Author Topic: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes  (Read 53041 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline alkan

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 296
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #280 on: July 02, 2012, 01:26:13 PM »
Haitink !!!       

Any comments on any of his versions ????

Why is he totally ignored for the 6th ??      I thought he had a great Mahler reputation .....

Thx .... A
The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.
Harlan Ellison (1934 - )

jlaurson

  • Guest
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #281 on: July 02, 2012, 02:31:46 PM »
Haitink !!!       

Any comments on any of his versions ????

Why is he totally ignored for the 6th ??      I thought he had a great Mahler reputation .....

Thx .... A

He has a great Mahler reputation, but not one that necessarily lends itself to the brutality and roughness of the 6th. At least the way I see him.

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #282 on: July 02, 2012, 02:55:10 PM »
Haitink !!!       

Any comments on any of his versions ????

Why is he totally ignored for the 6th ??      I thought he had a great Mahler reputation .....

Thx .... A
I've heard Haitink's latest (CSO) 6th once, and liked it enough to buy the disc. I expect to listen to it carefully in the near future, along with his CSO 2nd and 3rd, which also impressed me favorably enough to buy them. I'll let you know what I think of the 6th after I've had a chance to digest it.

I suspect that in Mahler -- as with every other composer he conducts -- Haitink's self-effacing service to the music means that he attracts less attention than conductors who put an identifiable personal stamp on everything. Haitink's personal stamp is ... what? A high level of competence, sensitivity, good judgment, thoughtfulness?  FWIW, Jens and I agree that his latest 4th with the RCO is among the finest 4ths on record.
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Lilas Pastia

  • Guest
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #283 on: July 02, 2012, 05:20:05 PM »
Haitink's Concertgebouw 6th is of the 'classical, lean, cool, undemonstrative yet dynamic' school - like Kubelik or Szell. In the right frame of mind I find all three really excellent. Haitink more decisive, Kubelik emotional and Szell 'internally involved' - whatever that means. Even though I can't express it coherently in words it seems to me that Szell encapsulates all the work's many facets most intelligently. Unlike Barbirolli (or Giulini, had he ever taken to the sixth), Szell probably gets around all the musical and emotional aspects of the work where others fall prey to making love with one or two of its constituents. Szell makes love with nobody, but puts on the best show for the whole harem.

Back to Haitink ( the Amsterdam version) : the closest to Szell - and contemporaneous too. Better engineered, better played, but slightly more objective. Don't forget that Szell's was live - this IMO counts for something.

Anybody heard Bongartz with the Leipzig Radio Symphony? Gives Szell a run for his money. Herr Bongartz has very special ideas about tempos. And he unleashes his forces in a way that would make Haitink wince.

With the 6th, Mahler has 'de tout pour tous !
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 05:21:56 PM by André »

Offline liuzerus87

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #284 on: July 02, 2012, 05:58:40 PM »
For what it's worth, Haitink and the CSO also performed Mahler 6 at the Proms in 2008; the full performance is on Youtube:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Zvfh_mjPLlQ" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Zvfh_mjPLlQ</a>

Offline mc ukrneal

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9127
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #285 on: July 02, 2012, 10:20:02 PM »
For what it's worth, Haitink and the CSO also performed Mahler 6 at the Proms in 2008; the full performance is on Youtube:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Zvfh_mjPLlQ" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Zvfh_mjPLlQ</a>
Some really interesting moments. Too bad the sound isn't better, but something is better than nothing. I enjoy watching a Mahler symphony and here one really feels the architecture of the piece with Haitink. I really noticed that while listening.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #286 on: July 03, 2012, 08:35:58 AM »
Okay -- here we go re. Haitink's CSO Mahler 6:



First off -- Haitink might just be the greatest conductor of our time. He wouldn't be first who comes to mind as a candidate for that post, but every so often I hear a recording by him that is so damned right in every respect that I can't help but reflect on just how under-appreciated he is as a master musician and craftsman who's been giving us great, unheralded insights into the music he loves for more than 40 years. This is one of those recordings.

Earlier I asked what Haitink's particular genius as a conductor might be. It is that he never calls attention to himself -- or to the means by which the music is made -- but gives himself and his orchestra completely to serving the music itself. Thus he's easily overlooked, for there's nothing he does that stands out as unmistakeably "Haitink." In the case of this Chicago 6th, for instance, I started listening for the sake of hearing what Haitink brings to the music in comparison with other conductors . . . but soon found myself wholly absorbed and instead of listening to the performance, found myself listening to the music and responding differently than I ever have before.

That, to me, is the sign of a great conductor.

Here's a condensation of my "back of the envelope" notes (though in this case I used the front of the envelope, too!). BTW, I was caught up so quickly in the first movement that I forgot to make listening notes until it finished!

The first movement does nothing to call attention to itself. We all expect great brass from the Chicago, but I didn't expect such great winds -- especially the flutes. Lovely tone and musicality to every phrase. Tempos and the implacable drive of the march is ideal, for me -- deficient only in that I'd like to hear just a bit more "edge" to the march -- has to do with the leading edge of the attack, I think, this a bit softer than my sense of the ideal. And the cowbells (Sarge's favorite part!) are a just a bit clunky sounding for my tastes -- but that's a very trivial quibble.

The scherzo is a bit edgier -- just right, with an undercurrent of vague menace. The trios are very sweet and gentle. Knowing the "story," they summon the feelings of a loving father's gentle responses to his children at play rather than a "graphic" depiction of the children running around -- more akin to Sibelius than to Strauss. The "hero" returns to the fray, doing battle in the quest for worldly success, both for the sake of and thanks to these respites with family and the private life and pleasures they offer.

The andante flows with effortless grace and gently beauty. Is this Mahler's aspiration? To live fully in this spiritual serenity, this realm of deep repose before nature's beauty and harmony and the glimpses it offers of eternity and the great mystery? Like the first two movements, this is nearly perfect -- if only the cowbells weren't quite so loud (to me they should sound faint and muffled, as if carried on the wind from very far away).

The last movement-- great sense of wandering in a spiritual sea, adrift without moorings, seeking a safe harbor. The hero sallies forth, confidence growing as he finds his direction, but there's a disquieting undercurrent of questioning and doubt. All that "heroic" ego-driven stuff of worldly action and success is nothing compared to the gentle delights of loving relationships, the closeness of family, the serenity of nature, the sublimity of the unknown. The hero cannot reconcile them. He keeps returning to the fray, thinking he's on his way now to mastering his fate, marching triumphantly, only to stumble on the realization that fate may have other ideas and that the worldly struggle means nothing when confronted with surrender to the great mystery.

With Haitink, each movement and the symphony as a whole tells a story that builds to a conclusion -- not just a bunch of disjointed episodes. Everything relates to the overall structure. The Chicago brass really shows its greatness in the fourth movement through restraint -- no need to belt it out like Ethel Merman singing show tunes! The sound is very good, the perspective from about 2/3 back, with plenty of detail and rich tone -- but there's a great dynamic range and the volume needs to be cranked up (and a good hi fi system is probably necessary) for it to show itself (rather like SFS's recent recordings, too!).

In short, this is a splendid performance (or patch together of several live performances) that easily stands among the most satisfying I know. Haitink's tempos are slow -- at least judging from the timings -- but it never feels slow the way that, say, Rattie's do. The music unfolds gracefully, seeming to flow out of itself in the same way that an ocean wave flows out of the wind and currents and swells and the contours of the ocean floor.

There's little doubt it will remain one of my favorites -- and I can't wait to listen equally attentively to Haitink's other CSO Mahler discs!
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Offline madaboutmahler

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3842
  • MAHLER: THE GREATEST!!!!
    • Daniel Hogan - Composer
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mahler, Elgar, Ravel, Chopin, Schnittke, Dvorak, Vaughan Williams, Schmitt, Karlowicz, R.Strauss, Prokofiev, Shostakovich....
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #287 on: July 03, 2012, 09:15:41 AM »
Glad to hear you enjoyed that one so much, David. One I must make sure to listen to at some point!
"Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy"
— Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline pbarach

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Location: US
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #288 on: July 11, 2012, 01:00:02 PM »
Haitink's Concertgebouw 6th is of the 'classical, lean, cool, undemonstrative yet dynamic' school - like Kubelik or Szell.

There are actually two Haitink Mahler 6's. The Phillips issue was a 1969 studio recording, but there is a live performance from 1968 that has circulated from time to time--You can see it here, where the label is listed as "Q Disc"
http://gustavmahler.net.free.fr/symph6.html

It's much more intense than the studio recording made the following year.

Lilas Pastia

  • Guest
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #289 on: July 11, 2012, 04:07:19 PM »
There are actually two Haitink Mahler 6's. The Phillips issue was a 1969 studio recording, but there is a live performance from 1968 that has circulated from time to time--You can see it here, where the label is listed as "Q Disc"
http://gustavmahler.net.free.fr/symph6.html

It's much more intense than the studio recording made the following year.

Thanks for that! I've never seen it anywhere, but will try to locate it.

Offline madaboutmahler

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3842
  • MAHLER: THE GREATEST!!!!
    • Daniel Hogan - Composer
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mahler, Elgar, Ravel, Chopin, Schnittke, Dvorak, Vaughan Williams, Schmitt, Karlowicz, R.Strauss, Prokofiev, Shostakovich....
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #290 on: August 18, 2012, 10:16:03 AM »
Spreading the word:

Just to let you all know that we'll be starting the Blind Comparison for Mahler 1 next week, if you would like to take part, please make a post on the thread: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20853.msg652953/topicseen.html#msg652953

"Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy"
— Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline johndoe21ro

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 73
  • Location: Romania
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mahler, Bruckner, Shostakovich, R. Strauss, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Debussy, Chopin, Holst, Enescu, Dvorak, Mozart, Puccini, Wagner

Offline Sergeant Rock

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22461
  • Location: Wine Country Germany
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=600ZUWMNSh8

Thanks for posting that. I've been collecting Honeck's ongoing cycle and look forward to hearing his Sixth--especially now that I know it will include the third hammerblow  8)

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 johndoe21ro

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 73
  • Location: Romania
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mahler, Bruckner, Shostakovich, R. Strauss, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Debussy, Chopin, Holst, Enescu, Dvorak, Mozart, Puccini, Wagner
Thanks for posting that. I've been collecting Honeck's ongoing cycle and look forward to hearing his Sixth--especially now that I know it will include the third hammerblow  8)

Sarge

You're welcome. I start to find Honeck more and more interesting... I too am gathering his Mahler cycle. So far I'm only half way there but very pleased with what I've got. :)

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #294 on: August 24, 2012, 07:00:22 AM »
You're welcome. I start to find Honeck more and more interesting... I too am gathering his Mahler cycle. So far I'm only half way there but very pleased with what I've got. :)
Yes, both Honeck and Stenz are working on very fine cycles. There seems to be no end of good ones these days. How many more must my groaning CD shelves make room for? :)
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher