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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 146

post #2176 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
Fair enough.

I do think, though, that it takes more to pull off a good M2 than almost any other of his works for a lot of reasons.
This is correct: and the magic ingredient is a live performance. I played in one with community orchestra and chorus of all things. Not so good at times. Yet the cumulative effect was overwhelming. The audience began clapping vociferously as the choir intoned its last "zu Gott!" and kept it up for the next minute or so as the orchestra finished. Then an uproar of approval: shouting, people standing on their seats, tears. It was really something. It was one of those magical performances musicians live for. Yet compared to any studio recording, the performance was crude. That's why the few live ones out there (Stokowski, Barbirolli et al) have something extra that the studio bound recordings (Kubelik DG comes to mind) lack. Of course, the theory isn't perfect: I can't explain why the MTT performance is so low-voltage, and it was live. Blomstedt got a lot more out of it with the same orchestra and choir.

Regarding the differences in the new Kaplan, if you know the music well, and have keen musical memory and ear, their is one really potent difference in the climax of the choral part near the end, where a dramatic chord which was once sung in the minor is now in the major, and it's like a radiant beam shining through. Is it authentic? I don't know, and until I read the score and notes for myself will remain skeptical.

If you're loolking for a fine digitital M2, try the Jansons on Chandos. Great sound, very athletic conducting, and the whole is certainly exciting. Jansons doesn't do boring.
post #2177 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Hey Mark - Any word on the rest of the Zander set?
Doc, sorry I've been out of circulation-- my computer has gone insane and Dell's so-called customer service staff are poor psychiatrists in my opinion. Fortunately, a friend saw how forlorn I looked and loaned me his laptop for the evening so I can check in at Head-Fi.

Amanda passed along an official response from Elaine Martone at Telarc, which I'll paraphrase here: The M7 is not one of the better-selling pieces in the repertory, so the Philharmonia wasn't too keen on recording it. Zander doesn't want to do a performing version of the sketches for the M10, and he is unsatisfied with his casting possibilities for Das Lied. The M8 is, as always, a logistical nightmare. This leaves decent odds for recording the M2, if they can line up a good chorus and soloists, and then they'll reopen the discussion about the M7, and then continue from there. The good news is that Telarc remains gung ho about the project, and of course, the more of the cycle that is recorded, the more likely it is that they'll complete it.

Mark
post #2178 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I'm looking for a great, not so-so, digital M2. That's why it's so hard to find one.
Bunny,

Have you ever heard Tennstedt's? It's a digital M2 which I would rank pretty highly. Tennstedt has a broad and dark concept of the piece, but he builds up to some good climaxes, as I recall it.

Incidentally, the Slatkin is digital. If you are hearing something, it isn't tape hiss. There might be some room noise from the air handling system in the theatre or something like that.

Mark
post #2179 of 3714

Latest acquisition...

I picked up the Rattle Berlin Philharmonic M10 this past weekend, since I'd heard good things about it and have been enjoying his M2 for the last couple of weeks. From what I've read, some people don't like Rattle's other Mahler recordings (besides the M2 and M10). Are these two his best? Which others might be worth trying? I ask because the record shops I have access to out here carry mostly his versions of Mahler.

As I said, I've really enjoyed his M2, which I'm now comparing to the other two versions I have: Walter's 1958 recording on CBS, and Bernstein's live 1988 NYPO version.
post #2180 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Bunny,

Have you ever heard Tennstedt's? It's a digital M2 which I would rank pretty highly. Tennstedt has a broad and dark concept of the piece, but he builds up to some good climaxes, as I recall it.

Incidentally, the Slatkin is digital. If you are hearing something, it isn't tape hiss. There might be some room noise from the air handling system in the theatre or something like that.

Mark
I really don't know whether the Slatkin has hiss or not technically, but it's not the quietest recording ever made. I do know that it was digitally recorded on tape, not to memory chip or hard drive (or whatever they had back in 1983). They made a big thing about how they finally had the technology to get the information off the degenerated tapes so that it could be transferred from the soundstream media to DSD media. Did the Soundstream process have some inherent hiss because of the tape? Perhaps it's just the restoration process, but it's not the quietest recording I have and I can hear a difference between the sound of the Slatkin and later recordings. Btw, it's only 2 channel SACD so I get to enjoy it over my tube amp rather than the digital surround processor. It is a great performance in any event -- and I do have it on ipod even if it's not one of my favorites through my iems.
post #2181 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I really don't know whether the Slatkin has hiss or not technically, but it's not the quietest recording ever made. I do know that it was digitally recorded on tape, not to memory chip or hard drive (or whatever they had back in 1983). They made a big thing about how they finally had the technology to get the information off the degenerated tapes so that it could be transferred from the soundstream media to DSD media. Did the Soundstream process have some inherent hiss because of the tape? Perhaps it's just the restoration process, but it's not the quietest recording I have and I can hear a difference between the sound of the Slatkin and later recordings. Btw, it's only 2 channel SACD so I get to enjoy it over my tube amp rather than the digital surround processor. It is a great performance in any event -- and I do have it on ipod even if it's not one of my favorites through my iems.
Bunny,

In that scenario, tape was merely the storage format for the digital encoding, just as a hard drive or a CDR is a storage format. That tape is not actually "played" in the analog sense, so it shouldn't contribute any sort of noise in any way that I can imagine, but I'm no technical engineer, so who knows what was possible with the customized, modified machines that were being used in the early 80's!

Mark
post #2182 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by bookdoctor
I picked up the Rattle Berlin Philharmonic M10 this past weekend, since I'd heard good things about it and have been enjoying his M2 for the last couple of weeks. From what I've read, some people don't like Rattle's other Mahler recordings (besides the M2 and M10). Are these two his best? Which others might be worth trying?
Bookdoctor,

Here's my thoughts on the rest of the Rattle cycle:

1- Not bad conceptually, but it never catches fire
3- I would rank this pretty highly. Mahler at his most sprawling seems to suit Sir Simon well. He plays up all the contrasts, making for a colorful version.
4- Didn't like this one much at all. He tries way too hard, speeding up and slowing down, etc.
5- Pretty good, though overemphatic in places. He seems to have an insecurity where he can't ever let things just flow.
6- Never seems to heat up, let alone catch fire
7- The first movement isn't ideally focussed, but the rest is quite good, including the all-time best version of the scherzo. There his sense of adventure and eccentricity work wonders.
8- I haven't yet heard this
9- Not bad, but a little on the dour and severe side
post #2183 of 3714

MTT M9 Review

Allmusic.com has a review of the MTT Mahler 9th on their frontpage (not sure if it is there all day or what, but click and see, I didn't read it yet, just saw it a few minutes ago).

www.allmusic.com
post #2184 of 3714
Do you mean that fluff piece: Mahler's 9th Without Tears? I couldn't believe that they made a point of saying that it was better without the tragedy.

Well, each to his own. Imo, it's a very good M9 but not a great one.

Edit: Here's their review of MTT's M7 for balance.
post #2185 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Do you mean that fluff piece: Mahler's 9th Without Tears? I couldn't believe that they made a point of saying that it was better without the tragedy.

Well, each to his own. Imo, it's a very good M9 but not a great one.

Edit: Here's their review of MTT's M7 for balance.
yes, that was pretty pithy huh?
post #2186 of 3714
AMG has the occasional bad review, and for some reason yourmusic loves to include them with the selections they are trying to sell (!). For AMG to pan something it must be a real stinker.
post #2187 of 3714
Some people like Mahler without tears: at times it's refreshing. Same with the Tchaikovsky 6th: do you want all the emotions exposed, Heart-on-Sleeve or a more balanced, objective approach. Different strokes for different folks.

For all of you Mahler 7th fans: MTT and the SFO will be playing it in June 2007 for a week. Make your vacation plans now. And Lorin Maazel will do the objectivist view in NY the same month.
post #2188 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Bookdoctor,

Here's my thoughts on the rest of the Rattle cycle:

1- Not bad conceptually, but it never catches fire
3- I would rank this pretty highly. Mahler at his most sprawling seems to suit Sir Simon well. He plays up all the contrasts, making for a colorful version.
4- Didn't like this one much at all. He tries way too hard, speeding up and slowing down, etc.
5- Pretty good, though overemphatic in places. He seems to have an insecurity where he can't ever let things just flow.
6- Never seems to heat up, let alone catch fire
7- The first movement isn't ideally focussed, but the rest is quite good, including the all-time best version of the scherzo. There his sense of adventure and eccentricity work wonders.
8- I haven't yet heard this
9- Not bad, but a little on the dour and severe side
Thanks, Mark. I'll keep an eye out for that M3, then, since it's next on my list for comparative listening (my current version is Bernstein/NYPO) and I'll be able to visit a store next week.
post #2189 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
Some people like Mahler without tears: at times it's refreshing. Same with the Tchaikovsky 6th: do you want all the emotions exposed, Heart-on-Sleeve or a more balanced, objective approach. Different strokes for different folks.

For all of you Mahler 7th fans: MTT and the SFO will be playing it in June 2007 for a week. Make your vacation plans now. And Lorin Maazel will do the objectivist view in NY the same month.
I like an occasional restrained recording of Mahler but never want it in a live performance. Then I want the full fireworks -- lightning and thunder. The M9, however, is a death struggle and there is no way I can consider a restrained M9 anything but less than inadequate. If there are no tears, I at least want to see the sweat of struggle, and there is no sweat in Mtt's M9 either -- just dignity and good taste.

Tchaikovsky on the other hand really needs restraint as his music is so very sweet that it can easily descend to bathos; the same with Rachmaninov. The Russian soul is already so clearly in the music that it becomes too much of a good thing if it is done without restraint, which is why I love Stephen Hough's Rach cycle. But Mahler's 9th with it's discordant undertones (and overtones for that matter) is about struggle and tears are honestly shed there rather than because a sweet tune is manipulating your emotions.

I heard MTT and the SFSO doing the M7 last spring here in NY and they did a wonderful job that evening. I had high hopes for the recording but somehow, perhaps because he had already recorded the symphony and the later performance had evolved more, the recording lacked the focus and excitement of that later live performance, especially in the first movement. The last movement was just splendid in any case on the recording as it was that evening. The SFSO sound so good nowadays that no one should miss their concerts. I have my tickets for the Ruckert Lieder (Lorraine Hunt Lieberson) in any event. Ives' New England Holidays Symphony is on the same program.
post #2190 of 3714
Mildly Mahler Related

Quote:
Originally Posted by
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