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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 177

post #2641 of 3714
Boy, ya leave town for a week, come back and find the thread hasn't hardly progessed. Surely we're not Mahlered out!

As to the Stein reduction: I am very fond of these sort of things. It's a toned-down, "easy listen" version. There are several recordings of this now, and I have to get this one still. There are also slimmed-down versions of DLVDE. Piano reductions are fun too: 1, 6, 7 are easy to get. Benjamin Britten made a reduction of M3 for smaller orchestra that I hope makes an appearance some day.
post #2642 of 3714
I've been listening to the Gatti M4 and it's a winner! It's done extremely well and the sound quality is excellent too. It's a pity that it's so hard to find nowadays.
post #2643 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I've been listening to the Gatti M4 and it's a winner! It's done extremely well and the sound quality is excellent too. It's a pity that it's so hard to find nowadays.
I just remembered I have the Gatti/RPO/RCA M4 also.........will have to listen again and perhaps make change to top 5 list. I have been thinking for some time that Renier/RCA is not quite top 5 material and looking for something to replace it, perhaps Gatti is the one................
post #2644 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I just remembered I have the Gatti/RPO/RCA M4 also.........will have to listen again and perhaps make change to top 5 list. I have been thinking for some time that Renier/RCA is not quite top 5 material and looking for something to replace it, perhaps Gatti is the one................
Actually the one I have the most trouble with is the Inbal, but it's mostly because the sound quality is so recessed. It's too bad because it is a great performance and interpretation.

The Reiner M4 still has a top place for me even if Lisa della Casa was having her problems when she recorded it.
post #2645 of 3714
I've been working my way through my Mahler collection (charting all information into a database regarding each recording), plus some new things from the library.. among them the Jarvi Mahler 5th on Chandos (1990). Through first 3 movements and I like it so far.. probably not the most Mahlerian Mahler 5th I've ever heard, but Jarvi certainly goes for broke with the dynamics.

-jar
post #2646 of 3714
WOW, who is this Benjamin Zander guy! He has completely invaded my Mahler collection. His Telarc/Philharmonia recording of the M3 and the M6 came from nowhere and captured first place on my favorite Mahler symphony list. Zander and the PO are absolutely riveting in the 6th. I just couldn't be without it! His M3 is equally impressive. Any input on his other Mahler recordings? OBTW, Telarc rocks
post #2647 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor34
WOW, who is this Benjamin Zander guy! He has completely invaded my Mahler collection. His Telarc/Philharmonia recording of the M3 and the M6 came from nowhere and captured first place on my favorite Mahler symphony list. Zander and the PO are absolutely riveting in the 6th. I just couldn't be without it! His M3 is equally impressive. Any input on his other Mahler recordings? OBTW, Telarc rocks
I have them all and they are great, with excellent sonics to boot. (He has not done 2, 7, 9 or 8 yet).
post #2648 of 3714
I know this will provoke some angry rebuttals, but here goes....I don't think they're all "THE BEST" ever performances.

I admire Zander's analysis of the symphonies immensely. It's clear the man understands the music at a profound intellectual and musical level. And maybe that's the problem. Is it possible he's overanalyzed it? That he just can't let himself go? The notes are all there, but the passion is gone. Or is a problem of him being an "academic" conductor, one who teaches music, but does that because he is outshone by others? There is at least another example of this: Leon Botstein. Records interesting material to be sure, but frankly pales next to more famous conductors. A couple of generations past there was conducting teacher Hans Swarowsky. He was capable, but no more. I have his Ring and Brahms set, and they're nothing above routine. He is hopelessly outdone by his many students, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado among them.

I don't dislike any of the Zander Mahler's, but I just don't get all in a froth over them. And I don't think the recorded sound is as good as Telarc gets from others. This is middle of the road Mahler, and is clearly outclassed by others. Still, he offers a valid point of view, but it's not the one I prefer.
post #2649 of 3714
Agreed with mbhaub here, at least in the case of No3. I got the 3-disc-for-1 set and found out it was NOT the bargain I thought I was getting. Gave it away to a friend and got Chailly's SACD instead. I was a much happier listener to Mahler3 since then.
post #2650 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
I know this will provoke some angry rebuttals, but here goes....I don't think they're all "THE BEST" ever performances.

I admire Zander's analysis of the symphonies immensely. It's clear the man understands the music at a profound intellectual and musical level. And maybe that's the problem. Is it possible he's overanalyzed it? That he just can't let himself go? The notes are all there, but the passion is gone. Or is a problem of him being an "academic" conductor, one who teaches music, but does that because he is outshone by others? There is at least another example of this: Leon Botstein. Records interesting material to be sure, but frankly pales next to more famous conductors. A couple of generations past there was conducting teacher Hans Swarowsky. He was capable, but no more. I have his Ring and Brahms set, and they're nothing above routine. He is hopelessly outdone by his many students, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado among them.

I don't dislike any of the Zander Mahler's, but I just don't get all in a froth over them. And I don't think the recorded sound is as good as Telarc gets from others. This is middle of the road Mahler, and is clearly outclassed by others. Still, he offers a valid point of view, but it's not the one I prefer.
No Telarc label Mahler in my top 5 list.........I do own several Zander, Levi etc but don't consider them elite level Mahler performances. Some are pretty good and sound is high quality but they never seem to deliver the dramatic and emotional extremes needed for me to be elite Mahler performances.
post #2651 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
I know this will provoke some angry rebuttals, but here goes....I don't think they're all "THE BEST" ever performances.

I admire Zander's analysis of the symphonies immensely. It's clear the man understands the music at a profound intellectual and musical level. And maybe that's the problem. Is it possible he's overanalyzed it? That he just can't let himself go? The notes are all there, but the passion is gone. Or is a problem of him being an "academic" conductor, one who teaches music, but does that because he is outshone by others? There is at least another example of this: Leon Botstein. Records interesting material to be sure, but frankly pales next to more famous conductors. A couple of generations past there was conducting teacher Hans Swarowsky. He was capable, but no more. I have his Ring and Brahms set, and they're nothing above routine. He is hopelessly outdone by his many students, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado among them.

I don't dislike any of the Zander Mahler's, but I just don't get all in a froth over them. And I don't think the recorded sound is as good as Telarc gets from others. This is middle of the road Mahler, and is clearly outclassed by others. Still, he offers a valid point of view, but it's not the one I prefer.
I don't think I would call any of them my favorites, but as a set they are consistently very good. Zander is a good place to start an exploration of Mahler IMO. I'll certainly get the rest of them if/when they come out.
post #2652 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
I know this will provoke some angry rebuttals, but here goes....I don't think they're all "THE BEST" ever performances.

I admire Zander's analysis of the symphonies immensely. It's clear the man understands the music at a profound intellectual and musical level. And maybe that's the problem. Is it possible he's overanalyzed it? That he just can't let himself go? The notes are all there, but the passion is gone. Or is a problem of him being an "academic" conductor, one who teaches music, but does that because he is outshone by others? There is at least another example of this: Leon Botstein. Records interesting material to be sure, but frankly pales next to more famous conductors. A couple of generations past there was conducting teacher Hans Swarowsky. He was capable, but no more. I have his Ring and Brahms set, and they're nothing above routine. He is hopelessly outdone by his many students, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado among them.

I don't dislike any of the Zander Mahler's, but I just don't get all in a froth over them. And I don't think the recorded sound is as good as Telarc gets from others. This is middle of the road Mahler, and is clearly outclassed by others. Still, he offers a valid point of view, but it's not the one I prefer.
I feel no need to offer an angry rebuttal, but I certainly disagree that Zander's performances are "middle of the road." I suggest you consider this, then listen again: Zander is a conductor who is trying a different approach to leadership. Instead of making ego-driven performances (the passionate approach we all love), Zander seeks to inspire the corporate body of players to bring their own passions and expressions to the performance. Instead of imposing a concept, he is drawing forth the involvement and creativity of individual players. Does this diffuse the ego of the performance? Sure does. Are all of the players convinced? No, of course not. Is it middle-of-the-road, similar to the uptight Leon Botstein, or similar to the poker-faced emptiness of Hans Swarowsky? Not in a million years. Is he outclassed by others? Well, if you like the somnolent gloss of Michael Tilson Thomas' recent recordings, then I suppose Zander would seen crude in comparison to that sort of buffed ennui, but I'll take Zander any day over that. Zander's brew may not be everyone's cup of tea, but that doesn't mean it's weak as water. It is a distinctive approach, and is one of the few signs of intellectual life I've seen within the conducting world in quite some time. It makes his performances come alive with a sort of rude glory, and for that reason, I do recommend his 3rd and 6th as top-tier performances.

Mark
post #2653 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
I know this will provoke some angry rebuttals, but here goes....I don't think they're all "THE BEST" ever performances.

I admire Zander's analysis of the symphonies immensely. It's clear the man understands the music at a profound intellectual and musical level. And maybe that's the problem. Is it possible he's overanalyzed it? That he just can't let himself go? The notes are all there, but the passion is gone. Or is a problem of him being an "academic" conductor, one who teaches music, but does that because he is outshone by others? There is at least another example of this: Leon Botstein. Records interesting material to be sure, but frankly pales next to more famous conductors. A couple of generations past there was conducting teacher Hans Swarowsky. He was capable, but no more. I have his Ring and Brahms set, and they're nothing above routine. He is hopelessly outdone by his many students, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado among them.

I don't dislike any of the Zander Mahler's, but I just don't get all in a froth over them. And I don't think the recorded sound is as good as Telarc gets from others. This is middle of the road Mahler, and is clearly outclassed by others. Still, he offers a valid point of view, but it's not the one I prefer.
Never said they were "the Best", I did say these two performances are now at the top of my "Favorites" list and there they will stay. I never asked anyone to validate my favorites list, I just wanted share my delight in finding these performances with everyone. Hope I didn't get too frothy.
post #2654 of 3714
Oh, Mr. Haub, while we're arguing I went back and listened to the Scherchen Mahler 7th from Toronto in the mid-1960's we were talking about previously. I admit that I was wrong about the technical level of the playing: They are really doing an impressive, noble job of trying to play this music at these tempos. I still find the whole thing to be a disaster, though. Incidentally, though the opening baritone soloist has nice tone, he actually doesn't nail the solo. He misreads some of the rhythms. The accompanying pulses in the strings and lower winds are in 8th notes and 32nd notes. In the third bar, the baritone player matches those rhythms. What Mahler actually wrote is different: a dotted eigth, followed by a 32nd rest, and then two upbeat 64th notes, which is much more fleeting and difficult than what is played here. Unfortunately, Scherchen's tempo hardly allows for this distinction, and Scherchen either didn't notice or didn't care. Then Scherchen botches the tempo change two bars after No. 3 in the score by doubling the speed instead of doing what Mahler wrote, which was a change from "Langsam" to "Etwas weniger langsam, aber immer sehr gemessen," which suggests to me only a slight tightening of the basic pulse. After incorrectly skewing the opening tempo relationships, Scherchen uses that as a springboard to a tempo so fast that all the players' concentration is devoted merely to keeping up, without enough expression of character (other than panic). I won't deny that it is exciting. It is exciting like a roller coaster that might go off the tracks at any moment: You're flying around curves and loop-de-loops with bolts and pieces of track whizzing through the air around you. Heady stuff, to be sure, but I just don't see that as having a whole lot to do with the quirky, visionary work which Mahler wrote.

Mark
post #2655 of 3714
I have a few of the Zander Mahlers (3,6,9) and they really don't do it for me. They aren't bad, in fact they are very competent readings of the symphonies. They just aren't performances that I felt compelled to listen to again and again. One playing and you get everything -- no layer underneath that's going to pop out after repeated hearings -- and I tried to love them, over and over and over. The lectures are wonderful though, and probably worth the price of the cds. I do put them on occasionally so perhaps one day they will click, but so far they haven't.
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