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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 139

post #2071 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I find Inbal similar to Bertini in style and tempo of performance, Inbal may even be more clarified and lightly textured sounding very fresh if sometimes being touch lightweight.....this is perfect style for the more playful nature of Mahler 4th.
Yeah, Inbal can be a touch lightweight in the bigger works, but his orchestra's texture was utterly perfect for the M4. And the way he has them do all those gorgeous portamento slides!

I wonder if there was ever some lucky Mahler fan living about half way between Cologne and Frankfurt in Germany during the late 80's/early 90's. A thirty minute drive in either direction and he (or she) could have heard Inbal or Bertini doing lots of Mahler, with Gielen just a little further down the road in Stuttgart. What a feast for Mahler fans!

M
post #2072 of 3714

Any online shopping tips from members living in Asia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I don't know where you are located, but aren't there other cd clubs that are available to you? I know that in Europe JPC has excellent prices as well as purchasing at Amazon from their partners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
I think you said you lived in Thailand, right? Your best price might be from Amazon marketplace sellers (in the right nav bar on each CD listing of the US Amazon); some of the sellers will ship internationally. You can find some really good deals there. Some of us occasionally post here when we spot the good prices, as well.
Yes, this is one of my problems trying to get music out here. There are now some very good high-end audio stores in Bangkok (I bought a pair of UM2s at one some time back), but I live a few hours' drive away and don't get around to visiting there very often. The store here in town is okay, but it's not easy to find good classical recordings.

I have purchased through Amazon in the past, but shipping fees are crazy, and if I don't choose a more expensive shipping option (priority, I think), I run the risk of paying post fees when it arrives. So I've often paid several times the price of a CD in shipping alone.

I don't want to derail the thread, so I'll just word my question this way: How do those of you who live/have lived in Asia shop online for your Mahler (and other classical) recordings, other than Amazon?

Thanks for your advice!
post #2073 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Bookdoctor,

Kletzki's Mahler 4 is an old favorite, an early stereo gem. His 1st was also excellent with one huge exception: There is a cut toward the end of the finale where Kletzki cuts about a minute out of the final section. I guess he thought it went on too long. If it weren't for that cut, that recording would probably be regarded as a classic today. I haven't heard his 'Adagietto' but I'm sure it's just as good as his usual work.

Mark
Yes, I'm on my second listen to this M4, and I love the clarity of the recording, it sounds very clean (I'm listening to it as Apple Lossless files on my iPod, since I don't have a proper speaker rig). I also like the way Kletzki brings out the contrasts between "light" and "dark," so that while the music has a more carefree character than in Bernstein's recording, it actually holds a lot more menace. In comparison, Bernstein's M4 is more "even" in expression throughout, more drawn-out, and this muffles those contrasts somewhat.

I'll give that M1 a listen later today, and also the Adagietto.
post #2074 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
I've been listening to Fischer's M6 this week. In a word, disappointing:

1) Overall, it's too fast. This is especially damaging in the Andante. But it ruins some of the Finale, too. He doesn't linger on some of the soul-searing music.
2) The sound is not all that great. It's clear enough, just doesn't have much of an impact either with headphones or speakers. The hammer blows are timid.
3) Most damaging of all: he places the Andante II and the Scherzo III, which makes no sense to me. He's not alone, but I'll never accept the reasoning behind the decision to do this. Erwin Ratz, in the critical edition of the score, was correct about the order. And later work by Fussl makes a compelling argument for Scherzo/Andante. I know it's easy to program the cd player to change the order, but I swear, the order that a conductor has in mind changes the way he handles the music. Anything to be different, eh, Ivan?

I would classify this as a good, competent reading, but hardly a top choice. More like Haitink or even Levine and Boulez. Bernstein, Barbirolli, and Karajan still own this symphony. Heck, even Farberman (Vox) finds more music than Fischer.
I gave this another spin today and I have to disagree with you. It's not disappointing to me. It's not my very favorite M6 but I didn't expect it to be as I have Oué's M6 to compare it to. However, the sound quality in SACD multi speaker format is fantastic. It sounds great and the hammer blows are well defined with tremendous percussive power, especially the second one.

This is a briskly paced M6, which is something that I prefer. I don't find the tempos rushed for the most part as they are very close to those of Oué, Levi, Mitropoulos and Bernstein who also fit it onto one cd. It fits on one cd not because Fischer has managed to speed through the symphony at the speed of light but because in keeping with the recordings by Bernstein, Levi, Mitropoulos and others Fischer did not take the first exposition repeat. I would have preferred the andante to come third rather than second, I would also have preferred a very, very slightly broader tempo in some parts of that movement and I would also have preferred the repeat to be taken, but generally the symphony is very well done. It's closest in interpretation to the recent Abbado M6 and it compares favorably to that both in sonics and interpretation. If someone likes the Abbado they will find nothing to object to in this recording. In fact, this is probably the only time that I have listened to the M6 with the inner movements in this order where I actually felt that there was a justification for having them this way. Fischer has managed to relate the end of the first movment to the beginning of the Andante and also to relate the end of the Andante to the beginning of the Scherzo, perhaps through the refined textures that he achieves. This is certainly a recording of great transparency and dynamism.

In the end we should remember that Mahler actually never conducted this symphony with the movements in any other order and it continued to be conducted in that order until after his death. In keeping with Mahler's custom he also has only two hammer blows. I don't know the intellectual arguments in favor of either order, I can only argue from how I enjoy it most and I have to admit that I do prefer the scherzo second. I also prefer two hammerblows so that the last crash of tympany has more the feeling of a coup de grace than a mighty blow. For me that third hammerblow is overkill, like using a cannon to end the death throes of someone already mortally wounded on the ground.

As for programming my cd player or ipod to put the movements into the "proper" order, why bother? It's only necessary when the interpretation doesn't make that order seem cogent and here it works very well. This is a fine alternate interpretation of the symphony. If it lacks the intensity of Bernstein and Mitropoulos it's not because of the tempo. Certainly Oué and Levi both gave their performances incredible intensity at the same pace. It's more a function of the phrasing and dynamics as well as the orchestra sound. The Budapest Festival Orchestra seems not as strongly voiced in this recording as they sounded in Carnegie Hall but that may also be a function of the hall where it was recorded as much as anything else. Some will call this Mahler lite just as they have termed Abbado Mahler lite but I wouldn't go that far for either of them. In fact the only one I would call Mahler lite is Rattle who I have come to thoroughly dislike for so many good reasons.
post #2075 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
It's not my very favorite M6 ...This is a briskly paced M6, which is something that I prefer. I would have preferred the andante to come third rather than second, I would also have preferred a very, very slightly broader tempo in some parts of that movement...
So maybe you don't disagree that much. I agree it's a good performance, just not the best. I did not listen in SACD.

But you are wrong about Mahler conducting the symphony and the order of the middle two movements: from first performance to the publication of the score he waffled on what order he wanted them in. Even after the pocket score was issued he changed his mind. Read del la Grange vol. 3)He struggled with it a great deal, and no wonder: in the two surrounding symphonies with their five movements, creating a center was not so big of an issue. For the 6th it was. Short of some medium contacting Mahler in the great beyond, we'll never no for sure what order he wanted. Even the first movement repeat seems up for conjecture! One thing is clear, the 3rd Hammerblow was excised by Mahler, but boy, when done well, like the Tucson Symphony did a couple of seasons back, it is overwhelming.

I hope that Fischer will record the entire set, as his orchestra is one of the last in existence with a sound of an old-world orchestra closer to what Mahler knew than the modern internationalised institutions.
post #2076 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
So maybe you don't disagree that much. I agree it's a good performance, just not the best. I did not listen in SACD.

But you are wrong about Mahler conducting the symphony and the order of the middle two movements: from first performance to the publication of the score he waffled on what order he wanted them in. Even after the pocket score was issued he changed his mind. Read del la Grange vol. 3)He struggled with it a great deal, and no wonder: in the two surrounding symphonies with their five movements, creating a center was not so big of an issue. For the 6th it was. Short of some medium contacting Mahler in the great beyond, we'll never no for sure what order he wanted. Even the first movement repeat seems up for conjecture! One thing is clear, the 3rd Hammerblow was excised by Mahler, but boy, when done well, like the Tucson Symphony did a couple of seasons back, it is overwhelming.

I hope that Fischer will record the entire set, as his orchestra is one of the last in existence with a sound of an old-world orchestra closer to what Mahler knew than the modern internationalised institutions.
Having heard the BFO doing the M1 live, I have to admit that the orchestra is first rate and Fischer's reading of the symphony was wonderful. I hope he is doing the cycle as you can never have enough Mahler cycles, can you?

I read the booklet that came in the M6 about how Fischer came to decide to put the Andante second -- touring and playing it both ways until he came to believe that the Andante needed to come 2nd rather than 3rd and it did make sense. As I said, this was actually the only recording that I have where I don't get annoyed having the andante second. However, I wish I could have heard one of those performances with the Andante third.

In any event I think that the recording is far from disappointing. Having heard a truly disappointing M4 (Simon Rattle at exorbitant ticket prices), there is no way I can consider myself disappointed with this recording. It is an excellent reading if not precisely what I expected. This is a different interpretation and I'm glad that it is. Who knows, as I listen I'll bet that it grows on me. Certainly I am very happy about the sound quality which is an amazingly natural accoustic. I don't know how the stereo is though, not having listened to it.
post #2077 of 3714

Updating my collection

I've been organizing my Mahler collection (in terms of finding out what versions I had of some symphonies, and adding new acquisitions). So it now stands like this:

M1
1. Bernstein, Concertgebouw (DG)
2. Kletzki, Vienna Philharmonic

M2
1. Bernstein, NYPO (Columbia)
2. Rattle, CBSO (EMI)
3. Walter, Columbia Symphony Orchestra

M3
Bernstein, NYPO (Columbia)

M4
1. Bernstein, Concertgebouw (DG)
2. Kletzki, Philharmonia Orchestra

M5
1. Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic
2. Just the Adagietto on the Kletzki M4 CD, with the Philharmonia Orchestra

M6
Horenstein, Stockholm

M7
1. Abbado, CSO (DG)
2. Bernstein, NYPO (Columbia)

M8
Bernstein, NYPO (Columbia)

M9
1. Barbirolli, BPO
2. Bernstein, NYPO (Columbia)

M10 (unfinished)
Bernstein, NYPO (Columbia)


From my listening sessions over the past few days, I've discovered that:

1. I really like Kletzki's handling of the M4 over Bernstein's. Maybe I'd like an earlier Bernstein, but I feel that this one (on DG) lacks the dynamism of Kletzki's, and the contrasts between the light, carefree sections and the menace that runs underneath.

2. I like the Abbado M7, but hate the way the CD is divided into 21 tracks (several for each movement). From the booklet listing, I assume that this is done in part to help people follow along in the score (since they give the score locations for the passages). It makes for a very distracting listening experience, though. My CD player is not fast enough to make the gaps unnoticeable. Fortunately, I have the option of joining CD tracks when importing to iTunes, so I made a Lossless version reconstructing the five movements, and that's what I've been listening to. What about you all? Do you like the versions where movements are split into many tracks, because they give you the chance to really analyze the piece, or do you find them distracting?


EDIT: Corrected the info for the Horenstein M6 (it's Stockholm, not LSO).
post #2078 of 3714
My Mahler collection:

Rafael Kubelik/Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks Complete Set.

1st: Kubelik's 1st is my favorite by far. I've had other performances of the 1st but sold them as the 'edge' that Kubelik's does.

2nd: Abbado/Vienna Philharmonic

3rd: Rattle/City of Birmingham SO. Very nice

4th: Abbado/Vienna Philharmonic. I also like the Kubelik 4th. I bought the Kletzki as it has had good reviews but later sold it. It seemed to be missing something essential.

5th: Barshai/Junge Deutsche Phil. This one really suprised me. I just love the performance.

6th: Szell/Cleveland Orch. This is the one Mahler symphony that I've yet to appreciate.

7th: Abbado/Berlin Phil & Levi/Atlanta SO. Different readings, I like both of them. The sound on the Levi (Telarc) is nice. I really enjoy the 7th.

8th: Chailly/Royal Concertgebouw O.

9th: Haitink/Royal Concertgebouw O. Both original Philips release and 96kHz 24bit versions. I like the sound on the new version. Currently my favorite Mahler symphony.
post #2079 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bookdoctor
2. I like the Abbado M7, but hate the way the CD is divided into 21 tracks (several for each movement). From the booklet listing, I assume that this is done in part to help people follow along in the score (since they give the score locations for the passages). It makes for a very distracting listening experience, though. My CD player is not fast enough to make the gaps unnoticeable. Fortunately, I have the option of joining CD tracks when importing to iTunes, so I made a Lossless version reconstructing the five movements, and that's what I've been listening to. What about you all? Do you like the versions where movements are split into many tracks, because they give you the chance to really analyze the piece, or do you find them distracting?
BD
Check your CDP to make sure you don't have "auto space" feature turned on which inserts 2 second silence between tracks........the Abbado/CSO M7 should play seamless with no noticeable track change except between movements.

Also how did you get that Horenstein M6!!!!!!! (me want that)
post #2080 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeoneElse
My Mahler collection:

Rafael Kubelik/Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks Complete Set.

1st: Kubelik's 1st is my favorite by far. I've had other performances of the 1st but sold them as the 'edge' that Kubelik's does.

2nd: Abbado/Vienna Philharmonic

3rd: Rattle/City of Birmingham SO. Very nice

4th: Abbado/Vienna Philharmonic. I also like the Kubelik 4th. I bought the Kletzki as it has had good reviews but later sold it. It seemed to be missing something essential.

5th: Barshai/Junge Deutsche Phil. This one really suprised me. I just love the performance.

6th: Szell/Cleveland Orch. This is the one Mahler symphony that I've yet to appreciate.

7th: Abbado/Berlin Phil & Levi/Atlanta SO. Different readings, I like both of them. The sound on the Levi (Telarc) is nice. I really enjoy the 7th.

8th: Chailly/Royal Concertgebouw O.

9th: Haitink/Royal Concertgebouw O. Both original Philips release and 96kHz 24bit versions. I like the sound on the new version. Currently my favorite Mahler symphony.
SE
Welcome to team Mahler, Tyson and I have been discussing Abbado's early VPO and CSO Mahler works during last month......I have acquired every Abbado CSO performance I could find and have many of his VPO versions from complete Abbado set sold now.

Strange that you find M6 less desireable.....especially if you like M5 & M7, I'm sure eventually you will grow to like it, just give it some time.
post #2081 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by bookdoctor
What about you all? Do you like the versions where movements are split into many tracks, because they give you the chance to really analyze the piece, or do you find them distracting?
That's weird that you can hear a gap with your cd player. I've had various cd players going back over 20 years and have never come across one that doesn't play multi-track classical pieces smoothly (I have quite a few classical cds that have more than one track per movement, DG was especially fond of tracking their discs this way, esp in the early days). So, I guess I've never really had a problem with it. I used to like it more because I could find a section easier than just using the fast-forward. But, since I don't listen that often, I don't really have a preference.

-jar
post #2082 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
BD
Check your CDP to make sure you don't have "auto space" feature turned on which inserts 2 second silence between tracks........the Abbado/CSO M7 should play seamless with no noticeable track change except between movements.
Thanks for the suggestion. It's a very simple player, though, so it doesn't have that feature (it doesn't even have a headphone out!). The gap doesn't really last any real length of time, but you can definitely notice the transition from one track to the next. I'm not too worried, though, since I usually listen to music through my iPod. I was just curious as to what other people's experience was with this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Also how did you get that Horenstein M6!!!!!!! (me want that)
It's part of my parents' collection back home, so I just have it on my external drive from when I copied it last year. I think they've had it for some time, though; I'll ask what edition it is, and where they found it.
post #2083 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
That's weird that you can hear a gap with your cd player. I've had various cd players going back over 20 years and have never come across one that doesn't play multi-track classical pieces smoothly (I have quite a few classical cds that have more than one track per movement, DG was especially fond of tracking their discs this way, esp in the early days). So, I guess I've never really had a problem with it. I used to like it more because I could find a section easier than just using the fast-forward. But, since I don't listen that often, I don't really have a preference.

-jar
Thanks for the info, jar. It's not an old player, just very lo-fi, since speakers are never my main preference for listening to music anyway. It doesn't even have a headphone out (although, if you wanted to sing along to Mahler, you can plug in a microphone and do a karaoke session). It's not a huge gap I'm hearing, and not with all tracks. But I definitely notice the skipping. In any case, it's not a huge problem, since I prefer headphones and my iPod for listening.
post #2084 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Also how did you get that Horenstein M6!!!!!!! (me want that)
Try amazon.co.uk. It's a unicorn kanchana recording with the Stockholm Philharmonic. I've read enough about the mediocre to bad playing, missed notes, etc. to discourage me from buying it. I know that the performance would drive me insane despite a masterful vision of the work from Horenstein.

post #2085 of 3714
Save your money. Unless -- is the very interesting discussion with Horenstein on this cd set? It was side 4 on the LPs from Nonesuch, and I've kept the lps for that reason. The performance is a non-starter. Maybe it's the recessed sound. Or the shaky orchestral playing. But the interview was great.
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