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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 168

post #2506 of 3714
double post, sorry...
post #2507 of 3714
I was beginning to get worried about this thread -- no postings for a while. I expect in the next week or so to have a spirited discussion of the new Mahler 2 with Boulez & Vienna.

In the meanwhile. I added two Mahler cds this week that you might find interesting.

First is the original recording of Deryck Cooke's completion of the 10th. It's on Sony with Ormandy and Philadelphia, and it uses Cooke's first version -- not quite as polished in the orchestration as the revised 2nd version that the other Cooke recordings used. This is great Mahler playing and conducting anyway you look at it. Very much worth adding to a library and you'll get a good chuckle at the psychedelic conver art from the late 60s.

Second is something that's been out awhile, but I just now picked it up. Another transcription of a symphony. In this case M5 gets played on a organ on a Priory disk by David Biggs. In its own way, it's great organ music. But like the piano versions of 1, 6, 7 and the reductions of 4 & DLVDE, you sure miss the colorful orchestration of Mahler. Nonetheless, worth a listen. And if you hate your apartment dwelling neighbors, this is a sweet revenge disk!
post #2508 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by bookdoctor
Well, I'm back from vacation, with a nice new batch of Mahlers to listen to. I'll get organized and post on them within the next few days.

In the meantime, here's an article by Alfred Brendel, from The Guardian Arts section. He writes about Simon Rattle and the BPO, defending Rattle's work with the orchestra, and mentions the M4, which I remember had been discussed a few pages back here.

Link to the article.
I was at two of Rattle's NY performances and one was far from the triumph that Brendel would have you believe. The first concert started with an infamous piece by Hans-Peter Kyburz (No√ęsis) which should never, ever, ever in this world be performed again. It was pure torture sitting through the work which was designed to create the ugliest possible sounds through the use of every possible percussion instrument that the composer could imagine. It was a piece that was actually composed by algorithm, which for those who are not computer literate means that the composer used a computer program to create the "music." We all know how valueless computer composed poetry is, so I really don't understand why there should be such disporportionate value put on computer composed music. Neither is composed by a machine with intelligence, and neither has any meaning. Additionally, when a work ends up sounding like a traffic jam in front of a chop shop dismembering cars in a horror film, I cannot understand why the composer wouldn't just rip it up and start over. That took up just about the whole time before the intermission. After the intermission, Rattle conducted his own peculiar vision of Mahler's 4th which started off with the sleigh bells twice as slow and then the orchestra coming in twice as fast as the composer directed. I called it the "wax on, wax off" interpretation (with apologies to the Karate Kid). Just as it would pick up a little energy, it would turn off. It was the first time listening to the 4th that I got bored! The only redeeming part of the evening was the Andante, which set up the entrance of his current lover, Magdalena Kozena onto the stage in great style. She must have practiced gliding across the boards for hours in her pleated, trumpet shaped skirt. Unfortunately she was in far from good voice that night, as she did not show such form when walking on and off stage a week or two later with Les Violons du Roy, even if she was in much better voice then. I can't even begin to discuss the inappropriate timbre of her voice. Suffice to say that motherly or even grand-motherly would describe her earthy toned voice so much better than silvery, or child-like as called for by the composer. Additionally, she tends to bend over and bend her arms awkwardly so that as she progresses through her singing, her voice becomes very congested. She tends to have a strange and vacant expression on her face which might pass for intensity on another planet, so that you are more comfortable looking away from her than at her as whe performs. The whole performance was a lesson in how egos will compromise any chance of excellence. There was so little applause at the end of the evening that I wondered at how the conductor kept taking curtain calls with at minimum four-fifths of the audience filing out of the auditorium with their backs turned to the stage as quickly as they could. The people in the box next to me were all making jokes about it, and complaining that they would never go to a Rattle concert again. I shuddered as I realized that I had tickets to the next night's performance, an all Mozart program featuring Alfred Brendel doing the Piano concerto no. 27.

I came home worried as to what would happen. A friend had already reported that the night before the Mahler, Rattle had conducted Haydn's Symphony No. 86 in such a bizarre manner that it was virtually unrecognizable. He had said that he would have had a more enjoyable evening had he stayed home and listened to a recording of the Paris Symphonies. He then reported that the Strauss (Ein Heldenleben) was a poor thing when compared to von Karajan's. However, I was very happily surprised the next evening to find that Mozart must be indestructible. The opening piece of the concert was the Serenade in B-flat Major for 13 Winds, K. 361 (Gran Partita) performed by the winds of the BP. The winds sounded very good, and although Rattle was standing up conducting them, they could have played this as well without him. Then Brendel came out and performed the sonata. Thankfully, the conductor usually follows the soloist so there were no strange tricks with tempo or dynamics. It was a lovely, restrained performance, and very much in the classical tradition. The last piece in the concert was the Prague Symphony, which was also quite enjoyable with no unpleasant surprises. I suspect the fact that the concert was being broadcast live may have been a restraining factor on Rattle. Thankfully he did not want to experiment in front of an audience of possibly millions.

This brings me to the last point: The sound of BP was well suited for the lighter repetoire of Mozart, but it was very lean and underwhelming for the Mahler. The strings were lightened under Abbado, and since Rattle has taken over they have gotten even lighter and leaner. You may hear people talking about inner voices and transparency but for my money, I want a full, rich orchestral sound from an orchestra playing Mahler or any of the late romantic pieces, not the thin, light sound that Rattle has cultivated. Without doubt, the playing in the orchestra is as competent as it ever was, but it doesn't sound particularly like a continental orchestra but much more like the CBSO. If you want a rich sound orchestral sound with silky strings and great portamentos, you will not be getting it from the Berliner Philharmoniker while Rattle is the musical director.

Earlier this month, after the season was over and I was buying my subscriptions for the coming season, I specifically asked the Carnegie Hall rep that I dealt with not to have any concerts done by Rattle. She told me that almost everyone had requested that they not get any series with Rattle! I don't care what any of the critics say or what Alfred Brendel says. I'm not spending another cent on a concert conducted by the man ever again in this lifetime, and apparently a lot of New Yorkers feel the same way.
post #2509 of 3714
[/QUOTE] Back to Solti, I have completed listening to his complete Mahler set now with CSO and it is one of the best you can buy. Several performances are near the best I have heard, and sound quality is above average in all cases...........I got my set used at Amazon which was a trendous bargain.

Mahler people..........where are you hiding, come forth. [/QUOTE]

First time poster. Thank you DA, I just ordered the Solti/CSO set for $60 new. That is just too good a price for this treasure to pass up. I plan on getting one of the Bernstein sets soon but can't decide which one just yet. I love all of Mahler's symphonies. The 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 9th are my favorites though. I would at some later date (soon) recommend some of my favorite recordings for this thread, if I might.
post #2510 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor34
First time poster. Thank you DA, I just ordered the Solti/CSO set for $60 new. That is just too good a price for this treasure to pass up. I plan on getting one of the Bernstein sets soon but can't decide which one just yet. I love all of Mahler's symphonies. The 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 9th are my favorites though. I would at some later date (soon) recommend some of my favorite recordings for this thread, if I might.
Yes great price for great set.........best deal ever was when Amazon briefly had wrong price on Bertini/EMI set not long ago for $15 (or something like that)

Wait till you hear the Solti/CSO Mahler 2nd! (which Solti insisted be recorded again at Medinah temple to replace original recording for set) It remains the greatest recording of my favorite Mahler symphony.

Defintely get the Bernstein/Sony Mahler set vs Bernstein/DG.......far cheaper and the only DG performance that is superior is Mahler 5th, so easy choice for me.
post #2511 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Yes great price for great set.........best deal ever was when Amazon briefly had wrong price on Bertini/EMI set not long ago for $15 (or something like that)

Wait till you hear the Solti/CSO Mahler 2nd! (which Solti insisted be recorded again at Medinah temple to replace original recording for set) It remains the greatest recording of my favorite Mahler symphony.

Defintely get the Bernstein/Sony Mahler set vs Bernstein/DG.......far cheaper and the only DG performance that is superior is Mahler 5th, so easy choice for me.
I have to agree, the Sony Bernstein is the set to get.
post #2512 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I have to agree, the Sony Bernstein is the set to get.
I also agree. Though it's not uniformly perfect, there are some simply earth-shattering performances in this set - the 2nd, 9th, 6th, and Kindertotenlieder stand out for me.

I was in a palpitating state of near-panic for several hours after listening to the recording of the 6th symphony. Truly terrifying music.
post #2513 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Yes great price for great set.........best deal ever was when Amazon briefly had wrong price on Bertini/EMI set not long ago for $15 (or something like that)

Wait till you hear the Solti/CSO Mahler 2nd! (which Solti insisted be recorded again at Medinah temple to replace original recording for set) It remains the greatest recording of my favorite Mahler symphony.

Defintely get the Bernstein/Sony Mahler set vs Bernstein/DG.......far cheaper and the only DG performance that is superior is Mahler 5th, so easy choice for me.
Just found the Bernstein/Sony set from Amazon for $46 shipped! (supposedly still factory sealed) After just ordering the Solti/CSO set, me and my new Senn HD580's are going to get a workout in the coming days. Had the 580's for around 3 weeks now so they should be ready for the grueling task ahead
post #2514 of 3714
Not necessarily Mahler related, but since many of the classical listeners on this site frequent this thread, I thought I should mention some terrible sad news: Warner has dumped its classical arm. What does this mean? Warner, Erato, Teldec, etc have ceased production totally. No new recordings and all artist contracts halted. The classical line will be blended into the Rhino line as a reissue label.
Just last February they hired a new classical manager with all these great plans. Now, nothing. Incredibly sad day for classical. You can read more about this at http://www.scena.org/columns/lebrech...-NL-crash.html
post #2515 of 3714
I saw that news on the Gramophone website (posted June 2) and was very dismayed to hear of it. I suppose that Barenboim, Aimard, and any number of artists will be looking for a new label. Then again, they have been reissuing older and still desirable recordings in their catalogue in well priced box sets. I'm hoping that Harnoncourt's Bach Cantatas will find their way into such a set. Meanwhile, this might be a good reason to pick up Barenboim's M7. Who knows how much longer it will be available? Also his Schumann Symphonies at yourmusic might be disappearing with the current stock.
post #2516 of 3714
The thought of losing the Teldec label feels miserable; quite a few of my favourite recordings come from there.

I hope the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt Cantata set gets reissued too . . . even with the extra 15% off coupon that B&N had recently, the set came out to just under $400; too rich for a student unfortunately. In the meantime, I guess I'll spring for the 99 Euro Brilliant Classics Bach set

On topic, I just got the M4 by Bernstein/COE/DG (the one with the boy soprano). I love the recording simply because the poem is sung with almost no vibrato (personal preference; I have an extremely low threshold for vibrato in adult female singers).

Anyway, are there recordings of the M2 and M3 which feature a boy alto?
post #2517 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by xchagg
The thought of losing the Teldec label feels miserable; quite a few of my favourite recordings come from there.
Yeah...my two favorite living conductors (Harnoncourt and Barenboim) have both recorded lots of great music for Teldec. Hopefully, these discs (not all of which I own) will remain available under Rhino, and their future recording careers won't be adversely affected.
post #2518 of 3714
Harnoncourt, at least is now under contract to DHM which is a division of BMG music, so no worries there.

Barenboim will not go long without a contract. The Berlin Staatskapelle is too good an orchestra not to be snapped up.
post #2519 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Top 5 list May 2006:

1)Bernstein/Sony + Solti/LSO/Decca Legends + Kubelik/Audite + Scherchen/Westminster + Abbado/CSO/DG
*
2)Solti/CSO/London + Bernstein/Sony + Mehta/Decca Legends + Kaplan/Conifer + Litton/Delos
*
3)Horenstein/Unicorn + Bernstein/Sony + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Tennstedt/EMI + Solti/London
*
4)Szell/Sony + Inbal/Dennon + Levine/RCA + Renier/RCA + Welser Most/EMI + Bernstein/DG
*
5)Bernstein/DG + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Sinopoli/DG + Gatti/Musical Heritage + Barshai/Brilliant + Kubelik/Audite
*
6)Mitropoulos/EMI Great Conductors + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/Sony + Eiji Oue/Fontec + Tennstedt/EMI
*
7)Kondrashin/Melodiya + Bernstein/Sony + Kubelik/Audite + Abbado/CSO/DG + Scherchen/Westminster + Solti/London
*
9)Ancerl/Supraphon Gold + Kondrashin/Melodiya + Mitropoulos/Music & Arts + Bernstein/Sony + Kubelik/Audite
As we wait for any news from Raptor taking his plunge into Mahler's world, I was wondering what else out there could be re-issued or what new recordings would excite me?

Based on limited output so far........I would instantly purchase any new Mahler recordings by:
-Daniel Gatti
-Eiji Oue

Also would love to someday find decent Scherchen recording surface of Mahler 2,3,4,6,9 since I really like his Westminster 1,7 and 5 is very good but not quite elite status.

Did anyone get the new Boulez/DG Mahler 2nd?
I have it in my Tower shopping basket, but waiting for good sale or coupons first. Run time listed as 81 minutes yet still fits on 1CD
post #2520 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Did anyone get the new Boulez/DG Mahler 2nd?
I have it in my Tower shopping basket, but waiting for good sale or coupons first. Run time listed as 81 minutes yet still fits on 1CD
If anyone sees a good deal on this, shout out. I love the live version I have.
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