achieves it.

Mark
post #2014 of 3714
Hi Mark,

Nice to know that I'll enjoy the new toy.

I also found the Horenstein M9 (BBC and not rare) at Overstock.com for about 25.00 and was thinking of taking that plunge as well. Even at a "low" price, it's still a budget buster.
post #2015 of 3714
On the new Mahler front, I picked up the Neumann Leipzig recording of Mahler's 9th which DarkAngel recommended and am currently listening to it. It is a very good faster reading of the work. It is more violent than Neumann's later Czech Philharmonic remake from the early 1980's. The speeds are about the same, but in the later performance, Neumann rounds off more of the jagged edges, focusing on the warmth of the first movement. Here, the climaxes have more punch. The middle movements have more punch also than the later recording, which takes the bite out of the scherzo and the burlesque. Both recordings feature a warmly flowing finale. Thanks for the recomendation, DarkAngel.

I also picked up another fairly obscure recording, that just happens to turn out to be incredibly similar to the Neumann Leipzig performance. It is a recording on CPO of the M9 by Hans Zender and the Saarbrucken Radio Symphony from around 1977. He was the fellow who whipped that orchestra into shape when he was music director from 1971 to 1984. He has held other positions and guest conducted since then, but it appears that he concentrates on composing instead of conducting, so his international reputation is nowhere near what it should be. He does have a cult following, though, and based on his Mahler 9th, I think I'm ready to join. His approach is fast and direct, no BS, no lingering, but even more than that is has the logic of forward movement that only composers seem to be able to bring to Mahler's music. Yet Zender doesn't manipulate the tempos like Bernstein, nor does he play it ice cold like Boulez. Zender rather makes it make sense with an almost burning concentration. The whole work emerges in one breath. And the middle movements, though around the same speed as Neumann, have much sharper teeth. Indeed, Zender is one of the few who convinces me that a more moderate tempo can work in the Rondo-Burleske. He makes it work by etching every single line with energy, direction, and focus. His finale is a little fast for my taste, but he makes it work. All in all, a very important discovery. The heck with Rattle and Tilson Thomas-- This is the guy who should be recording a Mahler cycle right now (although this would no doubt confuse some people because of the Zander/Zender similarity). Whatever the case, he's great and isn't getting any younger. I believe Zender turns 70 this year. I have seen a Mahler 7th also available, which I plan on picking up. I don't know if CPO's Zender edition will put out anything else or not, but let's sure hope so. The M9 is on one disc, but comes in a two CD set that includes the Wunderhorn songs by Zender with Brigitte Fassbaender and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The recorded sound is not fantastic, but it is tolerable-- typical studio-bound German radio sound from the 1970's, with some artificial reverb to counter the dryness. The symphony comes off better than the songs, which spotlight the singers in a highly artificial manner, though their performances are quite good.

Mark
post #2016 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Hi Mark,

Nice to know that I'll enjoy the new toy.

I also found the Horenstein M9 (BBC and not rare) at Overstock.com for about 25.00 and was thinking of taking that plunge as well. Even at a "low" price, it's still a budget buster.
It's a nice one in many ways. Live from the Proms in 1966. It was done with limited rehearsal, basically brought back by popular demand from a concert Horenstein did with the LSO in May of that year. The May performance is even more intense (and the timpanist doesn't get lost in several measures near the end of the Burleske in May), but it was not preserved in decent stereo sound the way the Proms performance was. The earlier concert is available in a very rough sounding mono aircheck from Music & Arts. The BBC release will satisfy most listeners wanting to hear Horenstein's concentrated, dark approach to the M9. Those who can tolerate the awful sound of the May performance may find it almost heart-stoppingly intense, especially in a version of the Landler which almost spits venom, it is so sharply etched.

Mark
post #2017 of 3714
Mark,

Are you aware that Zender also has a complete Schubert symphony cycle as well? I don't know how highly (or lowly) regarded it is, so I'm looking for more information about it as well.
post #2018 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Mark,

Are you aware that Zender also has a complete Schubert symphony cycle as well? I don't know how highly (or lowly) regarded it is, so I'm looking for more information about it as well.
No, I didn't know that, but it would sure be interesting to hear.

Meanwhile, I ordered the Zender Mahler 7, so I should be able to report back on that when it comes. There is also apparently a Mahler 6 in existence, but none of Amazon's associates had it in stock.

Mark
post #2019 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Eiji Oué, Osaka SO, Mahler Symphony No.6. SACD/hybrid (fontec).

I don't know how I lived without this.
Just to underscore this - I bought the Oue M6 from Japan and it just arrived. It's probably the best M6 I've personally heard - will listen a few more times and formalize my assessment.
post #2020 of 3714
Doc,

It is the most amazing SACD recording. The soundquality just blew me away!
post #2021 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Just to underscore this - I bought the Oue M6 from Japan and it just arrived. It's probably the best M6 I've personally heard - will listen a few more times and formalize my assessment.
Yes one listen for me was enough to go right into top 5 list......can't say it is best performance ever since there exists elite older versions, but if you are sound quality obsessed then this will be first choice among M6 since I haven't heard any modern performance better than the Oue/Fontec. A surprise since Oue has very limited Mahler recorded output to hit one out of the park, a conductor to watch for sure.

Mark
That Zender sounds like my kind of Mahler, unfortunately no bargains to be had for his CDs

Tyson
What can you tell us about complete Chailly set, besides great sound how does it stack up to other sets?
Which symphonies stand out and which are weak?
I have "toyed" with the idea of picking up Chailly set..........
post #2022 of 3714
DA,

Actually Oué shouldn't have come as such a surprise, his Das Lied is very fine too. Clearly he has a good understanding of Mahler's language so I hope he continues and records the whole cycle. Clearly he is someone to watch.
post #2023 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Meanwhile, I ordered the Zender Mahler 7, so I should be able to report back on that when it comes. There is also apparently a Mahler 6 in existence, but none of Amazon's associates had it in stock.

Mark
Hans Zender's M7 is my favorite at least for the present. Although the Saarbruecken orchestra is not a top notch virtuoso as BPO or CSO, Zender's grip of the complicated form of this work is the firmest AFAIK. It's not a romantic reading as Horenstein or Chailly. It's in the 'objective' league, but not uninteresting as Gielen. The music is remarkably easy under Zender's baton. I think this is the reading of a composer whenever I listen to this recording. M7 is a very difficult work both to play and to appreciate IMO, and really persuasive recordings are rare. Zender’s would be the front runner among the rarities. I regret that I've missed his M6 and M9 when they were available.
post #2024 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by gracky
Hans Zender's M7 is my favorite at least for the present. Although the Saarbruecken orchestra is not a top notch virtuoso as BPO or CSO, Zender's grip of the complicated form of this work is the firmest AFAIK. It's not a romantic reading as Horenstein or Chailly. It's in the 'objective' league, but not uninteresting as Gielen. The music is remarkably easy under Zender's baton. I think this is the reading of a composer whenever I listen to this recording. M7 is a very difficult work both to play and to appreciate IMO, and really persuasive recordings are rare. Zender’s would be the front runner among the rarities. I regret that I've missed his M6 and M9 when they were available.
I look forward to hearing Zender's M7. It was amazing with his 9th... within the first couple of minutes, I could hear this conductor's sense of direction, that the whole thing was going to be going somewhere. Very, very few other conductors can do this. Again, as you say, it's the reading of a conductor who is also a composer. I will keep checking, perhaps the Zender M6 will pop up used at some point.

Mark
post #2025 of 3714
Been listening to the Bertini set, thanks to the tip from Bunny.

The Bertini 7 is one of the best 7ths on the market, period.
The Bertini 1 is almost as good.
The Bertini Das Lied is almost as good (at least orchestrally).
The Bertini 9 is very good.
The Bertini 2 is very good.
The Bertini 6 is good.

Haven't yet auditioned 3, 4, 5, and 8. Getting this far through the cycle with nothing less than "good" is pretty rare, indeed. High quality, consistently. Yowza!

Mark
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Music
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings