Author Topic: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]  (Read 26341 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2014, 10:47:56 AM »
Love the piece, but alas, for time considerations there's no way I can even think about participating. But I'll be interested in the results.

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Offline zauberflöte

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2014, 07:37:16 AM »
I'd very much like to be involved.   :D

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2014, 10:08:07 AM »
OK zauberflöte  ;)

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2014, 10:18:29 AM »
(except I prefer lossless (flac) format)

Even better!

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2014, 06:46:14 AM »
I'm still in my preselection listenings. This is not easy. I have still 12-15 recordings to listen to before all this can start. So, a few more days...

Offline Madiel

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2014, 02:35:38 PM »
Add me in please. Don't really know the work, but that certainly hasn't stopped me reacting to differences in versions in the past.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2014, 03:39:30 PM »
GReat  :D

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2014, 03:34:29 PM »
1st round
IV. Urlicht

I'll send you very soon informations about how to listen to your group, by personal message. Please check regularly your inbox. You have to listen to the 4 versions presented and rank them by order of preference, your favourite first, and so on. You can also rank versions ex aequo when you can't decide between them.

Voting is open until Sunday evening, March 2, midnight (Paris time).

For those who are not used to this little rule, all comments and votes are to be posted right below, but please change color or size of the font in order for others not to read them if they don't want to !

Presentation

...

The versions at a glance

32 versions are presented for this first round.

There are almost as many studio recordings (15) as live recordings (17), which is just a coincidence (I counted after selection). This is also, of course, the consequence of the many recordings that are done live for a couple decades now at least.

About the chronology, 12 versions were recorded before 1980, 11 between 1980 and 1999, and as you can guess, 9 since 2000. This allows us to cover quite well the discography of this symphony, with more and more versions and full Mahler cycles coming with the years.

For those who are interested by this kind of facts, the 32 versions are conducted by 27 different conductors, and played by (only) 20 different orchestras. In the same way, it is possible that singers are present in more than one version, but I'll stop here before I give any clue.

Composition of the jurys

Each group will be listened by an initial jury of 4 or 5 participants. The comparison is taking place on 3 different boards, so I mixed everyone and made a draw to distribute between the 8 groups.
When you will have listened to your group, you can of course continue and listen to another group, just ask, this will also be good to strenghten the jurys :)

Group A = eleanore-clo, Pipus / ChamberNut, Que, orfeo / -
Group B = Olivier, Asinius Pollion, tod / Pim / Burbage
Group C = math, Resigned / nachtalberich, Drosera / John F
Group D = Sylvain-Strauss, Mélomaniac / Papy Oli, Jeffrey Smith, zauberflöte / -
Group E = gilles78, kegue, Draffin / madaboutmahler / barney
Group F = Horatio / Wanderer, TheGSMoeller, Pat B, aukhawk / -
Group G = aurele, Schmürz / Jay F, fridden / maestro b
Group H = Siegmund, warren 60 / mc ukrneal, NorthNYMark / -

Note : if you registered and you don't see your name, just tell me and I'll correct my mistake !
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 01:19:26 PM by Cosi bel do »

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2014, 12:28:50 PM »
I just sent the private messages with all informations about the first round. Except that :

- group D will have to wait a little, it appears I have a little technical problem with one version

- Wanderer, please clear your inbox, as it is full !

- Same thing for madaboutmahler, there is a slight problem on version E3 but I can't send you a new pm...
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 02:47:25 PM by Cosi bel do »

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2014, 10:28:35 AM »
Votes have begun on other forums, and there are already a few tendencies appearing on some groups.

I still can't send group D, and I apologize for this delay. Meanwhile, if Papy Oli, Jeffrey Smith and zauberflöte want, I can send you another group (just remember you'll have to listen to D afterwards ;) )

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #50 on: February 21, 2014, 12:35:11 AM »
OK, My vote for  IV Urlicht   Group F  follows (whited out).
I listened to the samples twice and also to the three versions in my own collection.  In this movement at least, I preferred my favourite from Group F to any of the ones I actually own.  Thanks to Cosi, for the opportunity to hear these.

F1 > > F3 > F2 > F4

F1    the singer has a nice light vibrato and the performance overall is very straight, quite quick, leaving the music and the words to tell the story.  Won my vote straight away.  The orchestra is recorded with great clarity, but sounds as though it might be a bit lightweight for the big 1st and 5th movements of this symphony.  I could make a guess at who this is, but I'll save it for now.  I'd certainly like to hear more of this one though.

All the others are to some degree more 'performed' by artist and conductor, which sets me against them straight away - I like my music straight.

F2    much, much slower - and slower than any of the three versions in my collection - but again the singer has a nice light touch, which I like.  As a performance, it works.  The orchestra is rather recessed however, and not well recorded at all.  I can't imagine this being very interesting in the outer movements, and after all probably 90% of this symphony is purely orchestral.

F3    this is more of a 'typical' singing performance (to judge by the versions of this symphony I actually have) - a rich and wide vibrato which to my ears verges on uncertainty of pitch, scooped notes and frrrequent rrrolled Rrrrs. Personally this kind of delivery is not to my taste, even if it is 'normal for lieder'. 
The orchestra and recording is something else - sounds like one of the very top recording orchestras and a production to match - Berlin maybe, or Pittsburgh.  In this movement, it's just a Mercedes sitting on tickover, but in the 1st movement it should be a winner.

F4  this is astonishingly, courageously slow.  The singer does well to sustain this tempo, and, who knows, maybe it works in the context of what has gone before.  I don't like the singing as much as F1 or F2, and I don't like the orchestra and recording as much as F1 or F3, so it kinda ends up 4th out of 4.

That concludes the voting from my neck of the woods.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 10:36:32 AM by Que »

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2014, 03:03:54 AM »
Thanks aukhawk :)

This group F might lead to a few surprises...

Do you want to listen to another group ?

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #52 on: February 21, 2014, 08:23:04 AM »
Yes, why not.  Thanks.  I could do D if it's late to the party, because I do have a bit of time on my hands just at the moment.

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #53 on: February 21, 2014, 10:06:35 AM »
Well, D is still not ready (it will be very soon, no later than monday for sure). But I'll send you group G.

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2014, 11:10:16 AM »
I still can't send group D, and I apologize for this delay. Meanwhile, if Papy Oli, Jeffrey Smith and zauberflöte want, I can send you another group (just remember you'll have to listen to D afterwards ;) )

Please send me any group at random, Cosi. Thanks.
Olivier

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2014, 11:28:21 AM »
Group C then :)

Offline Pim

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2014, 02:48:19 AM »
My votes:
B4
Most balanced of the 4. Perhaps too clean, not emotional enough for me.

B3
Beautiful, brass is great

B2
Depth of the voice is wonderful, but the brass is too muted.

B1
The voice is too wobbly, but the brass is so wonderfully barely hanging together, it’s so fragile that it fits the ‘hochster Not’ very well.

B3 > B1 = B2 > B4
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 02:45:23 AM by Que »

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2014, 11:44:51 AM »

My vote for Group C :

C1 > C3 > C2 > C4

C1: a top of the shelf Urlicht for me. Slow tempo but emotionally charged. Singing spot on.
C2: Way too fast and rushed for my liking.
C3: average overall, nothing standing out during the listening
C4: Brass and singing wobbly, slight improvement in 2nd half, but found it quite flat.

Can't wait to find out which version C1 to be honest... and if I have it already, even better  ;D


« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 02:44:09 AM by Que »
Olivier

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2014, 04:18:44 PM »
Group D is finally ready !

Papy Oli, Jeffrey Smith, zauberflöte : I send all informations to you in a minute !

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2014, 07:47:08 AM »
I apologize, but I'm bailing out of the Blind Listen comparison.  It is asking me to download and create accounts for software I do not feel comfortable doing so.  Sorry.