Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Best classical recordings...ever!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best classical recordings...ever! - Page 30

post #436 of 2316

Anyone here listen to more contemporary orchestral music? I'm debating picking up the set of complete symphonies of Alfred Schnittke, on BIS. I've listened to him on and off over the years, and I'm still not sure what to make of him. Enigmatic to me at least. With his disorienting pastiche aesthetic, he typifies postmodern classical.

post #437 of 2316

Something about the modern style has never really grabbed me. The songs I have heard sounds more like racket than music. I'm still open to any good modern pieces, but the classical-romantic is where my head's at now. 

post #438 of 2316
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Tennstedt's Mahler is the best complete set.

What a coincidence, I'm reading this with Tennstedt conducting Mahler 7 on the turntable...  I haven't heard enough to compare complete sets, but I'll just say that Klaus is pushing all the right buttons with this one.


Edited by Delirious Lab - 11/1/13 at 6:54pm
post #439 of 2316

Looking at the new sacd releases and there is one conductor I have never heard (Wand) and another I have heard but can not remember if I like him or not (Muti). Composers they are representing are Beethoven and/or Dvorak, I think there is a Brahms in there as well.

post #440 of 2316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcamera View Post
 

Anyone here listen to more contemporary orchestral music? I'm debating picking up the set of complete symphonies of Alfred Schnittke, on BIS. I've listened to him on and off over the years, and I'm still not sure what to make of him. Enigmatic to me at least. With his disorienting pastiche aesthetic, he typifies postmodern classical.

I listen almost exclusively to classical music from the late 19th and 20th centuries (mostly those by English and French composers). From a few symphonies and "serious" concert work by Schnittke that I have heard, IMO there wasn't much special in it. They are hard to follow without an extremely analytic mindset and lack inspirations. I would rather listen to some Bartok, Prokofiev, and Messiaen instead. :) Certainly composers of more identifiable characteristics.

 

A good chunk of contemporary music is far from being a "racket" There are works from the modern repertoire that are tonal and do not go down to the deep depths of tone rows (e.g. Boulez, Lutoslawski). But then, I'm one of the few who would rather listen to Lutoslawski than the tired Beethoven and Wagner barring Tristan Und Isolde. 

 

Again, all IMO of course. With all that said, I still listen to Debussy and Ravel the most.

post #441 of 2316

Did it take anyone else a little while to warm up to Bruckner? Wand's set was one of the first I bought, and I'm just now realizing its beauty. 

post #442 of 2316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origin89 View Post
 

Did it take anyone else a little while to warm up to Bruckner? Wand's set was one of the first I bought, and I'm just now realizing its beauty.

I have that set as well. Pretty magnificent. I enjoy hearing his influence in other composers I like, e.g., Magnard, Rubbra, Simpson, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Rin View Post
 

I listen almost exclusively to classical music from the late 19th and 20th centuries (mostly those by English and French composers).

 

Nice. I listen to mostly early 20th century English and American composers.

post #443 of 2316

Tennstedt's is also an amazing bargain. and you get alternative live versions of the middle symphonies. I love the set - the Das Lied is terrific, and the live 6th and 7th among the best. Should have been in my list above.

post #444 of 2316

For Mahler, I particularly like his 5th symphony.  Some very aggressive music.  My favorite recording is with the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta conducting.  You so rarely hear a brass section play so well together.  I always play this recording over the earlier Solti recording, and I'm a huge fan of Solti's recordings from the 70's

post #445 of 2316

Mahler's 9th is so bloody dark I sometimes feel like hanging myself * :D  For me this is his best symphony together with the Faust part of the 8th

 

I like the 5th by Chailly a lot, maybe because it was the first Mahler experience for me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*(not really)

post #446 of 2316

Here is another of my transfers from original 78 rpm disks... I'm including my liner notes, because the circumstances of this recording are as important as the music itself.

 

Fate rarely allows us the luxury of being able to witness significant moments in history. We learn about them from books written in the past tense, or from passed down accounts of people who lived through turbulent times. But one of the greatest things about historical recordings is the ability to capture a moment in time... the proper combination of circumstances can result in a crystal-clear document of history that no description in a book can match. Such is the case with Bruno Walter's magnificent recording of Gustav Mahler's 9th Symphony, recorded in 1938.

 

Few recordings have more interesting back-stories than this one has... The story begins in the first few years of the 20th century, when Bruno Walter was serving as an assistant to Gustav Mahler, who was conducting at the Court Opera in Vienna. Mahler's influence on Walter was profound, and working along side him in his native city of Vienna formed the foundation for Walter's future career as a conductor. In 1909 at the age of 49, Mahler was diagnosed with a heart condition, and the anticipation of death became an important theme in the symphony he was working on at the time. Mahler had not named his previous symphonic work, Das Lied von der Erde as his 9th symphony because of the superstition that the 9th would be his last, as it had been for Beethoven, Schubert and Bruckner. But this time, he embraced the number as being fitting, and it did end up being his last symphony.

 

In 1910, with his health failing, Mahler entrusted the score of his 9th Symphony to Bruno Walter. He knew he would not live to conduct its premiere. He died the following year, and Walter performed it for the first time in June of 1912. Walter felt a lifelong closeness with the work, and was quoted as saying, "Der Abschied might well have been used as the title of the ninth symphony... The first movement grows to a tragically moving and noble paraphrase of a farewell feeling... a unique soaring between farewell sadness and a vision of Heavenly light."

 

In 1938, representatives from His Master's Voice were eager to record Mahler's masterpiece for the first time. Arrangements were made to install microphones and tandem cutting lathes in the Vienna Musikvereinssaal, so a complete performance could be captured. Rehearsals were monitored to perfect the timing of the alternation between the two cutting lathes. A slight overlap at the beginning and end of each side was allowed so the work could be recorded in one long extended take at a live public performance. Walter was conducting Mahler's own orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic. Many of its older members had been a part of the orchestra under the composer's baton and had performed at the premiere of the Ninth Symphony under Walter twenty-five years earlier. There was a strong sense of occasion- all elements were in place for a truly remarkable recording.

 

But that wasn't the only feeling in the air that cold January morning in 1938... The Nazis were on the move, and it was evident that very soon, Austria would fall under their control. Walter, whose Jewish ancestry had resulted in his expulsion from his conducting post in Berlin five years earlier, was performing the work of another Jew, Gustav Mahler. It was clearly understood by all involved that this might be the last time they would be able to peform this work in Vienna.

 

Walter and the members of the orchestra poured their heart and soul into the performance, taking the emotional histrionics of Mahler's music and giving it context within the political climate of the day. Mahler's bittersweet music became a chilling farewell to Vienna's musical past. A new, more brutal chapter was waiting in the wings, poised to sweep aside everything that Viennese musicians had always cherished. From the opening notes, with the irregular rhythm that is said to have been inspired by the beating of Mahler's damaged heart, to the poignant adagio that caps the work, Walter maintained a rapt vision of great power and lyrical beauty. This recording has been cited by numerous critics as one of the greatest achievements of the gramophone.

 

A couple of short weeks after this recording was made, the Nazis entered Austria. Bruno Walter and most of the first desk musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic were forced to flee the country. Overnight, Mahler's great orchestra had become a twisted shadow of its former self. The Nazis branded Mahler's music as "decadent art", and forbade its performance. Vienna, once the heart of European music, would never be the same again. Walter's recording was the eloquent document of a sad farewell to a way of life.

 

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No 9 in D major

Bruno Walter / Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra 1938

http://www.vintageip.com/xfers/mahler9walter1938.mp3


Edited by bigshot - 11/2/13 at 10:54am
post #447 of 2316

Very nice background info Bigshot, cheers.. 

 

Bruno Walter also wrote a Gustav Mahler book, very nice read (but only 127 pages).. Natalie Bauer Lechner, a good friend in his younger years, also wrote a interesting book about her conversations with Mahler (largely before the Alma erra)

post #448 of 2316

Thanks Bigshot, looking forward to hearing this.

post #449 of 2316

Very nice, Big.

post #450 of 2316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcamera View Post
 

I have that set as well. Pretty magnificent. I enjoy hearing his influence in other composers I like, e.g., Magnard, Rubbra, Simpson, etc.

 

 

For sure. He wrote some profound symphonies. I'll give those other composers a listen. 


Edited by Origin89 - 11/2/13 at 4:01pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Music
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Music › Best classical recordings...ever!