or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 19

post #271 of 3714
to all those with >2 versions of any orchestral work - i'm just a bit curious - why?

wouldnt you have just 1/2 or maybe at most 3 versions that yoiu like only? why do you 'collect' them?

post #272 of 3714
I can't answer for Mahler, because I only have two versions of two of his symphonies, but I have multiples of things like Beethoven's ninth. The reason for me is that none of them are the "perfect" interpretation. I might like the vocal music on one, the sound quality of another, the emotions on another, the orchestra on another. I keep on saying I have enough of something, but am almost obsessed sometimes with finding the "ultimate" one.

Oh, here's an analogy. Audio equipment. I won't even begin to try and explain why I have had the upgraditis bug so many times, but, again, it's always that search for something better.
post #273 of 3714
just got my litton/delos. will give it a listen and come back to you guys.

however, first impressions - they should shoot the guy who designed the cd cover. ugh!
post #274 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by adhoc
to all those with >2 versions of any orchestral work - i'm just a bit curious - why?
wouldnt you have just 1/2 or maybe at most 3 versions that yoiu like only? why do you 'collect' them?
It's not really to "collect" them it is to hear slightly different versions each conductor/orchestra produce. Just like if you had five different rock bands do cover of a famous song, each one would have its own distinct style when playing same material.
post #275 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
Bumpies for Gustav
Got two more Mahler CDs to add to mix:

Litton/Delos Mahler 3 (used)
Maazel/CBS Masterworks Mahler 4

Will have to check them out in more detail next few days......somehow I keep buying Mahler 3 even though it's not really one of my favorites. Symphony 4 can never have too many of these, he he.
Alas...........both of these turned out to be disappointments, fortunately very little damage to my wallet .
I have already discussed my feelings Maazel is overly smooth and lacks necessary contrasts in Mahler 4. Litton is again given great sound by Delos but unlike his excellent Mahler 2, this work just doesn't hold together especially the long line to close symphony.
Compare the weak disjointed Litton close to the cohesive powerful Horenstein long line which carries all before it.

The Litton/Delos Mahler 3 will be a sell since I am not big fan of this work and already have much better versions in:
Horenstein/Unicorn
Bernstein/Sony
Rattle/EMI
post #276 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Just played:

Klemperer/EMI (klemperer legacy series) Mahler 2

This is a live recording that is remastered using ART technology like the famous Klemperer/EMI GROTC often mentioned here.
I could see where some would find the live version superior, it is more spontaneous and energetic even if total times are very close. The only negative is the closing does not have the amplitude and strong presense of organ bass, for some reason very recessed in mix ceating an energetic but lightweight closing sequence.

A great value since this is 1 CD version at mid price, one slight negative for me is that there are only 5 tracks. I like having more tracks so I can selectively listen to certain sections over again.

Overall I think most parts of live version are superior, if only we could add the ending from studio version we would have the dream Klemperer Mahler 2.

Klemperer Legacy Version
post #277 of 3714
Well, I finally got my number 5 with Saraste conducting the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (had to wait a long, long time for Arkivmusic to track down a copy. As I have nothing to compare it to, I can't say how this recording ranks with the others, but it is very vibrant and dynamic and the horns sound glorious. Now, if only my No. 7 would finally be shipped, my cycle will be complete.
post #278 of 3714
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
.
Compare the weak disjointed Litton close to the cohesive powerful Horenstein long line which carries all before it.

The Litton/Delos Mahler 3 will be a sell since I am not big fan of this work and already have much better versions in:
Horenstein/Unicorn
Bernstein/Sony
Rattle/EMI
Horenstein is one of my favorite conductors! He didn't always get the best recording or the best orchestras, but the interpretations are always exciting. His Mahler 6 with the Stockholm is great.
post #279 of 3714
I've been looking over my notes, and this thread could end up costing me a lot of money.

Hey, this is really a great discussion. It's sent me back to recordings I've owned for a long time and given me an educated wish list for the future.

Thanks all.

BW
post #280 of 3714
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
Sorry I never listen to Mahler song cycles.........so no comment.

Waiting for your new Mahler symphony purchases. If you have to have the EMI GROTC versions there are three Mahler symphonies I know of......but may be more now since they keep expanding this series:

Klemperer/EMI - Mahler 2
Barbirolli/EMI - Mahler 5
Barbirolli/EMI - Mahler 9 (1CD version)

Of course I have all three already
It doesn't HAVE to be GROTC, I'm just saying I have a few discs in that series and have yet to be disappointed, looked on Amazon and see mixed things about the Barbirolli Symphonies. What I WILL seek out is more Mahler song cycles with Janet Baker, she has a lovely voice.


Scott
post #281 of 3714
DA,

now that i have the rattle/emi and litton/delos recordings of the 2nd, which 2nd would you reccommend next for me?

i was thinking about the mehta one - i assume the one you have is the VPO/decca one serial # 466692?

what are your thoughts on it?

btw, review on the litton vs rattle coming up soon guys.. do be patient!
post #282 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by adhoc
DA,
now that i have the rattle/emi and litton/delos recordings of the 2nd, which 2nd would you reccommend next for me?

i was thinking about the mehta one - i assume the one you have is the VPO/decca one serial # 466692?
what are your thoughts on it?
btw, review on the litton vs rattle coming up soon guys.. do be patient!
Yes give us any thoughts you have on Rattle vs Litton Mahler 2, tough call for me to make even though Rattle is better overall Mahler conductor for entire cycle, Litton gives us great Mahler 2 with outstanding sound quality.

Next I would get Klemperer/EMI GROTC, great value 1 CD version at mid price......same is true of Mehta/Decca Legends but I would go for Klemperer first.

I am big fan of Solti/London (CSO) but I believe only currently available by buying entire set

Also Bernstein/Sony Mahler 2 can be purchased (I have as part of complete set) as mid priced 2 CD version, not to be missed for Mahler fans.
post #283 of 3714
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
Yes give us any thoughts you have on Rattle vs Litton Mahler 2, tough call for me to make even though Rattle is better overall Mahler conductor for entire cycle, Litton gives us great Mahler 2 with outstanding sound quality.

Next I would get Klemperer/EMI GROTC, great value 1 CD version at mid price......same is true of Mehta/Decca Legends but I would go for Klemperer first.

I am big fan of Solti/London (CSO) but I believe only currently available by buying entire set

Also Bernstein/Sony Mahler 2 can be purchased (I have as part of complete set) as mid priced 2 CD version, not to be missed for Mahler fans.

ok DA, i'll make it easier for you, disregarding price and # of discs, which is your fav mahler 2nd?

and could i have some specific comments on mehta with the VPO? am on the brink of getting it..
post #284 of 3714
i second the Klempler/EMI choice, it's quite nice. Only 2nd I've heard, but it's well done and a good deal for the price-point.

Scott
post #285 of 3714
i managed to conduct a critical listen-and-compare of litton/delos and rattle/emi over the weekend. i own a full score, and one or two references will be made to it - however i've usually included some pointers so that those score-less folks can figure out what i'm rambling on abt.

so how did they fare? i'll divide this into 3 parts: soundwise (ie recording quality), interpretation and finally miscellaneous observations.

all of this post's content is strictly imho. remember, as always with reviews, ymmv. please note also that '>' and '<' are strictly qualitative: if A is FAR better than B, it would be A > B. if C is only a very teensy weensy slightly bit better than D, it would also be C > D.

also, since i conducted this review through an etymotics er4p. please be aware of their characteristics - tons of detail, analytical, transparent, well extended on both ends with a relatively light mid-bass and prone to sound thin at times.

both are on 2 discs. rattle is 2 full priced, litton is 2-for-the-price of 1.


soundwise:

both recordings utilise DDD recording. hiss is so low-level as to be almost unnoticeable. the rattle recording is much louder than the litton recording (of concern to those ampless ones). rattle is clearly recorded in a more reverberant enviroment. however, strangely despite the less reverb, the litton has more 'volume' - the rattle recording is straightforward left/right/forward, while the litton has varying degrees of depth within left/right/forward. i can pinpoint the location of instruments in the litton easily. not so for rattle. litton's recording sounds more 'airy' and 'clear' too, not full of slightly muddled reverb, which is what the rattle sounds like next to it.

the congested orchestration in the final section of movement V are a recording engineer's worst nightmare - but here delo's engineers have truly shown themselves to be real class acts. rattle's ending is fine by itself- IF you havent heard litton's or do not possess a score. score in hand, i have always wondered where the organ's change of note 5 bars from the end was in rattle's. with litton's, it's clearly there, ditto for the bells and triangle in the finale with rattle - i can hardly hear them!

timpanis, glockenspiels, in fact, just about any percussion instruments sound better in litton's than in rattle's. however, the converse can be said for the strings - they clearly sound better in rattle's 2nd (more textured, less lean).

bass is stronger on litton than in rattle's, but the dynamic range on rattle's is slightly greater than litton's.

overall, i must say that recording-wise - the litton wins hands down. in spite of the litton's small weaknesses, the rattle just sounds too confused too often next to the litton. the litton is frighteningly clear at times and always composed.

verdict for sound: litton > rattle (by far)


interpretation:

litton and rattle both take roughly the same time to complete the individual movements - at most, they vary from each other by a minute or so. hence, you can say that overall tempo-wise, they are similar.

however, listening to movements I and II, you would not imagine so. rattle takes a rather stable tempo. litton is more 'wow' and 'flutter', to apply 2 technical audio terms to this - in plain english there is more tempo fluctuation.

i cannot say more without getting into serious subjective issues (personal taste).

imo,

movements I: rattle > litton
movements V: litton > rattle
movement II, III and IV are virtually identical.


miscellaneous notes:

i prefer the baker/auger combination (rattle) to the murphy/lang one; specifically, i prefer rattle's mezzo (auger) to litton's (lang). litton seems to let the words swim in her mouth at times. her voice also comes across as a shade too tremolous at times. on the other hand, auger projects a more clear voice. simply ethereal. i am fine with both murphy and baker.

the men in litton's choir inhale rather loudly, if there is silence right when they inhale, it can sound rather funny: there is a bit in movement IV when all is silent for a moment before the men burst into song - it can get slightly comical there.

gosh, is the litton's cd sleeve fugly! the designer should be shot. the rattle is, imo, the best looking mahler 2 on the planet.


overall conclusion: litton > rattle (but only by a tiny tiny bit)


these two are very very very competent recordings of mahler. you cannot go wrong with either. if you enjoy detail (or are one a budget), go for litton. if you enjoy atmosphere, go for rattle.

it wasnt an easy choice, but since i prefer detail and clarity, so i prefer litton in the end.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Music
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings