Another Mahler fan on board (better late than never?)
Well, I've just spent the week reading all 102 (
) pages of this thread (I wonder if there's a medal for this...) and all I can say is that I'm in awe of the knowledge and dedication here. Let's just say that after lurking on HF for a year (mostly in the earphones forum), and only recently creating an account, this is the only thread that has made me want to participate.
While I'm nowhere close to you guys on Mahler expertise (I've spent the past year mostly on Bach), I've always loved his music, although I must admit that I also find it intimidating, in a good way. I have all the symphonies in varying formats: just a few on actual CD, the rest on my hard drive, ripped from my parents' collection when I last visited them. This is what I have for now:
M1: Bernstein/DG, on CD
M2: Walter with Columbia Symphony Orchestra (on hard drive); Bernstein with NYP (on hard drive); Rattle/EMI (just got it on CD, thanks to this thread - haven't given it a listen yet)
M3: Bernstein with NYP (on hard drive)
M4: Bernstein/DG (on CD)
M5: Bernstein with VPO (on hard drive)
M6: On hard drive, not sure which version (I emailed my father to find out), but probably Bernstein
M7: Same as M6, on hard drive, trying to find out which
M8: Same problem, but I'm looking for a better version anyway
M9: Barbirolli with BPO (hard drive); Bernstein with NYP (hard drive)
M10 (incomplete): Bernstein with NYP
Wow, that was... embarassing, after reading all your lists. But I'm happy (?) to announce that I've started hurtling down the slope, and have made careful notes on your recommendations. In the meantime, I'll keep reading this thread for information, and contributing whatever I can. I'm waiting to receive a copy of Deryck Cooke's study of Mahler's symphonies, and I'm looking forward to that as well.
One thing I am grateful for (and it was mentioned on this thread a few pages back) is that my family has always loved music, and I grew up listening to great music, and attending concerts whenever possible. I grew up near D.C., and spent many evenings (and matinees) at the Kennedy Center, and later my parents spent 10+ years in Vienna, where I also enjoyed my share of operas and concerts (including Mahler!). I've branched out since then, and really love listening to almost any kind of music, but I always go back to classical, for its depth and dynamism.
Anyway, sorry for the long post. I just wanted to say hi and help keep this great thread going.