Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Speaking of Abbado/CSO/DG M2,4
The M2 I do like better than newest DG live version, everything goes quite well up until crucial closing passage. The sound is good, performance passionate and alive......I am thinking to myself this may be candidate for top 5 M2. Then surprisingly Abbado pulls in the reigns and gives us a somewhat subdued reflective apocalyptic finale, I am puzzled, it is like they secretly put in another conductor for last few minutes to finish symphony. So unfortunately this will not make my top 5 M2 simply because the crucial last couple minutes are not done with the overwhelming power/energy needed.
I just listened to one of your top picks (Solti/CSO 1980 Medinah Temple recording) and I'm afraid I have to disagree with you here. I find the Abbado recording to be far superior, as much as I like Solti. The tempii are not that far apart, but I find Solti somewhat rushing or pushing sections that to me are crucial in letting develop without the feeling of being rushed.
Now, the Solti version I have is on LP, and my analog rig is far from SOTA (Thorens table, Sumiko Blue Point), and this being an early London digital, sound was, ermm, bad (bright, very 2D in loud passages). The soloists in the Abbado version are much superior, but that would not cloud the issue for me.
When I last listened to the Abbado (within the last week), I did not feel quite the same as you regarding it being "subdued". Back in my analog only days, I had 2-3 recordings (the two mentioned previously plus Maezel), and I also have the first Kaplan recording on LP (didn't like it as I recall). The Abbado is the one that I always grabbed to listen to.
Just my opinion, and still a great thread!