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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 165

post #2461 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears

That's already out, but it's part of a 10 cd boxed set: Eugene Ormandy: Maestro Brilliante
Is that the later Philadelphia recording or it his very early (1938 or so) recording in Minneapolis? Either way, it would be interesting to hear, as I've heard neither. I can't say I'm as big a fan of the Ormandy M1 + Blumine as others here. It strikes me as being a bit bland and all-purpose.

M
post #2462 of 3714
A few thoughts on Bertini M2:

I was listening to the first movement while painting the back porch.
(I was painting while listening to Mahler....bwahahahaah). Seemed ok but I wasn't paying attention extremely close.. I liked what I heard.

Mvmt 2: I had no problem with his version. Struck me as kind of slow, like he was taking a leisurely stroll through the movement. But it did have momentum.

Mvmt 3: Bertini also gave this movement a good amount of forward momentum, from the first timpani all the way to the end of the movement. Bertini is NOT an "episodic" conductor (see Zander). You know that part near the end that forshadows the last movement? Well, many conductors transport themselves into the last movement for that bit, then come back and finish the 3rd movement. Bertini keeps his feet firmly planted in the 3rd movement, so it sounds more like just a *hint* of the last movement instead of full-on time travel. I actually kind of liked that, but he glosses over some other parts that I normally like to hear stretched out.. (that beautiful trumpet tune near the middle of the movement)..

Mvmt 4: Singer ruins it for me. I can't remember her name, but she's way too dramatic. I don't think anyone will ever match Maureen Forrester..

Mvmt 5: Again, for one of the most "episodic" movements in Mahler, Bertini's approach seems to gloss over many of the parts that I savor. (The brass chorale before the first big climax.. man, he really didn't give the brass much of a chance to enjoy themselves there). Later in the movement, the orchestra sounded tired. The mix was weird too between the orchestra and chorus. Kind of muddy. Otherwise the sound of the orchestra themselves was fine. It's just that the playing just sounded laboured...

Overall, I can't say I'd return to this one very often. Now that I kind of have the symphony in my head, I'll have to get out the version I recently bought that's conducted by Oleg Caetani and give it a listen.. it's been a while.

-jar
post #2463 of 3714
I bought Tennstedt's '76 M4 with the SWR Baden-Baden and, having a very long drive to audition it, I can say that I understand what "dirty" means much better. The recording itself is a little weird, with percussion balanced too forward in what sounds like a boomy hall. However, I can see Tennstedt's fundamental point. It doesn't change my opinion, though. The problem is this, still: Tennstedt gets the feel for it, but I can see several moments where the score suffers a little bit for it. It's a reading worth hearing, but it isn't a definitive interpretation.
post #2464 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Is that the later Philadelphia recording or it his very early (1938 or so) recording in Minneapolis? Either way, it would be interesting to hear, as I've heard neither. I can't say I'm as big a fan of the Ormandy M1 + Blumine as others here. It strikes me as being a bit bland and all-purpose.

M
It's the earlier recordings, and the price seems to vary between about $20 (worth it for 10 cds) to over $50 (less of a value, especially as these are "historic" recordings).

Here's a link to the cheap listings and here's the link to the more expensive listings. Strangely, Amazon has 2 listings and they appear to be for the same thing. Tower only shows it at the higher prices. Quite a curious phenomenon.

I have one recording with the Blumine and have heard another. I'm not a fan of the Blumine as part of the M1 either, but I enjoy listening to it after the symphony, so I program my cd player to play it in that order.

Edit: The recordings also include the Rachmaninoff recording of his piano concertos along with Casadesus' recording of the Beethoven 4th piano concerto. That makes it very interesting to me for the $20.00.
post #2465 of 3714
I gave into an impulse buy (so rare for me....NOT). Grabbed the Ormandy M1 on Itunes Music store.
post #2466 of 3714
Just ordered the new Naxos/Wit M8. Will report upon listening.
post #2467 of 3714
I just finished watching "Conducting Mahler." Has anyone else seen this?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...-0119951?n=130

It is a documentary by Frank Scheffer done during the '95 Mahler Festival in Amsterdam. He interviewed Bernard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Simon Rattle, and Riccardo Muti about what Mahler means to them, the challenges of conducting his music, etc. Fascinating documentary with lots of rehearsal footage. I recommend this highly. It is coupled with another documentary about Chailly's farewell from Amsterdam with Mahler's 9th which I hope to watch tomorrow or Monday. This is great stuff, giving some wonderful glimpses of that remote frontier where the music passes through the mind and talent of the performers to get to us.

Mark
post #2468 of 3714
I enjoyed that film, but I found the photography very irritating. 90% of the time it's a close up of the face. You get little sense of what the hands are doing, or what the orchestra does. I learned something from it, but some long shots would have improved it dramatically. It also made me sad to realize that the sensational Mahler Festival that the footage was taken at was something that will likely never be repeated, and darn it, I missed it.
post #2469 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
I enjoyed that film, but I found the photography very irritating. 90% of the time it's a close up of the face. You get little sense of what the hands are doing, or what the orchestra does. I learned something from it, but some long shots would have improved it dramatically.
I can see your point, though it didn't bother me as much. I liked being able to see the close-up expressions on the conductors' faces. Seeing more of their hands would be good, though. I can do without seeing the orchestra, unless some director would make it more of a character study, showing the players faces, whether they are playing or not. Just showing them playing is pretty generic and is done too much in other concert movies for my taste. After all, there's nothing much attractive about seeing an oboist play with so much air pressure it looks like his or her eyes are going to pop out.

M
post #2470 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.B.M.Head
This thread got me into Mahler too. I've got my first Mahler double CD from Gold Classics (Gustav Mahler Edition - DCD2510) last week which contains the 1st, the 6th and the 5th. I'm totaly amazed by the 1st, and the 6th is great too. The 5th seems a bit short (11min 44 sec), so maybe it is not complete? The conductor is Anton Nanut and the orchestra is the RSO Ljubljana. I think I will get the 2nd and the 4th next from the same conductor / orchestra.
Thank you all for letting me discover this great composer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpio(DDMF)
No, that would be the 1st. movement of the 5th. Trauermarsch (Funeral March)...



Hi,

How did you like Nanut's version of the 1st mov. of the 5th?

Nanut's version was my first encounter with the 5th., it has a not-so-good SQ (even dough it's recorded quite recently - I'm guessing because of the DDD recording process), but the 1st. movement is great: lots of energy, dynamics, great control (and I DO realise it's an funeral march )

I've got the Newmann's version afterwards, and the first movement was rather lazy (that would be the best word to describe it)...

Anybody else heard the Nanut's version? How would you rate it?

Cheers...
Well, I saw the Nanut M5 at my friendly used cd store and having had my curiousity piqued earlier, just couldn't resist buying it. (Yes, my poor wallet, etc.)

SQ is as noted not the best, but it's a fun interpretation of the symphony. The adagietto is toward the Kaplan radical end, clocking in at 9m6s, and the finale is just wonderful. Tempos are generally swift (63 minutes for the whole symphony), and in general he keeps it moving with a good ear for the structure. This is definitely a rollercoaster ride of a symphony -- exuberant Mahler in "full flower."
post #2471 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
A few thoughts on Bertini M2:

I was listening to the first movement while painting the back porch.
(I was painting while listening to Mahler....bwahahahaah). Seemed ok but I wasn't paying attention extremely close.. I liked what I heard.

Mvmt 2: I had no problem with his version. Struck me as kind of slow, like he was taking a leisurely stroll through the movement. But it did have momentum.

Mvmt 3: Bertini also gave this movement a good amount of forward momentum, from the first timpani all the way to the end of the movement. Bertini is NOT an "episodic" conductor (see Zander). You know that part near the end that forshadows the last movement? Well, many conductors transport themselves into the last movement for that bit, then come back and finish the 3rd movement. Bertini keeps his feet firmly planted in the 3rd movement, so it sounds more like just a *hint* of the last movement instead of full-on time travel. I actually kind of liked that, but he glosses over some other parts that I normally like to hear stretched out.. (that beautiful trumpet tune near the middle of the movement)..

Mvmt 4: Singer ruins it for me. I can't remember her name, but she's way too dramatic. I don't think anyone will ever match Maureen Forrester..

Mvmt 5: Again, for one of the most "episodic" movements in Mahler, Bertini's approach seems to gloss over many of the parts that I savor. (The brass chorale before the first big climax.. man, he really didn't give the brass much of a chance to enjoy themselves there). Later in the movement, the orchestra sounded tired. The mix was weird too between the orchestra and chorus. Kind of muddy. Otherwise the sound of the orchestra themselves was fine. It's just that the playing just sounded laboured...

Overall, I can't say I'd return to this one very often. Now that I kind of have the symphony in my head, I'll have to get out the version I recently bought that's conducted by Oleg Caetani and give it a listen.. it's been a while.

-jar
Despite the massive amounts of positive press for Bertini set, especially the brain trust at classics today, I have not included any performance in my top 5 list.

Although Bertini is very good overall and sound quality is excellent I prefer sets by Kubelik/DG, Kubelik/Audite, Bernstein/Sony and Solti/London and each set holds several spots in my top 5 list.......so good to hear some balancing critique to go with all the positive press, bravo to MJ
post #2472 of 3714
I don't understand what the quibbling about the Bertini set is all about. The 2nd may not someone's first choice, but it is an excellent rendition of the symphony and competitive with the best. His M7 and M3 are favorites of mine as are the M1 and M8 and Das Lied. Not every performance in any of Bernstein's cycles is my favorite either and the same can be said of the Kubelik and Solti cycles. Certainly I enjoy the Bertini cycle much more than the Abbado cycles -- both of which are way too introspective for my taste.

Bertini's achievement should also be recognized for the way he got his orchestra to play. This is first rate music making from an orchestra that was frequently dismissed as 2nd tier. I don't have any recordings to compare how they sounded before Bertini took over, but he is credited with substantially improving their quality. Bertini's skill with intonation and blend certainly deserve recognition at the very least. Bertini's cycle is up there with the best -- Bernstein, Solti, Gielen, Kubelik, Chailly et al. And, if you compare the sound of the WDR with for instance the LSO under Tennstedt, you can see that Bertini's Orchestra sounds as good or, imo better. Mark may term Tennstedt's interpretations as necessarily "dirty," but the sound of the LSO is pretty rough in places and there are definitely places where the musicianship could have been better. Morevoer, the sound quality of that set is far from EMI's best achievement. In other words, Tennstedt's cycle is not perfect either! When you get a top rated Mahler boxed set, you shouldn't expect each and every symphony to be at the top of every list. It is the whole cycle, weak parts and strong parts taken together that has to be considered and Bertini's achievement is formidable -- there's not a clanker in the lot.

In addition to getting great music, EMI has also given top notch sonics in an elegant package. Compare that to the way the Gielen is packed at almost double the price and again, there is no doubt that the set deserves all of the praise it's getting. Is the set perfect? NO! But I have yet to find a perfect Mahler cycle or Beethoven cycle or any cycle. Anyone who is looking for perfection had better prepare for disappointment in this life.
post #2473 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Despite the massive amounts of positive press for Bertini set, especially the brain trust at classics today, I have not included any performance in my top 5 list.

Although Bertini is very good overall and sound quality is excellent I prefer sets by Kubelik/DG, Kubelik/Audite, Bernstein/Sony and Solti/London and each set holds several spots in my top 5 list.......so good to hear some balancing critique to go with all the positive press, bravo to MJ
Bertini seems to be Hurwitz' choice for integral sets, and I can see his point. Each performance might not be the best for that symphony (though a colorable case could be made for the M7 and Das Lied), but they all go together very well. It is a "complete" set in every sense of that word. As such, it is very good.

Also, Bertini will stop being FOTM soon enough. Hurwitz likes it because it is a dry, analytic set. It was called "elegant" here, I think, and that's as good as any word to describe it. If you don't like elegant Mahler, then that might be a problem.

EDIT: It really did take fifteen minutes for me to write this, I am doing about ten things right now.
post #2474 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Bunny
If you get a chance would like to see your updated current top 5 Mahler list for each symphony and see what your top choices are.

PS
May take some time for good new Mahler set to surface........so FOTM status can be sustained for some time.
post #2475 of 3714
PSmith,

who called the Bertini elegant? It's packaging is certainly elegant, but the music is far more substantial than that.

DarkAngel,

I never pin myself down to a top 5 list. First I have trouble prioritizing anything, and second I am always sure that there is something I've forgotten or left out.

But, so far some of my favorite Mahler recordings include Bertini's 1,3,7,8, Das Lied (also 9 but then I'm always vacillating). the selections below stand out in my mind almost like comfort food Mahler (although some of the recordings are far from comforting)
Oue Das Lied, M6
Ancerl 9
Mitropoulos M6
Barshai M5
Gatti M5
Gielen M1, M3, M5, M9
Levi M6, M4
Kaplan M2 (either or)
Judd M9
Slatkin M2 (SACD)
Walter M2, M3
Inbal M4
Levine M4, M5
Kubelik M1, M7, M8, M2, M5
Solti M8
Inbal M4
MTT M6, M7 (LSO)
Horenstein M3
Rattle M10 Cooke Completion (surprised me, anyway. )
Klemperer Das Lied and M2
Chailly M3 (SACD) Slow but very nice none the less.
Solt M9
Nagano M8(SACD)

Which reminds me that I just picked up the Lopez Cobos M3 which is really very good and possibly will become one of my favorite M3s after I've lived with it a while. I also bought his M10 as well.

Meanwhile, I am still listening to various sets at different times, including the Inbal, Solti and complete DG Bernstein (had only pieces and the price at the shop of the used set was less than to fill in. Also, it was a very new set as well. I don't often find things like that so ofcourse even if I didn't need it I had to have it -- like that pair of designer shoes that you have to have even if they pinch).

I haven't put Bernstein's Mahler into these lists because I think of it as a set and right now I don't have the inclination to decide whether I prefer some more than others. They are all old friends.

Right now we are living at a great time -- there is so much excellent music being made and recorded that sometimes it becomes ridiculous deciding that one is better than the other. It's like deciding between gourmet chocolates: depending on the day or the mood any one of a half dozen will satisfy the craving.
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