Author Topic: Mahler Mania, Rebooted  (Read 563533 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4780 on: May 20, 2021, 11:58:38 AM »
Very recently I objected to this:



In both cases, a shamefully egotistic behaviour.
"Melody is the essence of music."  --- Mozart

Offline Brewski

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4781 on: May 20, 2021, 12:03:22 PM »
Weird the soloist singers aren't named.

I agree, especially since after looking at the list (below), there are some excellent ones.

https://www.laphil.com/events/performances/185/2019-05-30/dudamel-conducts-mahlers-eighth

As if the only name of any importance is Dudamel's

Yes. I do like him, but sometimes think his "handlers" go for the cult of personality a bit too much. He's actually quite a thoughtful musician, but sometimes all that gets a bit buried.

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Online OrchestralNut

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4782 on: May 20, 2021, 01:06:35 PM »
Haven't thought about getting a new Mahler recording in awhile, but I'm definitely thinking about this one. Coming in June, Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Mahler 8, recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall in May 2019 as the season finale. Sounds like the sonics could be excellent. More info here:

https://www.udiscovermusic.com/classical-news/gustavo-dudamel-mahler-symphony-8/



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Perhaps my dream has come true and this is an instrumental only, non vocal performance of Mahler's 8th. The Symphony of a Thousand without words!!! Yay! 🥂  :)

Offline JBS

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4783 on: May 20, 2021, 05:32:02 PM »
I have his DVD of M8. It's a decent performance, but nothing more than that.


His M9 recording otoh is a top tier performance well worth getting.

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Offline North Star

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4784 on: May 20, 2021, 06:21:45 PM »
Weird the soloist singers aren't named.

Actually a reasonably common practice to leave most of the names for the back cover, as with so many names in this work you need a magnifying glass to read them anyway.

« Last Edit: May 20, 2021, 06:24:45 PM by North Star »
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Offline Herman

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4785 on: May 20, 2021, 10:21:12 PM »
Actually a reasonably common practice to leave most of the names for the back cover, as with so many names in this work you need a magnifying glass to read them anyway.

I was talking about the link

https://www.udiscovermusic.com/classical-news/gustavo-dudamel-mahler-symphony-8/

which doesn't mention any soloists either.

Offline LKB

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4786 on: May 21, 2021, 07:36:42 AM »
I was talking about the link

https://www.udiscovermusic.com/classical-news/gustavo-dudamel-mahler-symphony-8/

which doesn't mention any soloists either.

The soloists are listed about a third of the way into the article. For anyone wondering, they are:

 Tamara Wilson, Leah Crocetto, Erin Morley, Mihoko Fujimura, Tamara Mumford, Simon O’Neill, Ryan McKinny and Morris Robinson.

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4787 on: July 30, 2021, 02:18:47 AM »
A fairly mammoth survey of Mahler cycles from Hurwitz.  I do wonder quite how much of these things he is shooting from the hip of memory.  Given the quantity of material - videoed/written that he produces by my reckoning there are simply not the hours in the day for detailed/multiple listenings before formulating opinions.  I'm not saying I don't think he has heard the discs but I wonder how recently before recording these talks....

The usual pops at the "the British Critical Establishment" are tedious - a kind of QAnon does music criticism - the faintly unknown power base pulling strings behind the scenes.  Also, why does he delight in mangling pronunications of titles that are not in English.  But again, once you get past his (for me irritating) manner the content is usually pretty solid.  The main recommendations (to save folk sitting through the 45+ minutes) are;

Bernstein DG & Sony
Bertini EMI (not sure its been re-released by Warner?)
Gielen/SWR music
Haitink/Phillips (as was)
& top reccomendation Chailly/Decca
Kubelik/DG

honourable mentions to;
Ozawa
Sinopoli
Neumann
Abravanal
Solti(ish)
Abbado(ish)
Boulez
Tennstedt

Dislikes
Svetlanov ("worst ever")
Nott
Stenz
Rattle (big big dislike - "CBSO 2nd rate orchestra.....")
Maazel - especially live Philharmonia

Offline André

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4788 on: July 30, 2021, 03:35:16 AM »
A fairly mammoth survey of Mahler cycles from Hurwitz.  I do wonder quite how much of these things he is shooting from the hip of memory.  Given the quantity of material - videoed/written that he produces by my reckoning there are simply not the hours in the day for detailed/multiple listenings before formulating opinions.  I'm not saying I don't think he has heard the discs but I wonder how recently before recording these talks....

The usual pops at the "the British Critical Establishment" are tedious - a kind of QAnon does music criticism - the faintly unknown power base pulling strings behind the scenes.  Also, why does he delight in mangling pronunications of titles that are not in English.  But again, once you get past his (for me irritating) manner the content is usually pretty solid.  The main recommendations (to save folk sitting through the 45+ minutes) are;

Bernstein DG & Sony
Bertini EMI (not sure its been re-released by Warner?)
Gielen/SWR music
Haitink/Phillips (as was)
& top reccomendation Chailly/Decca
Kubelik/DG

honourable mentions to;
Ozawa
Sinopoli
Neumann
Abravanal
Solti(ish)
Abbado(ish)
Boulez
Tennstedt

Dislikes
Svetlanov ("worst ever")
Nott
Stenz
Rattle (big big dislike - "CBSO 2nd rate orchestra.....")
Maazel - especially live Philharmonia

I don’t have the intention of watching his video, in part because of his irritating mannerisms and in part because he has become so predictable. I note that among his top recommendations I ended selling the Bertini and Chailly cycles - solid but all too often faceless. I’ve retained Haitink, Bernstein Sony, Inbal, Abravanel and Kubelik DG as well as individual issues of some of the others. I wouldn’t touch Rattle with a ten-foot pole. His highly touted CBSO Resurrection is highly regarded by many here, but to me it’s an overblown caricature.

Offline JBS

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4789 on: July 30, 2021, 03:43:23 AM »
I certainly disagree with him about Nott. It's a solid piece of musicianship, even if it isn't top tier. No reason to dislike it.

Rattle isn't always bad, but a horrendous Third and much of the rest just middling. The Tenth (with Berlin, not Birmingham) is the only installment of his cycle I would recommend.

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4790 on: July 30, 2021, 04:01:41 AM »
I don’t have the intention of watching his video, in part because of his irritating mannerisms and in part because he has become so predictable. I note that among his top recommendations I ended selling the Bertini and Chailly cycles - solid but all too often faceless. I’ve retained Haitink, Bernstein Sony, Inbal, Abravanel and Kubelik DG as well as individual issues of some of the others. I wouldn’t touch Rattle with a ten-foot pole. His highly touted CBSO Resurrection is highly regarded by many here, but to me it’s an overblown caricature.

Inbal didn't get a mention at all - good, bad or indifferent!  He made a big thing of saying there no point to 2nd tier orchestras playing Mahler if you could have the best.  I think that's a sweeping generalisation.  For example - I dipped into a really cheap/"2nd tier" recording of Anton Nanut in Ljubljana doing No.6.  I'm not making any absurd claims for that disc but actually its a rather compelling performance - emotionally and technically quite raw but not at all badly played and very dramatic.  In fact a performance I was glad to have revisited.....

Chailly I have and do enjoy the actual sound of it - but I'm not sure a single performance would be my go-to version.  Safe and slick is probably my overall view....

Offline André

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4791 on: July 30, 2021, 04:25:06 AM »
Indeed, RS ! Second rate orchestras can be hugely involved in a Mahler performance whereas some first rate orchestras sound just plain bored and boring. As an example, the two most spellbinding Mahler fourths I’ve heard are from 1950s german radio broadcasts - second rate orchestras and mono sound be damned. They are by Karl Rankl and Willem van Otterloo, conductors no one would label as mahlerians of the front rank.

The trick with Mahler is to observe all the tiny orchestral details, bring forth transparent textures and set the whole thing in a flowing, naturally paced narrative. Grand Statements and a cult of the Big Sound are Mahler’s worst enemies.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4792 on: July 30, 2021, 04:43:34 AM »
Compared to Chicago, Vienna etc. one could regard not only Birmingham and Utah but also Cologne, SWR and Bavarian Radio could be considered 1b orchestras and this apparently did not keep Hurwitz. Of course, nowadays and even 40-50 years ago there were some very good orchestras beyond the most famous ones.
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Offline DavidW

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4793 on: July 30, 2021, 06:44:22 AM »
Chailly is his top?  It is a little bland to be the pinnacle of sets.  My current favorite is Kubelik.  But hardly matters when I mostly stream, easier to think outside the box.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4794 on: July 30, 2021, 07:07:30 AM »
In general I find the earlier, pioneering Mahler performances more interesting than today's note-perfect, audio-perfect ones. The early recordings have a sense of exploration and intensity to them, and the occasional imperfections and the sense of strain add to the excitement. Today's orchestras are so familiar with Mahler that they can just go through the motions and produce a decent performance.

You can make a great Mahler cycle from recordings made not later than 1970 or so. Here's a thread we did on the subject:

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,19198.0.html
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Offline André

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4795 on: July 30, 2021, 08:10:20 AM »
In general I find the earlier, pioneering Mahler performances more interesting than today's note-perfect, audio-perfect ones. The early recordings have a sense of exploration and intensity to them, and the occasional imperfections and the sense of strain add to the excitement. Today's orchestras are so familiar with Mahler that they can just go through the motions and produce a decent performance.

You can make a great Mahler cycle from recordings made not later than 1970 or so. Here's a thread we did on the subject:

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,19198.0.html

Thanks for that link, ATA. I’ve read interesting things in it - and contributed my own list  :laugh:.

Offline DavidW

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4796 on: July 30, 2021, 09:44:54 AM »
It is weird to see my list from a decade ago.  Many are still my favorites, but some are headscratchers.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4797 on: July 30, 2021, 10:32:01 AM »
headscratchers

What causes you to scratch your head?
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4798 on: July 30, 2021, 10:01:19 PM »
Indeed, RS ! Second rate orchestras can be hugely involved in a Mahler performance whereas some first rate orchestras sound just plain bored and boring. As an example, the two most spellbinding Mahler fourths I’ve heard are from 1950s german radio broadcasts - second rate orchestras and mono sound be damned. They are by Karl Rankl and Willem van Otterloo, conductors no one would label as mahlerians of the front rank.

The trick with Mahler is to observe all the tiny orchestral details, bring forth transparent textures and set the whole thing in a flowing, naturally paced narrative. Grand Statements and a cult of the Big Sound are Mahler’s worst enemies.

I think you are spot on.  In fact Hurwitz kind of agrees with you too although he contradicts himself with his "2nd rate orchestras" comment.  Early in his talk he makes the - fair - point that playing/recording Mahler has become very much a norm rather than being an exceptional event.  The upside is of course orchestras/players have a degree of familiarity with this often very hard music that means the technical level of performance is enhanced.  However, they ARE exceptional/extraordinary works in the literal sense of the words.  If orchestras (or conductors) approach them with any sense of "Oh, God its Mahler 5 AGAIN...sigh" the battle is already lost.  Hurwitz recomends the Abravanal cycle for exactly the point you make about flowing natural pace - he likes the "simplicity" of Abravanal's approach and an avoidance of the kind of epic/superhero filmscore sound that is very exciting but not really where the essence of Mahler resides.

Online Biffo

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4799 on: July 31, 2021, 02:16:11 AM »
In general I find the earlier, pioneering Mahler performances more interesting than today's note-perfect, audio-perfect ones. The early recordings have a sense of exploration and intensity to them, and the occasional imperfections and the sense of strain add to the excitement. Today's orchestras are so familiar with Mahler that they can just go through the motions and produce a decent performance.

You can make a great Mahler cycle from recordings made not later than 1970 or so. Here's a thread we did on the subject:

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,19198.0.html

I had a glance at the link but will have to go back and examine it more closely.

I bought my first Mahler LP in 1970 and the cycle I put together over the next couple of years was from Haitink, Bernstein, Kubelik, Barbirolli, Horenstein and Klemperer. These are still pretty much my favourites. The lieder etc were from Szell, Boulez, Morris and Barbirolli.