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

Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 191

post #2851 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAwig05 View Post

They may be seeped in tradition, but they're damn inconsistant, even factoring in WWII and some questionable podium leadership.
The best and worst performance I have ever heard were both with the Vienna Phil! I think this problem of consistency doesn't depend so much on who's playing but the attitude of the musicians to the music they're playing and/or the conductor they're working with. They think certain conductors/composers aren't worthy of respect and therefore don't take it seriously. But when everything's right they can play like gods.
post #2852 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeresist View Post
Philharmonia?
Very true.

I actually left the Philharmonia and Czech Philharmonic out on purpose, because they are two major exceptions to the rule. But yes, obviously the Philharmonia was IMO the top orchestra in the U.K, although not in Europe, where I think that perhaps the Czech Philharmonic, (and perhaps a few others as well
post #2853 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAwig05 View Post
Yay! They can't pick Simon Rattle!

It took conductors like Friscay (1958 9th, for example) to inspire Berlin and also Vienna (IMHO), and Erich/Carlos Klieber, George Szell, Karajan and other guest conductors to help re-establish Vienna as a powerhouse orchestra. Later, Zubin Mehta, James Levine, and others been very successful in Vienna, while conductors such as Fritz Reiner and Christian Thelmiann (i spelled that wrong) have not had luck.

They may be seeped in tradition, but they're damn inconsistant, even factoring in WWII and some questionable podium leadership.
Well, I find Christian Thielemann to be one of the most overhyped conductors out there right now. I'm sure the VPO can sense that if they don't like playing for him.

Yes, the VPO is very finnicky and biased. Like others have said though, when they are on top of their game, they're almost unbeatable. Which is why they are still so lauded I think. I'm personally a fan of the VPO, but they can certainly not sound good. I really don't like a lot of their recordings from the '50s. It's usually pretty scrappy.
post #2854 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
They can also play like pigs. There's a live recording of the Schmidt 2nd symphony, which is admitidly extremely difficult, yet the strings totally woof the introduction -- just a mess. With Leinsdorf even. Some of their Salzburg Live recordings from the 50's are not flattering. There's a live Rite of Spring with the opening bassoonists totally screwing up the solo.
I've heard them live several times. WIth Abbado doing Mahler and Maazel doing Strauss' Elektra they were sensational. With Bernstein doing Brahms they were boring, and with Karajan doing Strauss they were just frigid. They're so steeped in tradition that moving into the 21st century has been a challenge. What they need (and will NEVER accept) is a regular music director. But then, in the opinion of most of the players, there's no one worthy of that title. The ones who were are all dead.
Leinsdorf probably wasn't moving about very much on the podium so they assumed he was asleep and did whatever they wanted. (I hope there aren't many Leinsdorf fans out there; from my experience he was the most boring, bland conductor until Ozawa came along.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by BAwig05 View Post
Yay! They can't pick Simon Rattle!

Bernstien's Brahms was generally boring overall, athough watching the Op. 77 Kremer collaboration may change my mind slightly.

Also keep in mind that the Berlin Philharmonic did not really distinguish itself during the 50's, either nor did the LSO, or anyone in particular on a regular basis in Europe after WWII.

It took conductors like Friscay (1958 9th, for example) to inspire Berlin and also Vienna (IMHO), and Erich/Carlos Klieber, George Szell, Karajan and other guest conductors to help re-establish Vienna as a powerhouse orchestra. Later, Zubin Mehta, James Levine, and others been very successful in Vienna, while conductors such as Fritz Reiner and Christian Thelmiann (i spelled that wrong) have not had luck.

They may be seeped in tradition, but they're damn inconsistant, even factoring in WWII and some questionable podium leadership.
Who would want Rattle anywhere, anymore? Even the BP is sorry he came if everything I've heard at other forums is true. I also understand that the Berlin press as well as the concert going public is unhappy with the sound of the orchestra. At one point, someone actually had to give an interview to the press defending his work in Berlin (very strange, I think it was Brendel).

Thielemann's very controversial. They hate him at ClassicsToday but love him elsewhere. As I haven't heard any of his recordings, I really couldn't say whether he's as bad as some say or as great. LOL, now that my curiousity is up, I'll take a look at what's available at yourmusic.

Talking of the WP, they didn't rough up Gilbert Kaplan (as some others have pointed out) but then again, even though Kaplan only conducts one symphony, he probably knows as much about that one symphony as anyone in the profession.
post #2855 of 3686
And don't think that Kaplan's deep pockets didn't have something to do with that M2 being made.
post #2856 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
And don't think that Kaplan's deep pockets didn't have something to do with that M2 being made.
Offcourse!
Deep pockets are the best persuaders.
post #2857 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAwig05 View Post
I actually left the Philharmonia and Czech Philharmonic out on purpose, because they are two major exceptions to the rule. But yes, obviously the Philharmonia was IMO the top orchestra in the U.K, although not in Europe, where I think that perhaps the Czech Philharmonic, (and perhaps a few others as well
I'm not very familiar with the Czech PO; just have couple of discs of Bruckner with Matacic. I did think they sounded very good for a post-war east Europe orchestra. The recording was very warm.
Can you recommend any classic CPO performances from the '50s?
post #2858 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeresist View Post
I'm not very familiar with the Czech PO; just have couple of discs of Bruckner with Matacic. I did think they sounded very good for a post-war east Europe orchestra. The recording was very warm.
Can you recommend any classic CPO performances from the '50s?
Well, it's from the 1960s, but Karel Ančerl's performance of the Mahler 9th might be my second-favorite reading of the work. After a week of solid listening, I prefer Bruno Maderna's 1971 BBC record a bit more. In any event, Ančerl and the Czech PO has an old-world Eastern European sound that Mahler would have understood and appreciated.

However, Ančerl's approach is not a soppy, sentimentalist approach - wringing tears out of the score - but a fairly dry-eyed look at a massive work with massive themes. Ančerl's own time in Auschwitz probably forced a slightly grim, but always restrained approach on the music. Especially Mahler. The sound of the Czech PO, unusual and a bit anachronistic in the echt-modern 1960s, adds strains of Mahler's own milieu in the diverse and multicultural Austrian empire.

That having been said, I still prefer Maderna for a whole host of reasons.
post #2859 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears View Post
Thielemann's very controversial. They hate him at ClassicsToday but love him elsewhere. As I haven't heard any of his recordings, I really couldn't say whether he's as bad as some say or as great. LOL, now that my curiousity is up, I'll take a look at what's available at yourmusic.
I have yet to be won over by Thielemann. As far as I can tell, he's mainly a poser. If he has any real talent, he's going to have to lose the attitude to get anywhere with it. But his Beethoven 5th and 7th were ponderous, his Schumann 2nd was heavy-handed, his Strauss Alpine symphony loses sight of the forest for all the trees, and his Orff Carmina Burana veered between generic and trying too hard to be lyrical and spacious. I guess I could say his Pfitzner sounds all right. If Pfitzner's your idea of a good time.

I'd like to hear Thielemann tackle some Mahler. That would prove his mettle. But I've seen no sign that he even acknowledges Mahler.

M
post #2860 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR View Post
I have yet to be won over by Thielemann. As far as I can tell, he's mainly a poser. If he has any real talent, he's going to have to lose the attitude to get anywhere with it. But his Beethoven 5th and 7th were ponderous, his Schumann 2nd was heavy-handed, his Strauss Alpine symphony loses sight of the forest for all the trees, and his Orff Carmina Burana veered between generic and trying too hard to be lyrical and spacious. I guess I could say his Pfitzner sounds all right. If Pfitzner's your idea of a good time.

I'd like to hear Thielemann tackle some Mahler. That would prove his mettle. But I've seen no sign that he even acknowledges Mahler.

M
I realise we're veering a little off topic here.... but if you want to hear Thielemann do something good, have a listen to his Parsifal (with Vienna Phil by the way).
post #2861 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwd View Post
I realise we're veering a little off topic here.... but if you want to hear Thielemann do something good, have a listen to his Parsifal (with Vienna Phil by the way).
Totally off topic. You know how when you go to a forum, the name of the last person who posted in a thread is displayed. I'm a lawyer. I just started a new case today. The case is called LWD. It's short for some long name of course, but we call it that for short.

LWD. That's my life for the next few months.

To get back on topic, my favorite mahler 2nd is the Rattle. I'm sure that recording has come up about 100 times in this very long thread.
post #2862 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR View Post
I have yet to be won over by Thielemann. As far as I can tell, he's mainly a poser. If he has any real talent, he's going to have to lose the attitude to get anywhere with it. But his Beethoven 5th and 7th were ponderous, his Schumann 2nd was heavy-handed, his Strauss Alpine symphony loses sight of the forest for all the trees, and his Orff Carmina Burana veered between generic and trying too hard to be lyrical and spacious. I guess I could say his Pfitzner sounds all right. If Pfitzner's your idea of a good time.

I'd like to hear Thielemann tackle some Mahler. That would prove his mettle. But I've seen no sign that he even acknowledges Mahler.

M
I might be inclined to agree with you. While his DGG Parsifal is really splendid, I don't necessarily believe that one great Wagner set makes a great conductor. Furthermore, that set was/is as much about Domingo in the eponymous role as it is about Thielemann at the Wiener Staatsoper. Rather, I think, like the EMI Tristan of a little while back.

Thielemann, especially when he's off, seems to confuse force and ponderous pacing with being a visionary conductor. I am glad that he hasn't touched Mahler. Given his idiosyncrasies, that could be a train-wreck of the first rank, especially in some of Mahler's more monumental symphonies. If he brought to the 8th what he did to the Beethoven, that would be aural torture.
post #2863 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR View Post
I have yet to be won over by Thielemann. As far as I can tell, he's mainly a poser. If he has any real talent, he's going to have to lose the attitude to get anywhere with it. But his Beethoven 5th and 7th were ponderous, his Schumann 2nd was heavy-handed, his Strauss Alpine symphony loses sight of the forest for all the trees, and his Orff Carmina Burana veered between generic and trying too hard to be lyrical and spacious. I guess I could say his Pfitzner sounds all right. If Pfitzner's your idea of a good time.

I'd like to hear Thielemann tackle some Mahler. That would prove his mettle. But I've seen no sign that he even acknowledges Mahler.

M
It's his Strauß that's supposed to be either phenomenal or abysmal with Ein Heldenleben a bit better than his Alpensinfonie. Marginally better, btw. I still haven't put any of his things in the cart, though it becomes very tedious talking about him without first hand knowledge. But the negatives voiced by so many have kept me away from his recordings.

I've heard talk about hearing various voices in his work: the sound of the basses, the sound of a reed, et al. that just aren't apparent in other recordings. I suppose they mean that there's a quality of transparency that is novel given the well upholstered sound.

Anyway, I'm glad he hasn't tackled Mahler or I would have probably spent some money on his recordings by now. It sort of feels good knowing I've saved a few pennies here and thielemann, excuse me, there.
post #2864 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08 View Post
I
Thielemann, especially when he's off, seems to confuse force and ponderous pacing with being a visionary conductor. I am glad that he hasn't touched Mahler. Given his idiosyncrasies, that could be a train-wreck of the first rank, especially in some of Mahler's more monumental symphonies. If he brought to the 8th what he did to the Beethoven, that would be aural torture.
Well put! I guess time will tell...
post #2865 of 3686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears View Post
I've heard talk about hearing various voices in his work: the sound of the basses, the sound of a reed, et al. that just aren't apparent in other recordings. I suppose they mean that there's a quality of transparency that is novel given the well upholstered sound.
Yes, you do get that "newly exposed detail" effect in a lot of places, particularly in Strauss. Then again, Strauss' pieces tend to be so overscored, it could just be high-res recording technology picking up what usually gets lost in the murk! There's a reason Beecham was able to cross out large sections of the scoring in 'Heldenleben' without anyone ever noticing or complaining...

Or maybe Thielemann just enjoys highlighting those things, kind of like Sinopoli, only without so much hair.

M
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Music
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings