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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 38

post #556 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Just for example compare retail price of Mahler 4 according to Amazon:
MTT/SFSO - $25.98 (hybrid)
Zander/Telarc - $17.98
Bernstein/DG - $16.98
Renier/RCA - $11.98
Szell/Sony - $7.99
Wit/Naxos - $6.98

Price just seems excessive for MTT
Even being SACD doesn't justify the price, at least the Zander has a 3rd CD talking about the symphony too....
post #557 of 3714
Foreign orchestras work for cheaper contracts. That's why the vast majority of new classical recordings are with non-US orchestras.

Catalog recordings are of course very cheap to release.

Telarc, as mentioned, must have a sweetheart deal for their US recordings.

In decades long gone now, classical releases sold many multiples of what they do now, so the costs were defrayed over many units sold.

But the MTT discs, for example, are classical best-sellers and yet only have a 10,000 manufacturing run. M6 was re-pressed because of unmet demand after it won a Grammy. A classical disc that sells in the single thousands is considered extremely successful. If they sold like rap records, then it'd be easy to pay for all the expenses. A number one selling classical release would be considered a failure for a popular release.
post #558 of 3714
Slightly off topic, but yesterday I received the newly release Mahler Song Cycles "Lieder" (samples at the usual places). I'm not a big Mahler fan or a big vocal fan, but I immediately enjoyed this CD. The acoustics are just how I like them. Slightly warm with reverberation, intimate, and a very good spatial quality. I don't know how DG accomplished this without Cleveland's Masonic Auditorium, but they did. Maybe it was my e-mail... If you like Mahler and like vocals, I recommend this new recording.

This is the first of four new releases by conductor Pierre Boulez. Next the Bartok Piano Concertos. Since I'm a fan, this is exciting...further the new release of Tori Amos is due soon...
post #559 of 3714
Listening to my recent arrival, M6 with Szell/Cleveland. I like it but I was hoping it would blow me away like the 4th. I didn't realize it was a live recording. It is a phenomenal live recording, but I think I would prefer the detail and perfection of a Szell studio recording. I have Solti 6th which I have always liked, I will give that a listen now after hearing Szell.

I might be persuaded to order another 6th if there is another reference recording that is a no brainer. I tried scanning many of these pages, but grew tired. I might need to listen to this recording again. Perhaps it is like my Klemperer Bruckner 6 that on first listen I thought was okay, but when I sat down and listened to it again without any distractions, I was blown away.

dshea
post #560 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dshea_32665
Listening to my recent arrival, M6 with Szell/Cleveland. I like it but I was hoping it would blow me away like the 4th. I didn't realize it was a live recording. It is a phenomenal live recording, but I think I would prefer the detail and perfection of a Szell studio recording. I have Solti 6th which I have always liked, I will give that a listen now after hearing Szell.

I might be persuaded to order another 6th if there is another reference recording that is a no brainer. I tried scanning many of these pages, but grew tired. I might need to listen to this recording again. Perhaps it is like my Klemperer Bruckner 6 that on first listen I thought was okay, but when I sat down and listened to it again without any distractions, I was blown away.
dshea
Et Tu Brute.........maestro Szell has rolled over in his grave now that his strongest supporter Dshea has stuck the dagger in his his back, what has the world come to........?

You are a tough customer Dshea, I will not say Szell/Sony is best M6 ever made but definitely top 10 and very possibly top 5 all on single budget CD......hard to find too much fault here.

A stronger canidate for top spot for M6 is Bernstein who thrives on the manic tempo shifts and high drama, the DG and Sony versions are very close performance wise with DG having better modern sound, the catch is Bernstein/DG is full price 2CD version. The older Sony is reduced price 1CD version, therefore much better value.

Have you considered purchasing the complete Bernstein/Sony set? Price is very reasonable and most symphonies are equal to or better than much more expensive DG set.......one exception is the M5 where Bernstein is noticeably better in the DG set.
post #561 of 3714
I must agree on your assessment of the Bernstein Mahler 6. It is one of my favorite recordings.
post #562 of 3714
Well I read through 26 pages of this thread a few days ago. Before I'd only listened to mahler's 5th which is one of my favourite symphonies. I'm just getting into the classical world thanks to a concert-going dad.

I went to the library today and borrowed:
bernstein - no.7 and no. 5
Abbado - no. 3
Karajan - no. 9
solti - no. 1
and rattle's no. 10

One by one, they are blowing me away...
This thread is brilliant and you guys are a fantastic source of knowledge!
post #563 of 3714
DA I thought you would enjoy my slight waivering from the almighty. As I listen to it today, I like it much better, but still think there is some room. I will check into the Bernstein recording definitely. And I might look into the Bernstein set seeing that I have all the symphonies now, except 8 which I have on vinyl.

But before my faith is questioned too much, this is a stunning live performance, the Szell recording. The winds blend and play with flawless intonation, which in this piece is very difficult! I am trying to put my finger on what is not putting this recording over the edge for me. I think I would like it a little less constrained, a little less safe. The tempos seem to be a little restrained at some of the wild moments. The slow movement is very beautiful, but I think the material here can absolutely transport you and I don't really get that, although I find it moving (actually I think Szell takes it a little too fast so it is moving in the literal sense too )

It sounds like what I am looking for is what Bernstein is known for. For the discount price as DA noted, this Szell recording is a steal and should be purchased. I think for somebody who wasn't putting such incredibly high expectations on a recording as I was, they would love this recording. I was anticipating total audio nirvana since this is one of my favorite pieces done by my main man.

dshea
post #564 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunShip
Well I read through 26 pages of this thread a few days ago. Before I'd only listened to mahler's 5th which is one of my favourite symphonies. I'm just getting into the classical world thanks to a concert-going dad.

I went to the library today and borrowed:
bernstein - no.7 and no. 5
Abbado - no. 3
Karajan - no. 9
solti - no. 1
and rattle's no. 10

One by one, they are blowing me away...
This thread is brilliant and you guys are a fantastic source of knowledge!
Welcome SunShip. I remember when I was young and discovering Mahler for the first time. If you like Mahler, there is a Bruckner thread which you might find interesting as well.

You are right about the advice you get here. People here really know their stuff and concensus reference recordings are guaranteed to please.

Nice booty intake from your library! Enjoy.

dshea
post #565 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by dshea_32665
Welcome SunShip. I remember when I was young and discovering Mahler for the first time. If you like Mahler, there is a Bruckner thread which you might find interesting as well.

You are right about the advice you get here. People here really know their stuff and concensus reference recordings are guaranteed to please.

Nice booty intake from your library! Enjoy.

dshea

Its great studying in london, some great libraries with tonnes of CD's and music reference books. I picked up some essays by Donald Mitchell who I've heard is quite the mahler buff, shall be reading them over the next few weeks.
post #566 of 3714
I had the great pleasure of receiving a 1966 Horenstein (BBC Legends label) M9 today. (This is the same recording DarkAngel received 1/23.) It is a goosebump-making performance.

I bought it through amazon.com's Buy used function. The 2-CD set from amazon is $35.98. But there was a private vendor selling it through the Buy used link for just $12.99, and it was still sealed. It's nice to find a good bargain on great music. I'd recommend keeping an eye on vendors linked in amazon.com for specific discs that you are looking for.
post #567 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origen
I had the great pleasure of receiving a 1966 Horenstein (BBC Legends label) M9 today. (This is the same recording DarkAngel received 1/23.) It is a goosebump-making performance.

I bought it through amazon.com's Buy used function. The 2-CD set from amazon is $35.98. But there was a private vendor selling it through the Buy used link for just $12.99, and it was still sealed. It's nice to find a good bargain on great music. I'd recommend keeping an eye on vendors linked in amazon.com for specific discs that you are looking for.
Wait.........mine has not arrived yet, still waiting.
And yes always buy used whenever possible, then buy twice as many Mahler Cds for same money.
post #568 of 3714
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Yes I will pass on Zander.........all is not lost picked up used stereo Barbirolli M6, M2 for very good price yesterday, didn't even know Barbirolli had a stereo M2, live performance with Helen Donath vocalist.

M2

M6
I listened to the Barbirolli/EMI M6 yesterday and although it cannot be a definitive reference recording for me, it still holds a special place. The tempo is slower than ideal for me as total time indicates which does not provide forward thrust needed for reference M6, yet one does not get the feeling that things drag so powerful are the dramatic contrasts Barbirolli acheives. Tempo wise similar to Bernstein/DG, and likewise Barbirolli acheives high dramatic contrast. Conductors like Horenstein, Bernstein, Barbirolli have a way with Mahler that is lost on newer generation of conductors which alows to the music to flow naturally and not seem forced or disjointed even while displaying tremndous force/energy.

Special note must be made of this EMI recording from 1968, I must part ways strongly with Penguin Guide regarding sound here, it is magnificent! I have never heard M6 so utterly transparant that revealed new small orchestral details I have never heard before. The only place it yields slightly to best modern recordings is in natural bloom, but I easly prefer this sound to say new Levi/Telarc which seems softly focused and opaque by comparison. The brass has fire and bite and lower registers with basson and viola/bass violin are clearly heard not some rumbling in the background.

So because of expansive nature this will not contend for best M6, true reference is best found with others like Bernstein/Sony. Running times M6:

Szell/Sony 73:39
Solti/London 76:56
Bernstein/Sony 77:57
Levi/Telarc 78:07
Boulez/DG 79:22
Karajan/DG 82:57
Barbirolli/EMI 84:08
Bernstein/DG 84:47
MTT/SFSO Media 87:30
post #569 of 3714
Thanks DA for the details. I know it varies from company to company and particular years, but I find myself really being drawn to the recording sound of many of the recordings form the late 60's and early 70's. You can hear things more clearly. I generally love my Szell recordings and OMG, the Maazel Sibelius is amazing. I enjoy more modern recordings as well, but many times they are too smooth and opaque (good adjective DA). I want their to be air and clarity between instruments.

Anyway, just something on my mind lately and your descriptions inspired me.

So is it still Bernstein M6 for reference?

dshea
post #570 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I listened to the Barbirolli/EMI M6 yesterday and although it cannot be a definitive reference recording for me, it still holds a special place. The tempo is slower than ideal for me as total time indicates which does not provide forward thrust needed for reference M6, yet one does not get the feeling that things drag so powerful are the dramatic contrasts Barbirolli acheives. Tempo wise similar to Bernstein/DG, and likewise Barbirolli acheives high dramatic contrast. Conductors like Horenstein, Bernstein, Barbirolli have a way with Mahler that is lost on newer generation of conductors which alows to the music to flow naturally and not seem forced or disjointed even while displaying tremndous force/energy.

Special note must be made of this EMI recording from 1968, I must part ways strongly with Penguin Guide regarding sound here, it is magnificent! I have never heard M6 so utterly transparant that revealed new small orchestral details I have never heard before. The only place it yields slightly to best modern recordings is in natural bloom, but I easly prefer this sound to say new Levi/Telarc which seems softly focused and opaque by comparison. The brass has fire and bite and lower registers with basson and viola/bass violin are clearly heard not some rumbling in the background.

So because of expansive nature this will not contend for best M6, true reference is best found with others like Bernstein/Sony. Running times M6:

Szell/Sony 73:39
Solti/London 76:56
Bernstein/Sony 77:57
Levi/Telarc 78:07
Boulez/DG 79:22
Karajan/DG 82:57
Barbirolli/EMI 84:08
Bernstein/DG 84:47
MTT/SFSO Media 87:30
As a very young girl, I was taken to a performance of Mahler's 6th, Sir John Barbirolli, guest conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I have to say that the first movement was exceedingly slow, to the point that I wondered if Sir John had fallen asleep on the podium! However he did finally warm up and the 2nd and 3rd movements were, in a word, simply grand! A very memorable night.
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