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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 4

post #46 of 3714
Quote:
Originally posted by j-curve
Hmm, seems like there might be an Abbado #9 in my future...

BTW, are you guys familiar with the 1985 Bernstein, and if so, do you consider it deficient?
Sorry, not familiar. I'm not a big Bernstein fan when it comes to Mahler, but obviously many other people feel otherwise.
post #47 of 3714
OK, I've worked out what's wrong with Mahler 9. The 3rd movement exemplifies my earlier complaint about Mahler's "awkward rhythms and leaping melodic lines" in the purest and most objectionable way. To top it off, the 4th movement is a seemingly endless dirge with barely the briefest respite. It must be cut down to 15 minutes! Then, as with Tchaikovsky #6, the final two movements must be swapped so we can all go out with a bang and don't have to suffer the embarrassment of Aunty Martha's elbow in the ribs when the time comes to applaud. The problem with Pathetiques and Purgatorios is that they are altogether too pathetic and purgatorial.
post #48 of 3714
Quote:
Originally posted by j-curve
OK, I've worked out what's wrong with Mahler 9. The 3rd movement exemplifies my earlier complaint about Mahler's "awkward rhythms and leaping melodic lines" in the purest and most objectionable way. To top it off, the 4th movement is a seemingly endless dirge with barely the briefest respite. It must be cut down to 15 minutes! Then, as with Tchaikovsky #6, the final two movements must be swapped so we can all go out with a bang and don't have to suffer the embarrassment of Aunty Martha's elbow in the ribs when the time comes to applaud. The problem with Pathetiques and Purgatorios is that they are altogether too pathetic and purgatory.
My advice:

1) Try a different recording. Once again I'll recommend Abbado, especially in contrast to Bernstein. His superb architectural grasp and the clarity he gets out of the orchestra should make sense of the "awkward rhythms and leaping melodic lines," and give shape to the "endless dirge with barely the briefest respite." He reveals as well as anyone that Mahler is a composer of the head as well as the heart. His symphonies explore extreme emotions and might be bathetic if not for their bracing subtleties. Find a recording that will bring these qualities out.

2) If you still don't like it, put it on the shelf and listen again after 6 month.
post #49 of 3714
Quote:
Originally posted by Davie
My advice:

1) Try a different recording. Once again I'll recommend Abbado, especially in contrast to Bernstein. His superb architectural grasp and the clarity he gets out of the orchestra should make sense of the "awkward rhythms and leaping melodic lines," and give shape to the "endless dirge with barely the briefest respite." He reveals as well as anyone that Mahler is a composer of the head as well as the heart. His symphonies explore extreme emotions and might be bathetic if not for their bracing subtleties. Find a recording that will bring these qualities out.

2) If you still don't like it, put it on the shelf and listen again after 6 month.
EDIT. In my experience it is crucial to get the right recording if you are going to appreciate a complex work (not that "right" will be the same for everyone). For whatever reason, I find most recordings of Mahler symphonies unlistenable. Abbado, Klemperer, and sometimes Szell and Karajan seem to be "my Mahler" while Bernstein and Chailly definitely are not. You can't judge a work based on one conductor's interpretation.
post #50 of 3714
This is the version that I have :



Quote:
Eiji Oue has been getting great press since he became music director of the Minnesota Orchestra. This brand new recording of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde gives us an idea why. The crystal-clear audiophile recording allows us to hear all of Mahler's colors--just listen, in the first song, as the mood ranges from exhilaration over the joys of life and the perfect blue sky to the howling ape. One of the great things about this set is Oue's willingness to let the orchestra loose, here and elsewhere. Jon Villars sounds as if he's at the start of a fine tenorial career--the voice is big and bright, with almost no sense of strain, even at Mahler's cruel climaxes. But the true find here is mezzo Michelle DeYoung, who sings with a warmth and communication reminiscent of Christa Ludwig (although their actual sounds could not be more different). Her "Abschied" ends hypnotically, as it should, but without exaggeration. This is a wonderful set, performed with intelligence and feeling, and it should rise to the top of any list of superb Das Lieds on the market. --Robert Levine
post #51 of 3714
Wow, this is a hard one. It is hard to go wrong with Walter or Bernstein on any of them--they form a kind of reference. What do folks think about the 10th? I still like the first Ormandy/Phil version pretty well.

I think the Horenstein 1st and 6th are also pretty special.
post #52 of 3714
Ahhh!! Stop this lively dicussion of Mahler!! You guys make me want to listen to his works more! I am only familiar with the first 2 symphonies...ahhh...got a lot of catching up to do.

*onto 3rd symphony now*
post #53 of 3714
Quote:
Originally posted by daycart1
What do folks think about the 10th?
If you can, try to hear it live.

It's been over a year now and I still haven't listened to a recording of it. I don't know if I will until I can hear it live again.

I saw Mark Wigglesworth conduct it with the Cleveland Orchestra last year. Amazing. One of the most intense musical experiences of my life. With nearly 15 minutes to go in the last movement, tears were already streaming down my face. By the end I was shaking. I don't want to ruin the memory of that night by listening to a recording.

-jar
post #54 of 3714
Quote:
Originally posted by Luvya
Ahhh!! Stop this lively dicussion of Mahler!! You guys make me want to listen to his works more! I am only familiar with the first 2 symphonies...ahhh...got a lot of catching up to do.

*onto 3rd symphony now*
wow I envy you! sometimes I wish his music wasn't so burned into my brain so I could enjoy it with the ears of the young 14-year-old Mahler fan that I was almost 20 years ago.

Just wait until the 3rd movement of the 6th Symphony works its way into your soul. About 10 minutes in there's this glissando in the violins that will make your hairs on your neck stand up.
Then hold your breath for the earth shattering hammer blows of the movement that follows..

Or the soaring climax of the 3rd movement of the 4th, like small storm that gives way to some of the most beautiful, serene music Mahler ever composed..

Or the Adagietto of the 5th, this you might have heard before, but it's just one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written..

Yes, I envy you! Happy listening :-)

-jar
post #55 of 3714
Thread Starter 
OK, listened to entire older Bernstein/Sony Mahler set
this weekend and like any complete set there are some weak versions here for various reasons dealing with sound/performance issues..........still $50 for complete set is good deal, but best to buy individual issues really.

The excellent pereformances
Symphonies 2,3,6,7
these have good sound and would be my first choices for any Bernstein version, SBM remaster did good job here and performances are first rate.


The good performances
Symphonies 1,9
these don't beat the new Bernstein/DG versions overall but still very good and worth having to see different interpetations.

The average or below average performances/sound
Symphonies 4,5,8
I would actually like Sony 4th if 90% of the sound wasn't balanced into left channel..........guess engineer decided don't need right channel The newer DG 4th uses the young boy vocal which hurts it a bit, the female vocals are better here on Sony but sound is completely unacceptable.

I also placed order today for Mahler 5 & 6 by Karajan/DG Originals to add to collection.
post #56 of 3714
Hey DA, thanks to this thread I've bought Rattle Mahler 3 (listening right now--recording quality is excellent, still getting used to the performance) and Klemperer Mahler 2 (yet to listen, but looking forward to it).

Aside: I'm enjoying it all the more thanks to my all Nite system and new speakers!
post #57 of 3714

Modern Mahler.

I for one would like to hear the "de Waart / Netherlands Radio" Mahler recordings on RCA.

- Another recommendation for those wanting a modern set of Mahler recordings are the ones on Hanssler Classics. They are by Michael Gielen & the SWR Baden-Baden Orchestra. This set seems to get universal praise for both performance & sonics.

- augustwest
post #58 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Calanctus
Hey DA, thanks to this thread I've bought Rattle Mahler 3 (listening right now--recording quality is excellent, still getting used to the performance) and Klemperer Mahler 2 (yet to listen, but looking forward to it).
Can't go wrong with those two................Mahler 3 is not one of my fav Mahler works but the Rattle/EMI has the best sound quality of any Mahler Cd I have ever heard to date.
post #59 of 3714
Quote:
Originally posted by Luvya
Ahhh!! Stop this lively dicussion of Mahler!! You guys make me want to listen to his works more! I am only familiar with the first 2 symphonies...ahhh...got a lot of catching up to do.
See, this thread isn't so bad. Try keeping up with the Darkest Desires megathreads. Lurking in those will make you grow old, fast.

I officially have to try out the Klemperer 2nd, considering it's been recommended by about a half dozen different people. Those of us on a limited budget must search for a consensus somewhere.
post #60 of 3714
My favorite Mahler #2 since I first heard it in the '70s: Klemperer, Philharmonia Chorus & Orchestra, EMI/Angel. Just got the remastered version w/ AbbeyRoadTech, the restoration work is amazingly well done, so much better than the old release.

Enjoy,
W
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