Author Topic: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes  (Read 60830 times)

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Offline madaboutmahler

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Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« on: April 12, 2012, 02:33:12 AM »
On this thread, please post your thoughts about the various recordings, and eventually your top 5 out of the 8 (which MUST be in order, 1 being your favourite).

You have until the 30th April to vote, but if you need extra time, please don't hesitate to say, as I don't mind extending the voting time if necissary.

If you have finished with your applied group, but still have time left before the deadline and wish to do more, I would be very happy to put you in another group as well. So, just say! :)

Happy Voting!
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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 03:39:47 AM »
Listened yesterday.


1. A8 I found this the most exciting recording. It had the right tempo in all the three segments (not-too-deliberate March - transition - fiery 'Alma' theme) and the amount of detail is incredible (those pizzicati!) This is a performance I want to hear in toto.


2. A4 Very deliberate. Well-played.


3. A7 Too deliberate and slow. Still - very strong.


4. A6 Slow and deliberate. The sound hasn't enough weight. Acceptable performance.


5. A2 Beautifully-played. But too stretched-out.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 12:51:32 PM by J.Z. Herrenberg »
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 03:43:54 AM »
I have given my first 'listen through', but I am going to have to give my top 4 another listen. Each had something wonderful that I want to give a fresh listen to without the others in between. I think I will listen to them in reverse order (from 4 to 1) to see whether I agree with my ranking.
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 06:24:50 AM »
It will certainly be a great fun, I will listen to the excerpts this evening! :)
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 11:25:12 PM »
Here we go with Group A.

What a fun listen. My rankings were A7, A4, A8, A3, A2. I thought A7 was the clear winner. A real stunner, despite being so incredibly slow compared to the others. I suspect this could be a bit of a rogue choice, but it consumed me is the best way I can describe it. A4, A3, and A8 could change in order on any given day. I liked all three, but none was quite as good as A7. A4 just edged out A8 – it just loved it post Alma theme. I wanted to put A3 higher as it is so different compared to the others, but based on this section I thought the others better, though I am quite interested to hear it further as well.

Comments:
A1 – Nice, though high on the upper range sounds. Not quite as much lower brass sound as I’d like. Didn’t really take off for me, though good style and not holding back. Just too fast. Rank: 8
A2 – Much fuller sound! A more sane speed than #1, yet does not lack for forward movement. Rank: 5
A3 – Fuller sounding. Faster, but a sharp intensity. Very march like. Instruments are a bit ‘blatty’. Trumpets don’t quite have the fullness some of the others have. A bit too staccato is the phrasing. In general, I like this. This one creates a completely different impact. Rank: 4
A4 – Stately almost, though the march is felt strongly. What difference compared to A3. I think I prefer the intensity there, but this has more of a drama to it that sweeps you up and makes you want it to go on. Prefer the brass sound here too. This one builds up really well and has the long view. Rank: 2
A5 – Older. I find it much harder to rank when the sound is not quite as good, more so than many other pieces. Nevertheless, this is not bad at all. Rank: 6.
A6 – I didn’t like this one as much. Not really sure why as it has a lot of good elements. Rank: 7
A7 – Wow. It’s so slow it’s going backwards! It’s really full sounding though! It gives me chills listening to it. There is a sense of inevitability here. There is a searing brilliance to it (and strength). I hope this makes it to the next round. Oh man, this one has it all. Rank: 1
A8 – A fourth really good one.  Really beautiful sweep to it. Lots of detail – a bit more transparent. Rank: 3
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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 11:29:44 PM »
We both accord A4, A7 and A8 the three top spots, though in reverse order!
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2012, 12:40:20 AM »
We both accord A4, A7 and A8 the three top spots, though in reverse order!
Yes. I think they really were the standouts. I felt they were best at the big picture, though perhaps if we heard more, we would respond differently.
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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2012, 02:23:23 PM »
A7 – Wow. It’s so slow it’s going backwards! It’s really full sounding though! It gives me chills listening to it. There is a sense of inevitability here. There is a searing brilliance to it (and strength). I hope this makes it to the next round. Oh man, this one has it all. Rank: 1


Sounds to me like you've just described ...Barbirolli.

Quote
Like a possessed Bulldog, drooling over the orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli drives the New Philharmonia to a performance somewhat the polar opposite of other Barbirolli Mahler-recordings. The sound quality is not the best (but has been improved significantly for all subsequent re-issues on CD, starting with the double forte edition) and you can hear Barbirolli grunt, huff, and puff—but that all sounds appropriate, as does the less-than-perfect playing of the orchestra. It is wild-eyed, relentless; its teeth are showing. The first movement drags cruelly but appropriately to these ears, because the attacks are sharp and on the toes, not the heal. The repeat is skipped.

Unlike other slow and even many quicker performances, it never loses momentum or sight of the longer lines. Barbirolli unfailingly holds the tension – even as the symphony hovers beautifully in the Andante. It’s closest in vain to Dimitri Mitropoulos’ live-recording with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln from 1959 (at time when “live” meant live!), itself a riveting, raw, individualistic (still shy of eccentric); truly an edge-of-the-seat reading. There are not all that many recordings of this symphony that are truly satisfactory. This is not only among them (Zander, Mitropolous, Gielen, Eschenbach, Fischer are, too), it’s one of the finest available.

This recording has thankfully been re-issued again—now with Barbirolli’s preferred, original movement order, with the Andante first. (On previous issues, the engineers had other ideas and placed the Scherzo first, in accordance with the critical Mahler Edition’s suggestions at the time. It works to riveting effect, which somewhat excuses their interference with the maestro’s wishes.)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 07:12:31 AM by jlaurson »

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2012, 06:00:20 AM »
Thank you all to those who have voted so far, I enjoyed reading your comments, and look forward to reading more!

I promise that Group B will be sent out tommorow. Sorry for the delay.

By the way, if you have time, and want to do another group too for this round, please let me know and I'd be delighted to sent it to you! The more votes the better! :D
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Offline Kastchei

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2012, 06:18:02 AM »
Well, I'm not an expert in this kind of things or in Mahler, but here are my thoughts.

My top 5:

1. A8. It has a rich, full sound. The strings sound great and really intense. All the instruments are well balanced and I think it's been played at the right speed.

2. A7. So different... But one of the best, I think. Maybe too slow, but somehow reaches the same levels of intensity that A8. It also sounds balanced and clear.

3. A2. Rich sound and right tempo. Well balanced.

4. A4. Very good, but the sound is "thinner" and in my opinion the tempo doesn't feel right, sometimes "hurried", making the sound a little bit blurry.

5. A6. Nice sound. Perhaps the equalization in the recording made it a little "weak" or "thin". Not enough basses. Also the strings are not "detailed" enough. But still a good one, in my opinion.


Regarding the rest, I think that the A3 is too fast and "abrupt", too sharp. The A5 is difficult to judge because of the old recording. Nothing special about the A1, also thin sound.

And that's my humble opinion.

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2012, 07:04:22 AM »
Thank you for your vote, Ruben!

A8 certainly seems to be the favourite from Group A at the moment! :)
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Offline zauberflöte

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 05:57:57 AM »
Now, THAT was fun. The B Group.

Top three for me all had issues, but I'd be happy with any.
No. 1 was a toss up between B1, B5 and B8.

B1 was just about perfect, with perfectly judged rhythms in the march, nice build up in the Alma theme.  The one thing that kept it from perfection was the missed cue by the cymbal in the climax of the Alma section. Drove me nuts. I liked the ritardando near the beginning of it, though. Others may not. Excellent recording for a person looking for a standard interpretation.

I was leery about B5 at first. It's the best recorded of all of them so I worried the vividness of the recording was swamping my critical faculties. But it's a sweeping, viscerally exciting performance.

B8 was the opposite of standard. It was offputting at first. WAY too fast an opening march. The snare drummer should have avoided that third cup of coffee. But the more I listened the more I was drawn in and started playing it more than any of the others. It works. Great Alma theme. Then I realized I recognized the recording. No wonder I like it.

The rest all have their charms, with B2 coming in for special mention. It has the worst opening march. Clip those notes! This is a march, not a gambol in the field! But it also has a truly beautiful Alma section.

B3: Here's your hat, what's your hurry?

It wasn't that B4 was too slow, though it was slow. It just never used that tempo to create something memorable.

BTW, there's a performance listed to the side of the video of the Cleveland Orchestra. I'm pretty sure which recording that was among the choices in the video. It wasn't in contention.

So right now my top three picks would be

1. B5
2. B8
3. B1

But ask me again next week.
   



     

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 12:31:26 PM »
Thank you for your vote, it has been recorded! Interesting comments. Glad you enjoyed it, remember, if you have the time, you can do another group too!

Looking forward to more votes.... :)
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Offline zauberflöte

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2012, 03:15:48 AM »
Sure, I'll do another round.

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2012, 07:45:37 AM »
Sure, I'll do another round.

Great, I'll send you the link to Group C.
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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2012, 08:23:57 AM »
I must have been out of town when this kind of poll started. Where does one get the links to the music?
Thanks...
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2012, 08:30:05 AM »
I must have been out of town when this kind of poll started. Where does one get the links to the music?
Thanks...

If you could go to the 'Blind Comparison: Mahler 6' thread, which is on this part of the forum and post a comment there. I will then send you the link to your Group! :)
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2012, 10:11:57 AM »
Had a listen to the B Group.

B5 and B1 are clear winners to my ears. good balanced pace and impactful. Clear playing.
At a push, I'll give B5 the top spot.

B6 - Pretty good overall

B4 - slow paced which I don't mind, in Barbirolli land almost, but without the impact.

and then the too fast league : B7 then  B2 (disjointed playing at times) and B8 (Bonkers !!!)


(note : details of a recording also appeared under the Views count - funnily enough, it was my 1st recording of the M6 - pretty sure it was B1...well, I think  ;D.... so I am interested to find out which one is B5 now... )


Olivier

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2012, 10:21:30 AM »
Had a listen to the B Group.

B5 and B1 are clear winners to my ears. good balanced pace and impactful. Clear playing.
At a push, I'll give B5 the top spot.

B6 - Pretty good overall

B4 - slow paced which I don't mind, in Barbirolli land almost, but without the impact.

and then the too fast league : B7 then  B2 (disjointed playing at times) and B8 (Bonkers !!!)


(note : details of a recording also appeared under the Views count - funnily enough, it was my 1st recording of the M6 - pretty sure it was B1...well, I think  ;D.... so I am interested to find out which one is B5 now... )

Thank you for posting your thoughts, Olivier! So, is your order, no.1 being the favourite: B5, B1, B6, B4, B5?

Oh dear! I didn't notice that.... But looking at it now... that performance is not even in Group B! ;)

Remember, if you have time, and want, to do another group before the 30th April, please just let me know, Olivier! :)
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: Mahler 6 Blind Comparison: Impressions and Votes
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2012, 10:31:03 AM »
B5, B1, B6, B4, B5?

you've got two B5 there... you want it to go through, do you ??  :P

in preferred order  : B5 / B1 / B6 / B4 / B7

Oh dear! I didn't notice that.... But looking at it now... that performance is not even in Group B! ;)

bugger...  :-[ ;D

saying that, the performance displayed on my link is not the same as the one Zauberflote mentioned in his earlier post  on group B...go figure....

Remember, if you have time, and want, to do another group before the 30th April, please just let me know

go on then  :D
Olivier