Started by Greta, May 01, 2007, 08:06:38 PM
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Quote from: Leo K. on November 11, 2022, 09:06:45 AMThanks! I was sick so I wasn't able to go yesterday to see Vanska conduct my beloved Mahler 3 (on 11-10).
Quote from: KevinP on November 15, 2022, 02:57:29 AMWhat are some of the best Mahler recordings of, say, the last ten years?One of my all-time favourite composers, but I haven't kept up.
Quote from: LKB on November 14, 2022, 09:08:52 PMI hope you're feeling better soon, if not already.
Quote from: Brian on November 28, 2022, 07:42:44 AMYesterday was a big day. I listened to Mahler's Seventh for the first time ever! Bernstein/NYPO/Columbia, volume cranked up.I've got one negative thought that might get me in trouble, and then a bunch of positive ones. Negative one first: this piece does in large measure sound derivative of previous Mahler works. People cite Shostakovich as an example of a composer with a "samey" or unchanging sound world, but Mahler's is too: his orchestration has tics (like screeching high clarinets), his harmonies exist in a certain narrow spectrum a lot of the time, and even his melodies share shapes (he has favorite intervals). Listening to 5, 6, and 7, I get the impression that melodic inspiration became more challenging for him after the initial song-cycle wellspring dried up. There are memorable tunes in each, but also many tunes that seem derived from the youthful collections.The first movement reminded me a lot of the first few minutes of the Third: the march rhythms, gloomy mood, turbulence. The second movement reminded me of the Third's first movement even more, and I heard quotes from the same movement in the finale, too. Now, the good thing is I love the first movement of the Third, so this was a major plus for me.This is a big, shaggy symphony, and it has some fat. In the first movement, at roughly 6' and 15', I started tiring of the primary thematic material, which is incredibly repetitive and doesn't seem to develop much. But each time, Mahler saves the movement: first with that spectacular nocturnal interlude (a little overlong maybe, but pure magic, and honestly evocative of Richard Strauss at his most expressionist), and then with the big whomp of an ending. The second and third movements immediately jump onto the list of my favorite Mahler movements and moments. What an awesome awesome rondo full of cool ideas Nachtmusik I is. Nonstop fun, and the same goes for the scherzo. Hearing the extremely loud, fierce NYPO tuba, I wondered if that's where Revueltas got the idea for Sensemayá. The viola solo is great.Nachtmusik II is the hardest for me to process. It's labeled "Andante amoroso," which got me prepared for a romantic nighttime serenade a la Berlioz' love scene from R&J. But no, this is a weird, stuttering serenade, where the romantic warmth I was expecting is only heard two or three times in 15 minutes. Otherwise, it sort of fumbles around. I also didn't like most of the mandolin part (which in this recording sounds more like a zither? huh). I like lots of strumming and sustained notes, which Mahler's mandolin occasionally does, but mostly it plucks along single notes with the orchestra, which feels like misuse/underuse. If I was Christopher Walken, I would say this piece has enough cowbell...but needs more mandolin!The finale absolutely rules. Mahler always favors bizarre finale structures, whether they're a half-hour long with choir, or a slow movement, or a non-finale song, or bear the weight of the whole symphony's architecture. To me, this is the most successful Mahler finale that could be construed as "normal"-ish. Of course, it is far from normal. But it's a freaking delight. I heard so much stuff, too; it's kind of like a jubilee carnival run by an antiques dealer showing you all the stuff he's collected over the years. The tuning of the timpani reminded me of Renaissance dances. The winds reminded me of his Third. There's a startling Turkish passage that I must say is vastly more Turkish and more convincing than any faux-Turkish music written by any classical composer prior to that point. There are loads of jokes. And the ending, which apparently is controversial??, is absolutely 100% perfect. Immediately made sense to me. The finale absolutely made me grin.I could have probably lost 3-4 minutes of the first movement and half of Nachtmusik II, but for a very first listen to a humongous and complex piece, this was a total success and a delight. What fun! All that remains to add is that Bernstein, for all his reputation as an emotional/histrionic Mahler conductor, is actually a very clear guide to the score. It's obvious that this is a piece where the conductor can screw up a lot of different stuff. You could hear a balance issue or phrasing choice every 5 seconds. And then there's the structure as a whole, which is enormous and has all sorts of digressions, sidebars, interludes, rondo episodes, repetitions, etc. etc. I can imagine a lot of conductors and orchestras get completely lost. The care that was lavished on this recording session is obvious. Amazing performance.Woohoo!TLDR: It's the 1812 Overture with cowbells instead of cannons!
Quote from: Brian on November 28, 2022, 07:42:44 AMYesterday was a big day. I listened to Mahler's Seventh for the first time ever! Bernstein/NYPO/Columbia, volume cranked up.
Quote from: SurprisedByBeauty on December 12, 2022, 09:47:22 AMIt's about escape from light. It's about opera, Italian (middle movements) and German (finale)... and thus closely tied to Mahler's experiences at the Hofoper. I'll post some thoughts on the structure of this weirdo later, but now I am summoned to play QUIXX.
Quote from: SurprisedByBeauty on December 13, 2022, 02:05:53 AMI've always thought that if you could use Barenboim's 1st movement, Abbado/Berlin's Nachtmusiken, Levine's Scherzo, and Boulez' Finale, you'd have your perfect 7th.
Quote from: Roasted Swan on December 13, 2022, 04:37:48 AMI picked up this Decca twofer recently;For sure its a pair of exciting even virile performances from the young Mehta. Very typical of his Decca recordings in the 70's in Los Angeles and Vienna (as well as his operas in the UK). No.1 is very driven and extreme - exciting if a bit superficial - but well played. Didn't pay much for this pair of discs so happy to have added them to the collection.
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