Author Topic: Mahler Mania, Rebooted  (Read 316159 times)

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Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2007, 06:52:59 AM »
Really?... I've got to hear that.

Sarge

Sarge, are you sure about the timings for Szell and Kubelik? I don't have the CDs in front of me but I don't seem to remember them being so brisk?

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2007, 07:01:17 AM »
Sarge, are you sure about the timings for Szell and Kubelik? I don't have the CDs in front of me but I don't seem to remember them being so brisk?

That's what it says on the covers, PW, and my computer just confirmed Szell at 13:35 with the actual perfomance lasting 13:30 (there are a few seconds filled with audience noise between the end of the Andante and the beginning of the Finale). Kulbelik I can't immediately confirm: I have it on LP. I'll have to spin it on the Thorens and time it with my stopwatch. It does seem unbelievably fast, you're right. But that's the major reason very little of Kubelik's Mahler appeals to me.

Sarge
« Last Edit: May 04, 2007, 05:21:42 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2007, 07:08:54 AM »
That's what it says on the covers, PW, and my computer just confirmed Szell at 13:35 with the actual perfomance lasting 13:30 (there are a few seconds filled with audience noise between the end of the Andante and the beginning of the Finale. Kulbelik I can't immediately confirm: I have it on LP. I'll have to spin it on the Thorens and time it with my stopwatch. It does seem incredibly fast, you're right. But that's the major reason very little of Kubelik's Mahler appeals to me.

Sarge

Thanks Sarge. I have the Kubelik set also. It has been a few years since I have listened to it so I don't remember much.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2007, 07:11:58 AM »
Thanks Sarge. I have the Kubelik set also. It has been a few years since I have listened to it so I don't remember much.

I just looked at the LP again: both the Scherzo and the Andante fit on one side! That's fast! ;D

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline knight66

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2007, 07:20:32 AM »
I am pretty staggered by the continuing downpour of Mahler recordings. Clearly it indicates the grip his music has over many of us. I have what I think are quite a lot of Mahler recordings, can I need more? Would I really notice the difference if I had say 20 versions of the 9th symphony? It is one of my favourite pieces bar none. I have four versions and have been tempted into a fifth, but reason prevailed.

In this month's Gramophone there are intimations of the following... without completely scouring the magazine.

An entire cycle by Zinman, Sym no 1 is just available. The new Baremboim 9th. Another 9th Sinopoli, I think never previously issued. A new Mahler 1 Jansons with the Concertgbouw, a new Chicago SO No 3 from Haitink, a reissue of Rattle's Das Lied from EMI. Apart from this we know Boulez is recording the 8th. And so it goes.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

karlhenning

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2007, 07:24:19 AM »
Boulez slated to record the Eighth, eh?

Just as long as he doesn't touch Shostakovich, whom he famously derided as "third-pressing Mahler;D

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2007, 07:46:07 AM »
I am pretty staggered by the continuing downpour of Mahler recordings. Clearly it indicates the grip his music has over many of us. I have what I think are quite a lot of Mahler recordings, can I need more? Would I really notice the difference if I had say 20 versions of the 9th symphony? It is one of my favourite pieces bar none. I have four versions and have been tempted into a fifth, but reason prevailed.

Verily, the correct number of Mahler recordings of any one symphony needed by any one person is 12. You shall not stop before 12, you shall not commit gross sin by lusting for more than your share. With 13 you needlessly duplicate and waste precious resources. Feed the poor instead.

Thus Spake Sarge

In this month's Gramophone there are intimations of the following... without completely scouring the magazine.

An entire cycle by Zinman, Sym no 1 is just available. The new Baremboim 9th. Another 9th Sinopoli, I think never previously issued. A new Mahler 1 Jansons with the Concertgbouw, a new Chicago SO No 3 from Haitink, a reissue of Rattle's Das Lied from EMI. Apart from this we know Boulez is recording the 8th. And so it goes.

Mike

And two years ago Norman Lebrecht declared the classical recording industry dead ;D

Sarge
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 07:50:14 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

karlhenning

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2007, 07:47:18 AM »
I declare the Norman Lebrecht publication enterprise dead  0:)

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2007, 07:48:42 AM »
I declare the Norman Lebrecht publication enterprise dead  0:)

Where should we hold the funeral?   :D

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline knight66

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2007, 08:23:11 AM »
Mahler may be marching ahead, but the Gramophone had only four opers to review this month, only one of which I had heard of.

I suppose three obscure operas in a month is good in its way, but the entire spectrum of opera is generating less than Mahler by himself, when there are great recordings already of everything he wrote...and there is not exactly an overwhelming amount of work to choose from.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

dtwilbanks

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2007, 08:25:41 AM »
Mahler is the new Beethoven.

Offline Marc

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2007, 08:47:19 AM »
That's what it says on the covers, PW, and my computer just confirmed Szell at 13:35 with the actual perfomance lasting 13:30 (there are a few seconds filled with audience noise between the end of the Andante and the beginning of the Finale. Kulbelik I can't immediately confirm: I have it on LP. I'll have to spin it on the Thorens and time it with my stopwatch. It does seem incredibly fast, you're right. But that's the major reason very little of Kubelik's Mahler appeals to me.

Mmmm .... maybe I should get Kubelik's complete set then?

Because he's known for his rather brisk tempi.

And I guess he might be right.

(Dare I say this?)

I only know Kubelik's 1st (once heard it, don't 'own' it), 4th and 8th.
The 4th is my favourite symphony, and I like Kubelik's approach very much. The slow movement is taking him around 18 minutes, which is .... way too slow! :o

Nevertheless he's rather quick, compared to many others.

From what I know, Mahler once wrote to Natalie Bauer-Lechner that the entire 4th symphony should last around 45 minutes!
Kubelik's performance lasts 52 minutes, he's (again) rather fast compared to many others.
In his autograph score Mahler has written down the amount of minutes that the movements should last: 15-10-11-8! (At least scholars assume that's what he meant by writing down these figures.)

This would mean, regarding the recordings I know, that lots of conductors take the second movement somewhat too fast (I admit that I've always liked Inbal here, and now that I own the Bertini I also like him :)), and the third movement way too slow. Mahler also told Bauer-Lechner that the third movement should actually be played as a 'Moderato'.

Willem Mengelberg was praised by Mahler, because he played his symphonies exactly the way Mahler wanted to. We know that Mengelberg played the 5th symphony 'Adagietto' very fast and lively, in less than 8 minutes! Also Bruno Walter (who was Mahler's assistent-conductor in Vienna) was known for his rather animated interpretation of this movement. Nowadays a performance in 9 minutes is considered 'fast'.

I think that in Mahler's conception - maybe even in most people's conception during 'his' lifetime - the slow movements were to be played faster than we got used to in 'our' 20th century. It wouldn't surprise me if this goes for a lot of music, from pre-baroque until post-romantics. Since the HIP-revolution a lot of Bach's music, to name but one, is played much faster and brisker.
I sometimes feel that, during the 20th century, a lot of music (particularly slow movements and church music) was copiously dowsed with some (overdone) romantic respectively pious dressing. Romantic or pious, that is to say: the way that people in the 20th century began to think what 'romantic' or 'pious' meant, or should mean.

In this connection I think of some 20th century arrangements of classical 'hits'. During the 20th century listeners got used to very slow tempi for Jesus, joy of man's desiring and Purcell's When I am laid in earth. What great and lovely religious and/or romantic music!

But who believes that the way the Vatican choir nowadays is singing 'their' Renaissance choral works (slow and with an awful lot of vibato) has got anything to do with the way these works were sung in the 16th century?

Or listen, for instance, to Elgar conducting some of his own compositions: from what I've read about it when these recordings were re-issued, the tempi he chose were much faster than most listeners were used to. So some critics said: this can't be right, Elgar was forced to do this because it had to fit on a 78TPM disc.

But is this really true?



BTW: don't get me wrong, I'm really not sure about the rightness of these assumptions. I'm curious what other listeners think. But from the moment I started listening to Mahler, I preferred many slow movements to be played a bit faster, and some of the 'faster' movements a bit slower ;D, like the 'scherzi' of the 4th and 5th symphony.
And I also believe that a good conductor can be convincing, even when chosing the 'wrong' tempo. I like Kuijken's slow but appealing and expressive interpretation of Bach's Johannes-Passion.
I also like Haitink's very slow Adagietto with the Berliner, because it's played in an intense way.

But, to be honest, I prefer Barshai. :)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 10:38:46 AM by Marc »
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2007, 09:57:12 AM »
Mmmm .... maybe I should get Kubelik's complete set then?
Because he's known for his rather brisk tempi.
And I guess he might be right.
(Dare I say this?)

Yes, you can and you're right about Mahler's preferred tempos being, in general, much faster than is the norm today. In Henry-Louis de La Grange's Gustave Mahler he cites times clocked by those who heard Mahler and his contemporaries conduct the symphonies. I have no time to list them now (I just dropped in briefly while I wait for the potatoes to finish boiling--I'm primary cook in this house) but I'll be back later to discuss this. I'll just say now that I think Mahler was usually wrong. We know better today ;D

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline from the new world

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2007, 10:02:56 AM »
From what I know, Mahler once wrote to Natalie Bauer-Lechner that the entire 4th symphony should last around 45 minutes!
Kubelik's performance lasts 52 minutes, he's (again) rather fast compared to many others.
In his autograph score Mahler has written down the amount of minutes that the movements should last: 15-10-11-8! (At least scholars assume that's what he meant by writing down these figures.)

This would mean, regarding the recordings I know, that lots of conductors take the second movement somewhat too fast (I admit that I've always liked Inbal here, and now that I own the Bertini I also like him :)), and the third movement way too slow. Mahler also told Bauer-Lechner that the third movement should actually be played as a 'Moderato'.

What is interesting to note is that there are many scores, including Shostakovich and the 1960's Mahler critical edition publications, include approximate timings. From memory, I believe that the 1st is 50 min, 2nd is 80 min, 3rd is 95 min, 4th is 50 min, 5th is 65 min, 7th is 80 min, 8th is 90min, 9th is 75 min, 10th is 22 min. All these are shorter than the "average" of today's performances, except for the 8th, where I only know one recording over 90 min, that by Wyn Morris.

As to the 6th, specific movement times are given, there are two sets:
1) 22,12,15,30  2) 23,15,13,31 reflecting the change the change in movement order. I do not know if these numbers were generated at the time, or based on earlier performances. I would doubt that the 15-10-11-8 is correct, not least since it suggests that an adagio/andante is to be played faster than a moderato/allegretto, which is very strange.

I would just point out that specific numbers may well be incorrect, so if anyone has the scores at hand, then the timings can be correctd.

Offline Marc

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2007, 10:36:24 AM »
[....] I'll be back later to discuss this. I'll just say now that I think Mahler was usually wrong.

:o ??

;D ;D

That's THE approach! Liked it. Take your time with the argumentation.
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Offline Marc

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2007, 11:12:50 AM »
I would doubt that the 15-10-11-8 is correct, not least since it suggests that an adagio/andante is to be played faster than a moderato/allegretto, which is very strange.

Well, these are the numbers in Mahler's own handwriting, in his own autographic score. I think that 'Poco adagio' is somewhat confusing. Like he told Natalie Bauer-Lechner: it should be played as a Moderato.

But, as we just heard from Sarge, Mahler was usually wrong in advising the tempos in his own work. ;)

BTW: you're talking about andante/adagio. From what I know, there can be a great difference between Andante (this 3th movement is not an Andante) and Adagio. My school teacher always told me that 'Andante' just meant 'going'. So: not specifically 'slow'. Lots of HIP-performers of 17th and 18th century music have been taken notice of this. Not to everybody's liking, of course. :'(
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Offline from the new world

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2007, 11:40:16 AM »
BTW: you're talking about andante/adagio. From what I know, there can be a great difference between Andante (this 3th movement is not an Andante) and Adagio. My school teacher always told me that 'Andante' just meant 'going'. So: not specifically 'slow'. Lots of HIP-performers of 17th and 18th century music have been taken notice of this. Not to everybody's liking, of course. :'(

What I mean is that taking into account the allegro sections later on, overall the pace would seem to balance out as nearer what might be termed an andante.

Offline Marc

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2007, 11:58:57 AM »
OK.
I just assumed you were trying to indicate that 'andante' and 'adagio' are more or less the same.

Back to G. Mahler, then. A rather popular composer on this forum. :)
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karlhenning

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2007, 12:00:24 PM »
I just assumed you were trying to indicate that 'andante' and 'adagio' are more or less the same.

Never!  8)

mahlertitan

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2007, 07:50:58 PM »
is it me, or do any of you also find the second movement of Mahler's 7th symphony "nachtmusik I" addictive. I probably listened to that single movement hundreds of times, and i still find it fascinating.

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