Author Topic: Mahler Mania, Rebooted  (Read 609865 times)

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Offline relm1

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4820 on: September 29, 2021, 05:34:07 AM »
I quite like this No.5.  Zubin Mehta/LA PHil

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJhm1P5G3SM

Online Spotted Horses

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4821 on: September 29, 2021, 07:50:39 AM »
It took me 20+ years and 18 misfires before finally hearing a M5 that gave me what I wanted; a performance that milked the big chorale tune/climax in the second movement as slowly as possible. Even Bernstein let me down. Neumann finally did it to my satisfaction and that somehow opened the flood gates to these marvelous recordings (the first three my top recommendations:

Dohnányi/Cleveland
Neumann/Gewandhaus
Chailly/Concertgebouw

Boulez/Vienna
Stenz/Gürzenich
Kubelik/SOBR (DG)
Inbal/Frankfurt
Solti/Chicago
Haitink/Berlin (Not a general recommendation; it's too slow, too ponderous; an interpretation almost completely devoid of charm, lightness and light. It's like the music has been swallowed by the dark side. Even the Rondo-Finale brings no relief.)

Sarge

I demand to know why I don't have that recording!!!

Big favorites of mine are Barbirolli, Haitink/Concertgebouw from his old Philips cycle, and Neumann/Czech Phil. I do have Neumann/Gewanghaus, which I should listen to the next time I try to listen to Mahler.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4822 on: October 08, 2021, 04:19:56 AM »
I don't know whether or not anyone has posted a link to this before, but I remembered having watched a very nice documentary (along with a performance) with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony some time back.

Hope that you enjoy it!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5DfYcT5icY

PD

Offline LKB

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4823 on: October 08, 2021, 07:22:39 AM »
I don't know whether or not anyone has posted a link to this before, but I remembered having watched a very nice documentary (along with a performance) with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony some time back.

Hope that you enjoy it!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5DfYcT5icY

PD

Living fairly close to the city for decades, I've had ample opportunities to attend SFS Mahler performances under both MTT and Herbert Blomstedt. The last concert was not long before Covid-19 began to change our lives, and by then l had reached a couple of conclusions:

1) MTT is better with mid- and later Mahler,
I'd say from Symphony no. 5 onward. ( He and the orchestra can deliver truly amazing work in the Adagio from Symphony no. 10 )

The last Mahler concert l saw before Covid-19 was Symphony no. 1, and l was thoroughly underwhelmed. The ensemble seemed uninterested and under-rehearsed, with poor balance, which raised suspicions that...

2) The orchestra has been playing too much Mahler.

We've all heard the old saw, " Familiarity breeds contempt. " I've been performing since the 1960's, and l know this happens with music and musicians if there's too  much exposure and not enough relief.

SFS might benefit greatly from a couple of Mahler-less seasons, and more time with other music. For instance, I heard them deliver an adequate Bruckner 4, and kept thinking that they might not be that far from a truly wonderful Fourth.

But then, that Adagio was truly special...

 ::),

LKB
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Online MusicTurner

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4824 on: October 08, 2021, 07:36:50 AM »
I currently don't really have a single, favourite 5th. But it's probably time to relisten to some of them. Tennstedt/HMV has been one of the most listened to, but it's also a bit slow at times.

Now, a complete Mengelberg, not just the Adagietto - that would have been extremely interesting and probably idiosyncratic ...

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4825 on: October 08, 2021, 07:41:53 AM »
Living fairly close to the city for decades, I've had ample opportunities to attend SFS Mahler performances under both MTT and Herbert Blomstedt. The last concert was not long before Covid-19 began to change our lives, and by then l had reached a couple of conclusions:

1) MTT is better with mid- and later Mahler,
I'd say from Symphony no. 5 onward. ( He and the orchestra can deliver truly amazing work in the Adagio from Symphony no. 10 )

The last Mahler concert l saw before Covid-19 was Symphony no. 1, and l was thoroughly underwhelmed. The ensemble seemed uninterested and under-rehearsed, with poor balance, which raised suspicions that...

2) The orchestra has been playing too much Mahler.

We've all heard the old saw, " Familiarity breeds contempt. " I've been performing since the 1960's, and l know this happens with music and musicians if there's too  much exposure and not enough relief.

SFS might benefit greatly from a couple of Mahler-less seasons, and more time with other music. For instance, I heard them deliver an adequate Bruckner 4, and kept thinking that they might not be that far from a truly wonderful Fourth.

But then, that Adagio was truly special...

 ::),

LKB
Interesting to read your comments.  Do you like all of his No. 5 and onward recordings of Mahler LKB?

PD

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4826 on: October 08, 2021, 07:45:14 AM »
Can't get enough of the 8th in recent weeks. It's been the famous, polarizing Solti recording that's been doing it for me. What a work; what a performance.

Offline LKB

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4827 on: October 08, 2021, 08:09:03 AM »
I was referring exclusively to the live performances I've attended.

The only MTT/Mahler recording I've ever owned is his Third with the LSO, from the 80's on CBS, back when he was their chief conductor. It was fairly well reviewed in Grammophone, and features Dame Janet Baker ( a favorite of mine ) in the fourth movement.

I would readily admit to not giving MTT a fair shake where his Mahler recordings are concerned, but this is not due to anything personal. The fact is, nobody currently conducting gets a fair shake. I've had all of Mahler's works memorized for many years, and when l do decide it's time for a fix l invariably go to a trusted favourite from decades past.

Is this foolishness on my part? Probably.

Will my knowledge of the probability alter my behavior? Probably not, since we like what we like.

 :D,

LKB

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Offline Leo K.

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4828 on: October 08, 2021, 09:23:34 AM »
Can't get enough of the 8th in recent weeks. It's been the famous, polarizing Solti recording that's been doing it for me. What a work; what a performance.

Yes! For years I didn't really like the Solti but one day I was listening and it suddenly hit me how incredible it was. It's soars to the top of M8's rightfully (my personal list of course). Aces!

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4829 on: October 09, 2021, 04:43:59 AM »
I was referring exclusively to the live performances I've attended.

The only MTT/Mahler recording I've ever owned is his Third with the LSO, from the 80's on CBS, back when he was their chief conductor. It was fairly well reviewed in Grammophone, and features Dame Janet Baker ( a favorite of mine ) in the fourth movement.

I would readily admit to not giving MTT a fair shake where his Mahler recordings are concerned, but this is not due to anything personal. The fact is, nobody currently conducting gets a fair shake. I've had all of Mahler's works memorized for many years, and when l do decide it's time for a fix l invariably go to a trusted favourite from decades past.

Is this foolishness on my part? Probably.

Will my knowledge of the probability alter my behavior? Probably not, since we like what we like.

 :D,

LKB
That's o.k. and yes, I understood that you were referring to the performances that you had seen, but since you were a big Mahler fan, I figured that you either owned--or had at least heard--his recordings of them.  :)

And, yes, I can be stubborn too about which performances I like and connect with.  ;D

PD

Offline hvbias

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4830 on: October 10, 2021, 05:13:44 AM »
I revisited MTT/LSO 7th, it is as I remember one of the best performances of this I've ever heard. I listened to the SFS cycle once and wasn't too impressed, but just based off that LSO 7th and being a rather difficult symphony I have to give MTT credit.

With the recent discussion of the MTT/SFS purely by coincidence I ended up listening to the full cycle last week finishing with the 9th last night. I haven't changed my mind on it except the 4th was significantly better than I remembered and I'd now include as one of my top choices. Das Klagende Lied was also exceptional but I believe this recording predated the recording of the cycle?
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Offline relm1

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4831 on: October 10, 2021, 06:06:03 AM »
With the recent discussion of the MTT/SFS purely by coincidence I ended up listening to the full cycle last week finishing with the 9th last night. I haven't changed my mind on it except the 4th was significantly better than I remembered and I'd now include as one of my top choices. Das Klagende Lied was also exceptional but I believe this recording predated the recording of the cycle?

Yes, Das Klegende Lied is this recording from RCA Victor, re-released on the symphony's label:
https://www.discogs.com/release/8967511-Mahler-Michael-Tilson-Thomas-San-Francisco-Symphony-Chorus-Das-Klagende-Lied

I also like the No. 6 from this cycle but have personal attachment to it as the recording was from Sept 13, 2001, and I was at the concert/recording.  It was a very sad affair and everyone's mind was elsewhere on the events of a few days prior.  It was hard to sit through the concert without wondering if there was significant news but briefly, the music powerfully helped take our minds off the tragedy of those days.

Offline André

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4832 on: December 07, 2021, 09:20:57 AM »
Earlier this year I listened to a commercial recording of the 4th symphony played by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under the Austrian conductor Hans Swarowsky. It has joined my short list of best 4ths.

From a Musicweb article I learned that:
Quote

as a musician his teachers included Busoni and Rosenthal in piano, Schoenberg and Webern in theory, Weingartner and Franz Schalk in conducting in addition to lessons with Richard Strauss and Clemens Krauss. He would later succeed Krauss as Professor of Conducting at the Conservatory and act as uncredited collaborator on the libretto for Strauss’s Capriccio with him.

Under his professorship in Vienna his students included Abbado, Jansons, Sinopoli and Mehta (Zubin Mehta is hohorary President of the Hans Swarowsky Akademie).

Quote
Mahler 3 with Mahler's notes

In April 1920, Swarowsky hears Mahler’s third symphony for the first time (conducted by Furtwängler) and due to this impression decides to become a conductor – this symphony should take a special place throughout his entire life; for his 21st birthday, Julia Laszky acquires an Edition of Mahler’s 3rd symphony from Universal Edition as a birthday present; Swarowsky will conduct from this score throughout the rest of his life. This score (first edition) contains corrections Mahler made after performances conducted by himself
[from hansswarowsky.com]
.

Link to a live performance of the 3rd symphony with Swarowsky conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony (Fricsay’s old orchestra) in 1963:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hce83sGtKZ4


The sound is reasonably good broadcast quality, precise and wide-ranging, but tape hiss and a number of electronic noises creep in here and there. I don’t think this is cause for avoiding this superb performance though. The way the development and coda of I are brought off is nothing short of magnificent: every single strand of the huge orchestra is brought in with precise placement in terms of balancing and dynamics. It’s like watching a flower bloom under one’s very eyes. Very fine and poetic playing in the 3rd, ‘posthorn’ movement, with a thrilling coda. The Nietzsche movement has the mic stuck in the mezzo’s throat. We hear a giant-sized organ (very fine btw), but the bloom on the voice is so beautiful that I didn’t object to the overexposure. There is also a discreet version of the controversial upward slide on the oboe and english horn (after O Mensh, gib acht). The final movement clocks in at 21 minutes, a fervent, hymnic paean to Love that gives the symphony an uplifting, surging, life-affirming conclusion. No cosmic wandering among distant galaxies for Prof. Swarowsky. It may well be the swiftest performance of that movement I know (same as with Rögner with the same orchestra). A very special experience.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4833 on: December 08, 2021, 12:26:03 PM »
Just in case you need another Mahler cycle.  This week's FREE download from Classic Selections is the old Vox/Abravanel/Utah cycle here;

https://www.classicselectworld.com/collections/free-downloads/products/big-mahler-box-13-hour-digital-download

You simply put it in the basket and proceed with a purchase as normal but the price is £0.00.  Not the best ever and not the highest nit rates but well-worth hearing and Netania Devrath in the finale to No.4 is worth the price of admission(!) alone........

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4834 on: December 08, 2021, 12:31:00 PM »
Just in case you need another Mahler cycle.  This week's FREE download from Classic Selections is the old Vox/Abravanel/Utah cycle here;

https://www.classicselectworld.com/collections/free-downloads/products/big-mahler-box-13-hour-digital-download

You simply put it in the basket and proceed with a purchase as normal but the price is £0.00.  Not the best ever and not the highest nit rates but well-worth hearing and Netania Devrath in the finale to No.4 is worth the price of admission(!) alone........

Thanks for the alert, RS. What is the bitrate? I personally won't except anything lower than 256 kbps AAC.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2021, 12:32:51 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4835 on: December 08, 2021, 12:35:55 PM »
Thanks for the alert, RS. What is the bitrate? I personally won't except anything lower than 256 kbps AAC.

Its variable so I suppose averaging around 230.  But these performance were never hi-fi in the first place and they are worth hearing.  Abravanel in Mahler certainly has something to say - quite different from the post-Bernstein confessional style....... and anyway its Free!

PS:  I just dipped into the start of No.8 to see how the audio coped and actually its remarkably good!  I like the way Abravanel splits his two main choirs and the soloists - no big names make a pretty good fist of things too.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2021, 12:39:00 PM by Roasted Swan »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4836 on: December 08, 2021, 12:38:18 PM »
Its variable so I suppose averaging around 230.  But these performance were never hi-fi in the first place and they are worth hearing.  Abravanel in Mahler certainly has something to say - quite different from the post-Bernstein confessional style....... and anyway its Free!

Thanks, but I'll pass. :) My dad owns this Abravanel set already. I was just going to see if I could save myself from having to rip to my computer.
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Offline Leo K.

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4837 on: December 10, 2021, 09:14:47 AM »
I've been getting into Mahler again after a few years, via the wonderful 4th symphony, which somehow I underrate how amazing it is. I have tons of recordings of it and have no preference for a favorite - I like just to put one on and listen. :)

Offline ritter

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4838 on: December 10, 2021, 09:54:42 AM »
I've been getting into Mahler again after a few years, via the wonderful 4th symphony, which somehow I underrate how amazing it is. I have tons of recordings of it and have no preference for a favorite - I like just to put one on and listen. :)
Good to read! Probably (no, certainly) my favourite Mahler symphony.  :)
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Mahler Mania, Rebooted
« Reply #4839 on: December 11, 2021, 03:21:51 PM »
Thanks to Roasted Swan's notice I downloaded the Abravanel cycle and have been listening to it.

I'm very impressed with it, given that these are 60s/70s recordings (?) the quality is very good, and whilst the interpretation isn't at the very highest level that you get with the greatest conductors, they are good, plain interpretations that sometimes made to you think 'oh, I'd never noticed that passage before', or, 'that's an interesting way to play it'. I have listened to 5, 6 and 9 so far and there's nothing in those accounts that would make me not recommend listening to them.

Pity he didn't do a Das Lied.