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 136

post #2026 of 3714
DA,
Chailly is my preferred set for the uber-romantic, over the top emotional Mahler, beating out Bernstein pretty easily. And it has amazing sound quality to boot. Not my preferred style for Mahler (Solti comes much closer), but for the style that it is, it's the best, IMO.
post #2027 of 3714

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.
post #2028 of 3714

Live Concert: Los Angeles Philharmonic / Mahler 9th / Alan Gilbert / this weekend

http://wdch.laphil.com/tix/performan...il.cfm?id=2355

I just came back from this concert. Did anyone else attend tonight? (thursday)

The concert hall's sound was very good, I guess mostly due to an open layout where the orchestra is surrounded by the audience, hence minimizing short-delay echos.

The big cymbals at the back sounded fantastic in such a setting.

The musicians were mostly half asleep. This being the first night of a three performance run, I sensed that most of the musicians have not reconciled themselves to the style of presentation the conductor is asking of them. One cue I picked up is that the conductor's waving hands are more than half a beat ahead of the sound. My sense is that the musicians know how to play this piece better without the conductor present. They seem to be ignoring the conductor.

There is often a hesistation before the start of a phrase. That either is due to the disconnect between musician and conductor, or is simply caused by lack of rehearsal time.

Within a phrase, there's some sense of uncertainty on what the appropriate loudness is. Hence there were some awkward moments of one section blaring in much too loud, or too late/early, or both. The conductor already off in his private space at his own tempo is most likely the cause of this.

As for the presentation itself, it reminded me of my own piano lessons at a very early age where the teacher would point out important phrases or parts of phrases to bring out of the music. So certainly the "correct" section of the orchestra was highlighted all through the piece. But that was all I sensed, and nothing more.

There was a much better concert of this same composition in Carnegie Hall with Ozawa conducting the NY Phil in the late 1990's that I attended.
post #2029 of 3714
Hi bookdoctor,

Welcome to the thread and sorry about your wallet.

Listening to Mahler is an addiction and as expensive as any habit can get.

Do you know whether your Bernstein is the Sony set with the NYPO or his later DG set?

Recommendations for M8: Georg Solti on EMI Legendary Performances or Rafael Kubelik on Audite SACD/hybrid, enhanced content, a live performance.

post #2030 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Hi bookdoctor,

Welcome to the thread and sorry about your wallet.

Listening to Mahler is an addiction and as expensive as any habit can get.

Do you know whether your Bernstein is the Sony set with the NYPO or his later DG set?

Recommendations for M8: Georg Solti on EMI Legendary Performances or Rafael Kubelik on Audite SACD/hybrid, enhanced content, a live performance.

Thanks for the welcome.

Actually, classical music in general is an expensive habit, and I've been (joyfully) trapped in it most of my life.

My M1 and M4 with Bernstein is on DG, with the Concertgebouw orchestra. That M4 is one of my favorite classical recordings, out of my whole collection. The other Bernsteins I don't have as CDs, since I copied them from my family's collection; they're NYPO, but I don't remember the label. I need to pay more attention to these things, especially since the internet databases tend to make a mess when reading classical CDs (my boxed Wagner Ring cycle ends up being read in a variety of languages, with several labeling systems for tracks, so I'm having to relabel manually ).

Thanks for the M8 recommendations. It's one of my favorite symphonies, but it's easy to see how difficult it would be to record it well, because of all the firepower involved. It's easy for it to sound congested. In your experience, which version has the most "space" to it? I'm looking for a version that really breathes, and is as wide-sounding as possible.

And yeah, my wallet hates me. As I mentioned earlier, I've been reading the forums for a year, and have dropped quite a bit (for me) on earphones. Now it's back to music for me!

-bd
post #2031 of 3714
Welcome, Bookdoctor! You have no need to feel embarassed, because you have an excellent core collection to start with. And if you hang around here, your only problem will be where to put the hundreds of discs we inspire you to buy. At least it takes care of that pesky issue of having spare cash laying around, taking up space I see Bunny has already issued the official greeting, so I'll just say welcome aboard!!

Mark
post #2032 of 3714
Thanks for the report Myhui! Sounds like Gilbert has a way to go before he's seasoned and engaging in this piece. I hope to get to hear something in the new concert hall some time. Last time I was in LA, though, was soon after it opened, and I couldn't get a ticket.

One thing worth noting:
Quote:
Originally Posted by myhui
http://wdch.laphil.com/tix/performan...il.cfm?id=2355
One cue I picked up is that the conductor's waving hands are more than half a beat ahead of the sound.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Having the orchestra play in response to the beat is the traditional European approach to conducting. Some conductors now ask for the players to meet with them on the beat instead of reacting to it. I know that Previn is one who conducts "on" the beat, but not everyone does this.

Mark
post #2033 of 3714
Welcome bookdoctor - thanks for the post!

Regarding your M8 comment: That's a difficult piece to record because of the massive forces involved - tough to mike them all effectively without sounding "artificial" on one hand, or too distant on the other. It seems to me that you are looking for what I call a "cinerama" recording - big, expansive, with a wide soundstage. (Of course, the kind of equipment you use to play it will make all the difference).

M8 was rarely performed and recorded even less until the 1960s I believe; the first stereo recording was Abravanel's with the Utah Symphony (I'm kind of an Abravanel fan). This was once the definitive choice, and although it has long been eclipsed by others it's still a good recording. It gives you some of the "big" sound you're looking for, because of the ambient sound of the Mormon Tabernacle where it was recorded.

Do you have a vinyl rig? If so PM me.

Other than Abravanel, my favorite M8 is Solti, as Bunny mentioned. I think of it as the modern "reference" recording of the piece. It's characterized by great sound (not as "big" as Abravanel though), good singing and extraordinary brass.

The new Gary Bertini reading (don't know if it's available seperately) is a very energetic M8 - more aggressive than other's I've heard. At least that was my first impression - I've only heard it once.
post #2034 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Welcome, Bookdoctor! You have no need to feel embarassed, because you have an excellent core collection to start with. And if you hang around here, your only problem will be where to put the hundreds of discs we inspire you to buy. At least it takes care of that pesky issue of having spare cash laying around, taking up space I see Bunny has already issued the official greeting, so I'll just say welcome aboard!!

Mark
Thanks, Mark. I'm happy with my collection so far; as I said in my first post, I've been fortunate to have parents who love and understand music, and they've helped me do the same over the years. They have an impressive vinyl and CD collection, and I spend hours with it whenever I visit them. Now I just have to branch out, and experiment. I got hold of the Rattle M2/EMI a few days ago, and will be giving that a listen over the weekend.

-bd
post #2035 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Welcome bookdoctor - thanks for the post!

Regarding your M8 comment: That's a difficult piece to record because of the massive forces involved - tough to mike them all effectively without sounding "artificial" on one hand, or too distant on the other. It seems to me that you are looking for what I call a "cinerama" recording - big, expansive, with a wide soundstage. (Of course, the kind of equipment you use to play it will make all the difference).

M8 was rarely performed and recorded even less until the 1960s I believe; the first stereo recording was Abravanel's with the Utah Symphony (I'm kind of an Abravanel fan). This was once the definitive choice, and although it has long been eclipsed by others it's still a good recording. It gives you some of the "big" sound you're looking for, because of the ambient sound of the Mormon Tabernacle where it was recorded.

Do you have a vinyl rig? If so PM me.

Other than Abravanel, my favorite M8 is Solti, as Bunny mentioned. I think of it as the modern "reference" recording of the piece. It's characterized by great sound (not as "big" as Abravanel though), good singing and extraordinary brass.

The new Gary Bertini reading (don't know if it's available seperately) is a very energetic M8 - more aggressive than other's I've heard. At least that was my first impression - I've only heard it once.
Thanks, Doc. Yes, the sound you describe is what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, I don't have great equipment, since I live in a small apartment, plus I currently live in a semi-rural area of Thailand, where electricity is not always stable (you can't ground plugs, for example). I have an average JVC CD player with detachable speakers that I use once in a while. I've concentrated more on getting good earphones, and using those with my portable CD players or my iPod and PowerBook. I usually listen to classical music through Ety4P (when I want to "pick apart" a recording) or Westone UM2 (if I want a "darker" sound). Which of the M8 recordings you mentioned would work best with earphones like these?

-bd
post #2036 of 3714
bookdoctor,

I didn't mention the Nagano and Rattle M8s. Both of them have received good reviews. The Nagano is SACD/hybrid and wickedly expensive. The Rattle is available for far less (and I hate to recommend Rattle for anything) and the recording is very good (solid B grade) if not great as are the Solti and Kubelik. However, I'm not sure that the Rattle will give you the necessary space that you want. The Nagano sonics are supposed to be excellent so I suppose that is one should try to at least hear either at a brickstore (if they have a copy available for listening) or by getting a copy from a library.

For my money, the Bertini Mahler 8 that comes in the set is also one of the top ones, and my top recommendation would be to try and scrape together enough money to buy the Bertini set from EMI. It is a great boxed set -- ask your father if he has it yet. If he's a big Mahler fan he should get it as it's really terrific (my favorite M7 is in that set).

Actually, getting your father to buy the recordings and then putting them on your harddrive seems like a really economical way to get going.
post #2037 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
bookdoctor,

I didn't mention the Nagano and Rattle M8s. Both of them have received good reviews. The Nagano is SACD/hybrid and wickedly expensive. The Rattle is available for far less (and I hate to recommend Rattle for anything) and the recording is very good (solid B grade) if not great as are the Solti and Kubelik. However, I'm not sure that the Rattle will give you the necessary space that you want. The Nagano sonics are supposed to be excellent so I suppose that is one should try to at least hear either at a brickstore (if they have a copy available for listening) or by getting a copy from a library.

For my money, the Bertini Mahler 8 that comes in the set is also one of the top ones, and my top recommendation would be to try and scrape together enough money to buy the Bertini set from EMI. It is a great boxed set -- ask your father if he has it yet. If he's a big Mahler fan he should get it as it's really terrific (my favorite M7 is in that set).

Actually, getting your father to buy the recordings and then putting them on your harddrive seems like a really economical way to get going.
Great, I'll keep these in mind as well.

And I've been going through my parents' collection for years (or at least as long as I've had a computer that could import music). They have great stuff, and since space is a problem where I live, it's a relief to have access to such wonderful albums in a space-saving format.
post #2038 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by bookdoctor
Which of the M8 recordings you mentioned would work best with earphones like these?

-bd
Probably the Solti.
post #2039 of 3714
In addition to the great Bertini set, I recently got hold of the Inbal complete Mahler set on Brilliant, so I'll try to post some comments as I get to listen to various parts of it. I listened to his M9 last night and was pleased... eventually. It is a performance that intensifies as it progresses. I thought it was too reserved, too cool toward the beginning of the first movement. It became more engaging as is went along, though. The second movement Laendler had a pretty good edge to it and by the time it reached the third interruption by the fast waltz, it was spinning around crazily, a manic touch implied by the score but rarely met in most performances. The Burleske was spiky and energetic, and the finale was one of the most heartfelt things I've ever heard Inbal do. All in all, quite good. So here's my current Inbal lineup:

1- Fresh, pretty good.
2- Has some nice moments. Overall, perhaps a little underpowered.
3- Have to listen.
4- Best of cycle, one of the top 2 or 3 Mahler 4ths. Very fresh and alive.
5- Have to relisten: Didn't like it years ago last time I heard it
6- Have to listen.
7- Very good, lucid performance. Textures a bit lightweight in places.
8- Solid, good.
Das Lied- Have to listen.
9- Very good, builds up to nice intensity.
10 Adagio- Very good, more passionate than contemplative
10 Cooke- Better than Chailly, not as good as Wigglesworth or Rattle.

Mark
post #2040 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
10 Cooke- Better than Chailly, not as good as Wigglesworth or Rattle.

Mark
I still haven't listened to anyone's "10 Cooke" since that Wigglesworth concert..

I might have to wait another 10 years for a live performance, but I'm thinking that I just might do that.



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