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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 180

post #2686 of 3714
thanks for the replies everyone

Now i am geeting a bit worried...both bunny and Doc replied at 10.56 (my time), edited at 10.57, and finished with the Zander anecdote....

freaky what mahler does to you !!
post #2687 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Having listened to Mahler 8 a lot more lately (due in no small measure to this thread), I've started to see new aspects to it (I've always loved the piece, but now my appreciation for it is deepening). Two observations:

1. I see it now as the ultimate expression of Romantic music. I think that's what Mahler intended it to be: A culmination, the grandest Romantic spectacle imaginable (and perhaps his way of saying farewell to the Romantic genre). Even the subject matter (Faust, the greatest 19th century work of all) fits this idea.

2. It's unique in Mahler's canon in that it was meant to be a spectacle - that's why he composed it, to honor the romantic "creator spirit". In other words, unlike his other stuff, there is no angst-ridden message underneath. That's what makes it unique, and why many Mahler fans don't like it.

Just a few thoughts in passing on a Tuesday night...
Interesting thoughts, I can't say I disagree with you on this one. As for me, I don't dislike it, it's just that it never really reaches out and grabs me like the others do. I hope to one day experience a live performance of the work.

-jar
post #2688 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
Interesting thoughts, I can't say I disagree with you on this one. As for me, I don't dislike it, it's just that it never really reaches out and grabs me like the others do. I hope to one day experience a live performance of the work.

-jar
Even the Solti M8? That's about the most dramatic reading of that symphony I've found.
post #2689 of 3714
Hi all,

Mahler 2 is on the Proms on Wednesday with Haitink/BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Mahler 2
post #2690 of 3714
I'm amazed that people's hunger for Mahler has lasted this long and is still going strong... How many great-sounding sets have been made in the last 10 years alone? Chailly, Gielen, Bertini, Tilson Thomas, Zander, Abbado, Boulez come to mind. (Well, Boulez, Thomas, and Zander aren't quite done yet, but almost.)

And then you look at some of the older ones: Bernstein-Sony, Bernstein-DG, Kubelik, Kondrashin, Abbado-CSO, Solti, Tennstedt, Haitink, Sinopoli, and a few others and you would think every playing style and recording quality has been exhausted.
post #2691 of 3714
On recordings, I don't think it's surprising at all. Those of us who are old enough remember the first early mono lps, then stereo, then quad, then digital lps, eventually cds, and now SACD. And we bought Mahler over and over for probably the same reasons: to get the best possible sound, which is how I found this site in the first place. I want to experience Mahler as perfectly as possible in my living room. Unfortunately that hasn't occurred, but perhaps we're getting closer.
As far as live Mahler goes, he has peaked, and some years ago. It used to be that when many orchestras within reasonable driving distance of where I live did any of the symphonies, you could count on a packed house. Not so anymore. I went to LA a few years ago to catch them doing M10 in the Cooke version. The hall was at most 40% full. 20 years ago that wouldn't have happened. I've heard the same reports from San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, etc. I think that audiences have heard it all, and are no longer so desperate to hear live Mahler, which is really a shame since almost any live Mahler performance is better than the best recording.
But as far as discussing the music and the recordings, the music is so rich and multi-faceted that I don't think many Mahlerites will ever tire of this discussion.
post #2692 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub
And we bought Mahler over and over for probably the same reasons: to get the best possible sound, which is how I found this site in the first place.
It's interesting that you say that. I, like you, am looking for the best possible sound. That's why I'm spending so much time and money on Chailly, MTT, Abbado, Gielen, Bertini, Boulez, and Zander. But that's not the majority view here. Just look at Dark Angel's favorites. Nearly all, if not all, of his favorites are older recordings with significantly worse sound than any of the recordings above. I would really like to get to that point where I can appreciate a performance and ignore sound quality entirely, but I just don't get it. Don't get me wrong, I used to play semi-professionally, and even sat in with a professional orchestra once (not the Chicago Symphony or anything). I also studied music, music history, and music theory for many years, so I understand perfectly well different styles of playing and different philosophies that composers offer. But for me, hearing the good new recordings is just so much more enjoyable than listening to Horenstein, or Walter, or Barbirolli, or anything else from 30 - 60 years ago.
post #2693 of 3714
seacard,

The more performances you have heard the more you want to hear. Eventually, the bones of the music become more apparent and you really will love the older recordings as much as the newer ones. However, if I'm listening on my headphones, I really prefer modern (digital) recordings because any hint of tape hiss drives me nuts. It's like tinnitus -- you just long for it to go away but it's there, always there. With speakers it doesn't get to you the same way because it doesn't feel like it's in your head.
post #2694 of 3714
Some of those old recordings still scrub up pretty well sound-wise, e.g. Reiner's M4 on RCA Living Stereo.
post #2695 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
seacard,

The more performances you have heard the more you want to hear. Eventually, the bones of the music become more apparent and you really will love the older recordings as much as the newer ones. However, if I'm listening on my headphones, I really prefer modern (digital) recordings because any hint of tape hiss drives me nuts. It's like tinnitus -- you just long for it to go away but it's there, always there. With speakers it doesn't get to you the same way because it doesn't feel like it's in your head.
That's definitely true. On speakers, recording quality just doesn't matter as much. But I do 90% of my listening on headphones, which I guess explains why the ADD transfers often bother me. (Spent a couple of hours listening to the Kempff recording of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas yesterday, and as much as I love the performances, just could not stop thinking about the hiss.)

As for "bones of the music," I think you guys may just have a special ability to appreciate things that I don't. For example, I know Mahler 1 and Mahler 5 inside out, having played them both (and also having studied the score for Mahler 5 for a music class). I know every note and every part, and I can hear the differences between performances, but I just don't really appreciate them. For example, if I am listening to Bernstein's version, I can hear that it's a little more drawn out and heavy-handed, but I can also hear the music in my head as if he were playing faster because I've heard it played faster. Hard to explain. I think I may need to expand my collection a bit and hopefully get to the point where you guys are at.
post #2696 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by seacard
That's definitely true. On speakers, recording quality just doesn't matter as much. But I do 90% of my listening on headphones, which I guess explains why the ADD transfers often bother me. (Spent a couple of hours listening to the Kempff recording of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas yesterday, and as much as I love the performances, just could not stop thinking about the hiss.)

As for "bones of the music," I think you guys may just have a special ability to appreciate things that I don't. For example, I know Mahler 1 and Mahler 5 inside out, having played them both (and also having studied the score for Mahler 5 for a music class). I know every note and every part, and I can hear the differences between performances, but I just don't really appreciate them. For example, if I am listening to Bernstein's version, I can hear that it's a little more drawn out and heavy-handed, but I can also hear the music in my head as if he were playing faster because I've heard it played faster. Hard to explain. I think I may need to expand my collection a bit and hopefully get to the point where you guys are at.
After you listen rationally, you have to listen without thinking of the details. Sometimes it's not about listening it's about hearing. One day it will click, but start with the better sounding recordings. You don't need more "detail" distractions.
post #2697 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Public Broadcasting show last night:
Bernstein: reaching for the note.

Wonderful bio program showing Lenny's childhood and introduction to music, personal family life, conducting career, and broadway career etc. Amazing to watch the energy and passion he had especially in his early years, very physically active on the podium.....I am bigger fan than ever.
post #2698 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Public Broadcasting show last night:
Bernstein: reaching for the note.

Wonderful bio program showing Lenny's childhood and introduction to music, personal family life, conducting career, and broadway career etc. Amazing to watch the energy and passion he had especially in his early years, very physically active on the podium.....I am bigger fan than ever.
The Unanswered Question - Six Talks at Harvard also shows the intellect behind his passion. Each lecture engaging.


post #2699 of 3714
I was at my local library which has decent collection of classical music CDs, I noticed they added the Rattle M8, since opinions were so varied, I figured at this price I could give it a try.
post #2700 of 3714
Noticed Michael Gielen's M10 (cooke completion) at your music.com. Now I'll be able to compare it to the Rattle which was also extremely good (and that's from someone who is not a Rattle Fan).

Scott,

Rattle's M8, as I recall, was not bad. In fact it was quite good; just not as good as Gramophone's rave review and certainly not as exciting as Solti's.
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