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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 215

post #3211 of 3714
Was bounded in front of the idiot box (TV) couple of weeks ago late into the morning by "Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary."

Dracula with Mahler. It's on my DVD collection wish-list...
post #3212 of 3714

Rattle M9 - PBS Great Performances

Anyone catch the Rattle/Berlin Mahler 9th on PBS' Great Performances? I only caught movements II, III and IV. I have to say that I enjoyed it very much, maybe it was just that I was really in the mood for it. I was able to record it so I can watch it again. Hopefully I can catch a rebroadcast so I can hear the 1st movement.

-Mason
post #3213 of 3714
My local cable company is going to broadcast the performance on Saturday. So I am really looking forward to it.
post #3214 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar View Post
Anyone catch the Rattle/Berlin Mahler 9th on PBS' Great Performances? I only caught movements II, III and IV. I have to say that I enjoyed it very much, maybe it was just that I was really in the mood for it. I was able to record it so I can watch it again. Hopefully I can catch a rebroadcast so I can hear the 1st movement.

-Mason
I watched the whole thing on HD cable. My cable provider, TWC, had an excellent picture, but either TWC or the local PBS channel had poor sound. It was sent as Dolby Prologic II, rather than as Dolby Digital. When I listened in surround sound, the brass was nearly inaudible and there was no bass. So I switched my system to stereo, which gave a more balanced tone quality and decent imaging. Unfortunately, the whole broadcast was dynamically compressed, so that a flute solo was louder than the whole orchestra at full throttle. If I'd used headphones, this would have been even more annoying! I did enjoy the performance.

My PBS station followed the M9 with a 30-minute documentary about other parts of the "Berlin in Lights" festival. I wasn't so interested in a bunch of kids dancing to Sacre du Printemps, but there were the last two movements of the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, played by the Venezualan youth orchestra under Dudamel, and they did a superb job! (and it had better sound from Carnegie Hall than the M9 did).
post #3215 of 3714
Yeah! The Mahler thread is back.

Yes, I saw it, and my overall impression was ho-hum. Rattle is highly over-rated in Mahler, in my opinion. And that performance showed why. The third movement can, and should be, blistering. It was just too nice with Rattle. Then, there are the many affectations he uses. The Berliner's certainly can play well, but Rattle just can't bring that stunning intensity that Karajan can. On the other hand, it was nice to see that great music is still available to the general public for free. But I wonder how many people watched it?
post #3216 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar View Post
Anyone catch the Rattle/Berlin Mahler 9th on PBS' Great Performances? I only caught movements II, III and IV. I have to say that I enjoyed it very much, maybe it was just that I was really in the mood for it. I was able to record it so I can watch it again. Hopefully I can catch a rebroadcast so I can hear the 1st movement.

-Mason
Just came upon it while randomly surfing for something to watch that night. Rattle was just finishing up his pre performance talk on the work. It was a delightful experience, especially watching it in HD/5.1. The sound was shy on the low end but otherwise quite good. Wish I could have recorded it. I love this kind of PBS programing.
post #3217 of 3714
Did anyone pick up the Boulez/Mahler 8th? If so, how is it? Any impressions would be welcome!!!
post #3218 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Facade19 View Post
Did anyone pick up the Boulez/Mahler 8th? If so, how is it? Any impressions would be welcome!!!
Look at post 3203 above for review link........there are many M8s you should consider before Boulez, they are mentioned in same review.
post #3219 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
Look at post 3203 above for review link........there are many M8s you should consider before Boulez, they are mentioned in same review.
Thank you Dark Angel!

Well then I am going to look for a Solti and a Gielen recording then.
post #3220 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Facade19 View Post
Did anyone pick up the Boulez/Mahler 8th? If so, how is it? Any impressions would be welcome!!!
I have it, and I disagree with the reviewer quoted above. The criticism leveled against Boulez for his M2 and M8 seem to be along the lines of, if I might, "Pierre Boulez is doing exactly what we would expect Pierre Boulez to do and we're (1) surprised, and (2) expecting something else."

The M8 is exactly the sort of reading I would expect from Boulez in the studio. His live readings, as Mr. Morgan pointed out, tend to be a little more spontaneous and more strongly felt, without losing the analytical sensibility. The studio recordings tend to be a little dryer and more clear-eyed. The orchestral and choral contributions are uniformly excellent, and I take Mr. Morgan's point about the soloists. The M2 and M8 have suffered from soloists that are, at the least, confusing to me, and, at worst, somewhat unsuited for the roles.

If you know and like Boulez' work, then you'll like the new M8. If you're left cold by Boulez, then you'll be left cold. The one thing that has surprised me about the latest entries in the cycle are how predictable they are. Of course, if it works, it works.
post #3221 of 3714
I finally picked up the Barenboim M7 (and the Scherchen M7 too). Scherchen is a mess, although an interesting mess. Barenboim is a rarity, a performance with something new to say. I like it a lot, it joins Abbado/CSO and Bertini among my favorites. Is it just me, or is Barenboim enjoying a level of artistic achievement in the last 10 years that has eluded him most of the rest of his career? With his 'old school' beethoven cycle, his schuman symphonies, and now his Mahler. I'm picking up his M9 asap.
post #3222 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08 View Post
I have it, and I disagree with the reviewer quoted above. The criticism leveled against Boulez for his M2 and M8 seem to be along the lines of, if I might, "Pierre Boulez is doing exactly what we would expect Pierre Boulez to do and we're (1) surprised, and (2) expecting something else."

The M8 is exactly the sort of reading I would expect from Boulez in the studio. His live readings, as Mr. Morgan pointed out, tend to be a little more spontaneous and more strongly felt, without losing the analytical sensibility. The studio recordings tend to be a little dryer and more clear-eyed. The orchestral and choral contributions are uniformly excellent, and I take Mr. Morgan's point about the soloists. The M2 and M8 have suffered from soloists that are, at the least, confusing to me, and, at worst, somewhat unsuited for the roles.

If you know and like Boulez' work, then you'll like the new M8. If you're left cold by Boulez, then you'll be left cold. The one thing that has surprised me about the latest entries in the cycle are how predictable they are. Of course, if it works, it works.
I am really unfamiliar with Boulez's work in a non-20th century repertoire. I have most of his Bartok recordings on DG as well as a few of the Stravinsky ones. Additionally have his recording of Lulu. So in that respect I am not sure how well he handles Post-Romantic music. However I really love his Bartok work.
post #3223 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Facade19 View Post
I am really unfamiliar with Boulez's work in a non-20th century repertoire. I have most of his Bartok recordings on DG as well as a few of the Stravinsky ones. Additionally have his recording of Lulu. So in that respect I am not sure how well he handles Post-Romantic music. However I really love his Bartok work.
Boulez' Romantic and post-Romantic interpretations are, to my mind, roughly in line with his more-modern repertoire. There is a great emphasis on rhythmic articulation, clarity of line, orchestral transparency, precision, and architecture. He deemphasizes some of the overt emotional content, which is to say that he tends to go through the work, rarely pausing to linger or broaden his tempo to impress the point. He is very precise, usually toward the fast side, and very concerned with fidelity to the score.

His Wagner (Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal) is criticized for being too fast and too light, if that gives you some idea.

His Mahler cycle has been very successful where the emotional content is not necessarily front and center (i.e., except M2, M8, and Das Lied von der Erde). I would say that his instrumental works are better than his vocal ones, but his M3 and M4 were pretty darned good. He was at, in my opinion, his best in M5, M6, M7, and M9, where Mahler's modernism becomes increasingly apparent.
post #3224 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08 View Post
Boulez' Romantic and post-Romantic interpretations are, to my mind, roughly in line with his more-modern repertoire. There is a great emphasis on rhythmic articulation, clarity of line, orchestral transparency, precision, and architecture. He deemphasizes some of the overt emotional content, which is to say that he tends to go through the work, rarely pausing to linger or broaden his tempo to impress the point. He is very precise, usually toward the fast side, and very concerned with fidelity to the score.

His Wagner (Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal) is criticized for being too fast and too light, if that gives you some idea.

His Mahler cycle has been very successful where the emotional content is not necessarily front and center (i.e., except M2, M8, and Das Lied von der Erde). I would say that his instrumental works are better than his vocal ones, but his M3 and M4 were pretty darned good. He was at, in my opinion, his best in M5, M6, M7, and M9, where Mahler's modernism becomes increasingly apparent.
Boulez is criticized for being too fast and light in a composer often accused of heaviness and bombast, that's pretty funny
post #3225 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08 View Post
Boulez' Romantic and post-Romantic interpretations are, to my mind, roughly in line with his more-modern repertoire. There is a great emphasis on rhythmic articulation, clarity of line, orchestral transparency, precision, and architecture. He deemphasizes some of the overt emotional content, which is to say that he tends to go through the work, rarely pausing to linger or broaden his tempo to impress the point. He is very precise, usually toward the fast side, and very concerned with fidelity to the score.

His Wagner (Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal) is criticized for being too fast and too light, if that gives you some idea.

His Mahler cycle has been very successful where the emotional content is not necessarily front and center (i.e., except M2, M8, and Das Lied von der Erde). I would say that his instrumental works are better than his vocal ones, but his M3 and M4 were pretty darned good. He was at, in my opinion, his best in M5, M6, M7, and M9, where Mahler's modernism becomes increasingly apparent.
Ah now I am very curious to hear how he committed himself to Mahler's 5th and 6th (which I think have powerful, emotional messages pouring out from the score). I might give his 7th a try, always wanted to hear a modernistic approach. Thank you very much for the insight!
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