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Best classical recordings...ever! - Page 104

post #1546 of 9057

Going back to the 6th, Barbirolli's is right fine as well.

post #1547 of 9057

This is easily the best recording of Mahler's 6th I've heard in my 56 years:

 

 

It's long OOP but I hear it's available on Spotify and Qobuz.

post #1548 of 9057
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
 

I've picked up the Fischer Mahler recordings and maybe no more. The 6th was terrific and the 2nd was really great - and the sound! 4th was pretty good. Then came the 1st - and I wasn't so thrilled with the performance. Not terrible, but far from first-rate. Didn't catch fire for me. The fifth was just not up to snuff. The electricity was gone. A lot of conductors do stumble on this symphony, but I expected more. No one can be great at all of these symphonies, but maybe Fischer doesn't really believe in some of them. I remember an interview he did after the 6th and he said he didn't intend to do a complete cycle - maybe now we know why.

 

I think that Fischer Mahler 5th was the greatest he done and the 2nd is good as well. The recording was top notch one of the clearest I have heard. I think that Fischer Mahler 6th was the weak one.  However I will always remember Solti Mahler cycle.

post #1549 of 9057
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The only thing I like about Rattle is his hair. Solti and Abbado are like stressful OCD and sludgey slack,

No one has mentioned Walter and Tennstedt. That makes no sense, because both of them are a lot better than some of the other conductors mentioned here.

Walter and Tennstedt suffer from - technical sonic point, not their performance. Walter being (almost all) mono and Tennstedt early digital - I have his 8th on vinyl and you really can not listen to it without reading the text - damn early digititis. Everything below certain loudness is a formless porridge, and under these conditions singing takes the biggest hit. For choir intelegibility, I would take Solti's 8th over Tennstedt's (EMI's - to name the faulty party correctly) any day in a millenium.

 

As I do not want to declare war on my neighbours, by starting to play say 2nd at 20:00 with not-so-private-Gotterdamerung finale about two hours later, I prefer listening with headphones. And I hate mono in cans - with  passion. This unfortunately rules out Walter. Pity - because he is direct descendant from Mahler and in very high esteem. I will try to listen to Tennstedt's whole cycle - despite the quality of sound, based on 8th alone, but likely to be similar for the entire cycle - which might have taken several not too widely spaced years to complete. At (rare) times the sound quality did not torpedo the music, there were glimpses of greatness . 

 

Of early digital recordings, I find Decca's to be the best ( try http://www.amazon.com/New-Years-Concert-Vienna-1979/dp/B00005N56W ), followed by Telarc - and at  the end of the list of lost opportunities is - Philips. Last swan song analog recordings from Philips were GREAT - it is ironic that first digital recording by the same artist(s), recorded in the same hall by the same recording team, only from half a year to a year later, sound soooo dead and flat - and totally pale in comparison. I heard Davis/Boston - the exact recordings escape my mind at the moment - but it is as described above.

post #1550 of 9057
The Walter stereo recordings on Columbia were just released in a big box set and the sound quality is fantastic. The first release of Tennstedt way back when didn't sound great, but the current remastering sounds excellent. I think you're operating on an out of date Penguin guide there.

Solti's Maher is best listened to in a straight jacket while sitting in an electric chair. I never imagined anyone would focus on the neurotic aspects of Mahler to highlight, but leave it to Solti... I much prefer a little Viennese lilt instead of angular goosed dynamics in Mahler myself.
Edited by bigshot - 3/23/14 at 2:01am
post #1551 of 9057
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The Walter stereo recordings on Columbia were just released in a big box set and the sound quality is fantastic. The first release of Tennstedt way back when didn't sound great, but the current remastering sounds excellent. I think you're operating on an out of date Penguin guide there.

Solti's Maher is best listened to in a straight jacket while sitting in an electric chair. I never imagined anyone would focus on the neurotic aspects of Mahler to highlight, but leave it to Solti... I much prefer a little Viennese lilt instead of angular goosed dynamics in Mahler myself.

This is great news. I thank you for this info - which is opposite of what my wallet is saying ...

 

I kind of left monitoring what record labels are doing since I quit CD retail 10 years ago. But seemingly, every now and then they manage to make the right picks. As to guides/catalogs, I prefer Bielefelder - but Penguin is also more than just useful. Since I concentrate now on new recordings, past things do not interest me as they used to.

 

As one of the professors in our High school for music used to say: "They are interesting now, in their forming years, where you can follow their progress and development. Then, they become catalog number(s) ..."

post #1552 of 9057
The remasterings by Sony over the past few years are spectacular. I've found that Columbia Bernstein, Stravinsky, Stokowski and Walter recordings that were very iffy on vinyl and older CD release now sound like brand new recordings in the Sony remasterings. RCA recordings are the same way. Things that sounded much better on vinyl than CD now sound fantastic on remastered CDs. We can now throw out all our shaded dogs and six eyes.
post #1553 of 9057
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The Walter stereo recordings on Columbia were just released in a big box set and the sound quality is fantastic. The first release of Tennstedt way back when didn't sound great, but the current remastering sounds excellent. I think you're operating on an out of date Penguin guide there.

Solti's Maher is best listened to in a straight jacket while sitting in an electric chair. I never imagined anyone would focus on the neurotic aspects of Mahler to highlight, but leave it to Solti... I much prefer a little Viennese lilt instead of angular goosed dynamics in Mahler myself.
I don't know. I think the Viennese lilt is a very small aspect of Mahler. For me what is more apparent are the blazes of emotion, wild yearning, sighs of despair, hymns of glory and nightmares of death. All these things Solti does better than most. I do find him slightly hard driven at times, but I'm so glad I have the opportunity to listen to such performances as in many ways, they have never been bettered. Just listen to the drive in the exposition of the finale of the 6th, or the sheer stormy vehemence of the second movement of the 5th (exactly what Mahler was asking for). Nobody else brings it out like that.

I do love Walter's Mahler too, and can imagine why you do as well. I love his Columbia SO 9th for its very lack of restraint and hysteria, but some could argue convincingly that wild hysteria is exactly what that first movement needs. I see it like Walter's approach being more a commentary on the emotional events portrayed, whereas something like the likes of the live Bernstein recording with the Berlin Philharmonic is an attempt at a virtual recreation of the actual emotions. I hope that makes sense!?

Anyway, my point is that I love Mahler's music so much that I crave to hear different approaches, just so I can relive the piece in a different way. There can always be something to take away from another's interpretation of such substantial edifices of sound. I'd much rather do that than find things to bash about.
post #1554 of 9057
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andolink View Post

This is easily the best recording of Mahler's 6th I've heard in my 56 years:




It's long OOP but I hear it's available on Spotify and Qobuz.
Great performance, I just find the sound a bit thin. I heard details in this version that I hadn't heard anywhere else.
post #1555 of 9057
Sanderling was a fantastic conductor.

Vienese lilt is one of the main aspects of Mahler. It's presented with nostalgia and sadness sometimes, but it's clearly there underlying everything. I don't think hysteria and high stress are valid ways to conduct Mahler (or Bruckner for that matter). Solti completely obliterates all of the architecture of Mahler under a yo yo of back and forth dynamics and nuances that are magnified so big they become something totally different. Listening to Solti's ham handed Maher was a big reason why I used to think I didn't like Mahler. Then I heard Walter and I realized what Mahler was supposed to sound like. It's layers of subtle shifts in emotions that build up to a carefully constructed whole, not whiplash see saw foaming at the mouth.
post #1556 of 9057
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The remasterings by Sony over the past few years are spectacular. I've found that Columbia Bernstein, Stravinsky, Stokowski and Walter recordings that were very iffy on vinyl and older CD release now sound like brand new recordings in the Sony remasterings. RCA recordings are the same way. Things that sounded much better on vinyl than CD now sound fantastic on remastered CDs. We can now throw out all our shaded dogs and six eyes.

Hmmm - I will have to check this out. Most probably it will turn out to be true - if they were able to bring out most of what is still left nowadays on master tapes, should be good.

 

And then I will make you eat your words regarding CD mats etc - during my CD-R recording phase, I was forced to make as good sounding CDs as possible - first for my masters, then for every officially issued/purchased CD. CD, although ultimately not good enough, is not THAT lame as we know it from commercially available releases. I always listen to my own made COPY of the officially released CD, never the "original". Life is too short to waste time on these - where better option is available. You can count in here any audiophile label, JVC XRCDs included.

 

All for the benefit of better enjoyment of music - in principle, I do not care whether it is analog, digital or whatever - as long as it is GOOD.  

post #1557 of 9057
I don't listen to CDs themselves much any more. Everything gets ripped to AAC and added to my rapidly expanding music server.

I agree. Good music first, then good sound. Nothing else matters. Whichever format works best for you is best. They all can sound good if the engineering is good.
Edited by bigshot - 3/23/14 at 3:58am
post #1558 of 9057
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Sanderling was a fantastic conductor.

Vienese lilt is one of the main aspects of Mahler. It's presented with nostalgia and sadness sometimes, but it's clearly there underlying everything. I don't think hysteria and high stress are valid ways to conduct Mahler (or Bruckner for that matter). Solti completely obliterates all of the architecture of Mahler under a yo yo of back and forth dynamics and nuances that are magnified so big they become something totally different. Listening to Solti's ham handed Maher was a big reason why I used to think I didn't like Mahler. Then I heard Walter and I realized what Mahler was supposed to sound like. It's layers of subtle shifts in emotions that build up to a carefully constructed whole, not whiplash see saw foaming at the mouth.

I agree that the Viennese sound world permeates Mahler in a multitude of ways and I'm not saying that Solti's approach is definitive or even always appropriate.  At times though, I feel many Mahler performances are lacking in fire where Solti satisfies me.  Mahler is not just subtle layers and shifts, it's much more than that.  As well as subtlety, there's also violent storms and outbursts.  There is a  whole world of sound to consider and a whole range of possibilities for interpretation.  I would never compare Bruckner to Mahler in the sentence you did above - there is no hysteria or stress ever in Bruckner.  In fact, Bruckner is full of those longer lines and more subtle shifts much more than Mahler.  Bruckner is very staid and dignified, Mahler more raw and volatile.  Mahler is full of contrasts and struggles, which at times do become hysterical, like the great climaxes of the first movement of the 9th and the long struggling dialogues and sections approaching and following the hammer blows in the finale of the 6th.  These very on the edge and eye openeing moments in music - where tonailty is collapsing because Mahler seems simply unable to express such strong sentiment within the bounds of musical rules - is the very thing that drew me to Mahler in the first place.  I had never heard music so powerful, frightening, lamenting and blazing before. Our tastes and expectations are different, but no less valid.  I'm sure you've heard Walter's 5th with the NYPO?  That gets pretty hysterical at times!  I'm performing Mahler's 5th in a couple of weeks and can't wait!


Edited by amigomatt - 3/23/14 at 4:00am
post #1559 of 9057
I've heard Bruckner conducted in the same manner that Solti conducts Mahler. It was back in the LP era and the records have long since been trashed, so I don't remember who it was. It had dynamics that jumped all over the place seemingly at random.

Bruckner and Mahler have similar "big boned" structures. The conductors that downplay the momentary outbursts in favor of carefully graded architecture always work better for me with both of them.

I like fiery Beethoven with Toscanini, but he always holds on to the lyricism, even in the fire. And I like Solti's dynamic approach to Wagner. It's just Mahler and Bruckner that I need a more careful approach to. (I don't care for strident Mozart though. But that's misinterpretation, not just a difference in approach.)
post #1560 of 9057
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I've heard Bruckner conducted in the same manner that Solti conducts Mahler. It was back in the LP era and the records have long since been trashed, so I don't remember who it was. It had dynamics that jumped all over the place seemingly at random.

Bruckner and Mahler have similar "big boned" structures. The conductors that downplay the momentary outbursts in favor of carefully graded architecture always work better for me with both of them.

I like fiery Beethoven with Toscanini, but he always holds on to the lyricism, even in the fire. And I like Solti's dynamic approach to Wagner. It's just Mahler and Bruckner that I need a more careful approach to. (I don't care for strident Mozart though. But that's misinterpretation, not just a difference in approach.)

I understand you.  However, why must outbursts be downplayed?  Surely, that's robbing the music of its intended impact?  It's unusual for me to hear someone describing how Mahler should only be very carefully approached and extremes of emotion avoided.  It's exactly the opposite for me.  Mahler is not reserved and well mannered (except the 4th) - he left all that behind with the classicists.

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