GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Cosi bel do on February 06, 2014, 01:55:30 PM

Title: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 06, 2014, 01:55:30 PM
Hi, I'm back (well, just changed the order of the letters in my username, if you are wondering).

This has been almost 2 years since I organized my last comparison on La Mer. This time I will organize a new one on Mahler's 2nd symphony "Resurrection".

As usual we'll start with many versions (probably 30, I'm just finishing the pre-listenings before I confirm that), and eliminate them in several groups, movement after movement, until we keep 3 or 4 versions in the end and decide which is better. As usual too, you can start and stop participating when you wish, so that nobody gets scared about the involvement, and you can listen to as many groups as you wish.
I will organize the same listening on classik.forumactif.com, this has proven a great way to increase the number of participants tha last times.

Please just tell me if you wish to participate below.
I will give all informations about how to listen to the music right when the listening will actually start (in 2 weeks or so).

I will be happy to hear all your suggestions about versions to put in the comparison, but please do that in a personal message, as I wish to keep the topic clean of any open discussion about different recordings before the listening actually starts.

Also, I was thinking about starting the first round with the Urlicht (before taking the movements in the traditional order), as I believe this is the emotional peak of the whole symphony. It is so crucial that I have never heard a good version with a bad Urlicht, or a bad version with a good Urlicht (in a way, keeping a version during the first four rounds, when it is clear that the singer will make it impossible to progress to the big finals is kind of a waste of time, imo). Also, it is kind of short, that would make the first round easier, for instance if each group has 5 versions.
Also, the Urlicht was composed before the Symphony itself, as a lied from Die Knaben Wunderhorn, so it is not at all a musical contresens...
Not everyone seems to like this idea though, so just tell me if it really bothers you, and I will start with the 1st movement.

Participants (17) : Que, Jay F, Pat B, ChamberNut, fridden, TheGSMoeller, aukhawk, Papy Oli, NorthNYMark, Jeffrey Smith, mc ukrneal, Pim, nachtalberich, Drosera, madaboutmahler, Wanderer, zauberflöte, orfeo
+ 15 on classik.forumactif.com
+ 3 on classicalmusicguide.com
= 35
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Que on February 06, 2014, 02:46:54 PM
Welcome back :)  (It's late here and my brain is moving slowly, who where you before? ::))

Anyway, please count me in.

Q
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Brian on February 06, 2014, 03:28:12 PM
Welcome back :)  (It's late here and my brain is moving slowly, who where you before? ::))

Anyway, please count me in.

Q
Discobole

I don't like this symphony enough to play. Heresy, I know :(
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Jay F on February 06, 2014, 03:50:02 PM
In preparation, I'm listening to Claudio and the Wieners:

Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Pat B on February 06, 2014, 03:59:20 PM
I'm in, and I like the idea of starting with Urlicht.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 06, 2014, 04:20:54 PM
Thanks for warmly welcoming me back :)

Brian, won't you even try :) ?

Jay F, does that mean I can count you in ?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: OrchestralNut on February 06, 2014, 04:27:46 PM
Hi, and welcome!  I'd be happy to participate.  Count me in!  :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Brian on February 06, 2014, 05:25:57 PM
Brian, won't you even try :) ?
I've listened to the symphony just three times. The first two times were Fischer/Budapest, once in 2009 and once in 2013; both times I felt bored and, by the first movement especially, irritated. I don't understand the work's structure at all. But the third time was this past Sunday, immediately after learning of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, and conducted by Bernstein (Columbia). That time I felt and shared all the emotion of the work, and felt its power...but I still don't think I really understand it. :(
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Jay F on February 06, 2014, 06:08:27 PM
Thanks for warmly welcoming me back :)

Jay F, does that mean I can count you in ?
Yes. Definitely. I sent you a PM.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: kishnevi on February 06, 2014, 07:35:05 PM
In preparation, I'm listening to Claudio and the Wieners:



Possibly my favorite symphony of all.  How could I not, if technological limitations allow (PM to Cosi about that).    I have close to 40 recordings, and only one I really dislike.  Ironically, it's the one you show there.  I think he did a much better job in his CSO recording.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Jay F on February 06, 2014, 07:56:19 PM
Possibly my favorite symphony of all.  How could I not, if technological limitations allow (PM to Cosi about that).    I have close to 40 recordings, and only one I really dislike.  Ironically, it's the one you show there.  I think he did a much better job in his CSO recording. Since he died, I've been making a point of listening to his Mahler, which is most of what I have by Abbado.

I listened to it tonight, probably for the second time. I liked it more than I disliked it, but I'm no more familiar with Abbado's CSO recording. For whatever reason, except for 3 and 7, Abbado's Mahler has sat on the shelf for decades in favor (mostly) of Bernstein's (mainly CBS).

The M2 is a favorite of mine, too, and like you, I have only one I really didn't like, which was Bernstein's first CBS CD version, with the LSO in Ely Cathedral.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Que on February 06, 2014, 10:53:10 PM
Discobole

Thank you, Brian. It is coming back to me.  :)

Q
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: amw on February 06, 2014, 10:58:21 PM
I feel like Mahler is over-represented in these blind comparison games, but I can't stand his music so I guess I would feel that way regardless of reality.

(Orchestral music is definitely over-represented though.)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Que on February 06, 2014, 11:17:28 PM
I feel like Mahler is over-represented in these blind comparison games, but I can't stand his music so I guess I would feel that way regardless of reality.

(Orchestral music is definitely over-represented though.)

It reflects the distribution in taste on the forum, just look at the major threads: Mahler, Bruckner and Sibelius.

Though Gurn is holding out against all that late Romantic orchestral violence with his Haydn thread. 8)

We did had a blind comparison of a Bach harpsichord toccata once before, that was great fun! :)

Q
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: North Star on February 06, 2014, 11:22:57 PM
I feel like Mahler is over-represented in these blind comparison games, but I can't stand his music so I guess I would feel that way regardless of reality.

(Orchestral music is definitely over-represented though.)
Well it's no wonder you'd feel that way since Daniel (madaboutmahler) is going to do these blind comparisons of all the Mahler symphonies.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: fridden on February 07, 2014, 12:01:06 AM
Hi, I would like to participate!

/fridden
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 07, 2014, 02:54:21 AM
Hi, I would like to participate!

/fridden

Great !

I feel like Mahler is over-represented in these blind comparison games, but I can't stand his music so I guess I would feel that way regardless of reality.

(Orchestral music is definitely over-represented though.)

Actually this is my first Mahler comaprison. And until now I've done a few comparisons and one on two was orchestral, others were on a harpsichord toccata by Bach (e minor), the Great Fugue by Beethoven, the Ravel piano trio... But I understand you would feel that way since madaboutmahler seems to be very mahlerian and purely orchestral in the comparisons he organizes (as Que just said).
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 07, 2014, 03:32:30 AM
I feel like Mahler is over-represented in these blind comparison games, but I can't stand his music so I guess I would feel that way regardless of reality.

(Orchestral music is definitely over-represented though.)

It reflects the distribution in taste on the forum, just look at the major threads: Mahler, Bruckner and Sibelius.

Though Gurn is holding out against all that late Romantic orchestral violence with his Haydn thread. 8)

We did had a blind comparison of a Bach harpsichord toccata once before, that was great fun! :)

Q

You all are going to ruin my  Bruckner 6th comparison I was planning after the Brahms 2nd!!  ;D

Seriously I find that these blind comparisons bring out the best of GMG and would like to see more than one running at a time. I was thinking of creating a Haydn Farewell comp. but I was afraid the only users who would participate would recognize the performances right away.

And yes, I'll participate in the Mahler 2 comp. here, nice to meet you Cosi.  :)

I used to listen to Mahler quite a bit, mainly the brass-heavy moments. But drifted away with time. The only Mahler 2 recording I've retained is the one I like the most, Blomstedt/SFO on London. I'm sure I'm alone on this one, but it's lean and doesn't seem to linger too long in certain areas, but there's still plenty of passion and power in it.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on February 07, 2014, 04:00:07 AM
Is it true to say that if each individual doesn't compare each of the sets A B C D (x8 clips in each set), then the comparison can not be true to itself?

I've done two sets in the past, but mainly only the one set as the norm.  If I don't review and compare all, submit results for all, as everyone should do...then doesn't any comparison fail?

So if I just compare set A, then ie Sarge, GS & Mirror Image compare A B C D and we have different views then the person who reviews only 1 set is wiped out straight away.  And the fact that I haven't reviewed B C D to balance Sarge, GS & Mirror Image sort of loses the point. 

Either we review 1 set each or we review all 4 sets each?  Why are some persons reviewing 2 or 3 in past comparisons? 

If I'm talking b******* then answers on a postcard.  Compare all, just the one or none at all  ;)

Live long and prosper
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 07, 2014, 04:36:51 AM
This is why a comparison is always just an effort to try to define what a certain number of persons like and prefer, not at all a quest for the truth. ANyway, there is no truth in music, just disagreements. I really hate some versions of this symphony that others judge as "definitive"...

Anyway, imo, there is a logical impossibility in saying that reducing the number of persons in a jury would make the comparison less legitimate. Just saying.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: aukhawk on February 07, 2014, 07:37:09 AM
Yes, please count me in for this one.  And I'm happy with whatever order of movements you choose.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 07, 2014, 08:01:12 AM
So if I just compare set A, then ie Sarge, GS & Mirror Image compare A B C D and we have different views then the person who reviews only 1 set is wiped out straight away.

That would only be true if you were the sole member in your group initially and therefore the lone decision maker. But you already have other folks rating your group. Adding a few more won't negate your vote and it might possibly enhance it (surely some of us are going to give high ratings to the performances you like too).


Why are some persons reviewing 2 or 3 in past comparisons? 

Because the organizers of the comparisons ask us to compare as many groups as possible in order to get the largest sampling (at least Mad requests that).

Sarge

Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on February 07, 2014, 08:51:28 AM
Also depends on how the originator organizes the groups.

Imagine a group on a given piece of music which they all have recorded

A - Klemperer, Walter, Bernstein, Abbado & Sinopoli
B - Lizzio, Nanut, Daniel, Alsop & Klee

"oh, no....my favourites have just been eliminated"  ???

"Who put Anton Nanut through, and Walter got dumped" ? ? ?  :laugh:
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Pat B on February 07, 2014, 09:54:18 AM
Is it true to say that if each individual doesn't compare each of the sets A B C D (x8 clips in each set), then the comparison can not be true to itself?

I think it's more important to get a large number of voters per group than to equalize the number of groups per voter.

I also think we're both over-thinking it. ;)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Papy Oli on February 07, 2014, 01:51:04 PM
you can count me in too, Cosi/Discobole.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: NorthNYMark on February 07, 2014, 01:59:24 PM
I would like to take part as well. 
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 07, 2014, 02:40:46 PM
24 participants for now, still counting... That's great, really, thanks for the enthusiasm :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 08, 2014, 03:29:08 AM
I'm in, at least for the first round. It's not a symphony I listen to that often, nor do I feel a need for a new recording (with Abbado and Bertini on hand), but I can't resist a blind listening. :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 08, 2014, 05:29:39 PM
Great mc ukrneal, I'm really happy that you'll participate, your contribution is always very appreciated :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Pim on February 09, 2014, 12:06:13 AM
I'd be happy to join in as well. It's been awhile since I heard it (Haenchen, live in the concertgebouw in Amsterdam).
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: nachtalberich on February 09, 2014, 06:28:09 AM
I'd like to join as well.  This will be my first blind comparison....sounds fun.   :D

Thanks!
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Jay F on February 09, 2014, 07:17:58 AM
When does it start?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 09, 2014, 11:53:59 AM
Thanks to the lastest who joined the comparison.

Jay, it should take around 10 days for me to finish preparing everything.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Jay F on February 09, 2014, 06:20:38 PM
Thanks to the lastest who joined the comparison.

Jay, it should take around 10 days for me to finish preparing everything.
Thanks, CBD.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Drosera on February 09, 2014, 11:49:47 PM
Too late to join?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 10, 2014, 01:39:33 AM
No no, not at all, it has not begun, and anybody can join at anytime anyway :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Drosera on February 10, 2014, 01:54:59 AM
No no, not at all, it has not begun, and anybody can join at anytime anyway :)

Great, and thank you for the effort in doing this!
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: madaboutmahler on February 10, 2014, 03:04:29 AM
Definitely count me in, and welcome back! Would it be OK to let me get closer to finishing my Brahms 2 comparison before we start this though?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Wanderer on February 10, 2014, 07:05:39 AM
Count me in, as well! This is a most beloved work and a great Mahlerian favourite. I'll be curious to see which versions that will turn up I don't already own.

Starting with Urlicht sounds good. However, if it's not too much trouble, Cosi, I do hope that the format of the samples will be separate mp3 files (much easier to manipulate and listen to comparatively) instead of one cumbersome single file of all the samples clumped together.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 10, 2014, 10:12:47 AM
Definitely count me in, and welcome back! Would it be OK to let me get closer to finishing my Brahms 2 comparison before we start this though?

Great news, thanks !
As I said, I will not start before 10 days. Maybe even 2 weeks. I still have to listen to a couple dozens versions. Will it be ok ? (If I remember well, we already did 2 comparisons at the same time without much trouble anyway ?)

Count me in, as well! This is a most beloved work and a great Mahlerian favourite. I'll be curious to see which versions that will turn up I don't already own.

Starting with Urlicht sounds good. However, if it's not too much trouble, Cosi, I do hope that the format of the samples will be separate mp3 files (much easier to manipulate and listen to comparatively) instead of one cumbersome single file of all the samples clumped together.

Great :)
Of course the samples will be separate files, this is how I proceed (except I prefer lossless (flac) format)

And there are now 33 participants  ??? ;D
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Brewski 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.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: zauberflöte on February 12, 2014, 07:37:16 AM
I'd very much like to be involved.   :D
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 12, 2014, 10:08:07 AM
OK zauberflöte  ;)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Wanderer on February 12, 2014, 10:18:29 AM
(except I prefer lossless (flac) format)

Even better!
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do 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...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 16, 2014, 03:39:30 PM
GReat  :D
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do 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 !
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do 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...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do 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 ;) )
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: aukhawk 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.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do 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 ?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: aukhawk 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.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do 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.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Papy Oli 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.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 21, 2014, 11:28:21 AM
Group C then :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Pim 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
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Papy Oli 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


Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Cosi bel do 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 !
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: OrchestralNut 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.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 23, 2014, 07:55:15 AM
What is asking you what ?

ChamberNut, could you unblock my personal messages (I guess this is unintentional ?) ? I might have a solution for you.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Jay F on February 23, 2014, 01:20:31 PM
My vote is for G4.

G1.flac: Feels slow; love when violin comes in. I’ve never paid such close attention before. I have a feeling this is one I’ve liked in the past.

G2.flac: I immediately get a sad feeling as the singer starts; so far, I prefer this to G1.

G3.flac: Hard to get started, then low volume. I like it but not as much as G2. I like any version of Mahler’s Second Symphony, of course, so I’m biased. I think it’s the actual voice I like least. The orchestral part may be my favorite, but G2.flac still has my vote.

G4.flac: My favorite. The instrumental portion is delightful, and so is the singing.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Jay F on February 23, 2014, 01:22:10 PM
What is asking you what ?

ChamberNut, could you unblock my personal messages (I guess this is unintentional ?) ? I might have a solution for you.

His solution works, ChamberNut. I was being presented the same weird software, which I did not want to download. But Cosi sent me flac files with no issues. Try it.

Jay (another chamber nut)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: aukhawk on February 24, 2014, 02:54:10 AM
The download site did give me pause, at first, but it seems to be harmless, I didn't have to create an account or download anything I didn't want to.

Votes for IV Urlicht Group G

G3 > G4 > G1 > > G2

Not much to choose between 1,3 and 4.  Nothing much to make me want to hear more, but nothing objectionable either.

G1 the orchestra is a bit recessed, and seems to have caught the vibrato bug, with the brass chorale sounding a bit warbly.  There's a tendency to linger of the end of each phrase, all a bit too droopy for me.

G3 is a nice light voice, and relatively straight performance all round.  Straight nearly always gets my vote.

G4 sounds live, with one or two small distractions at delicate moments.  It's much more 'performed' than 3, but nicely enough done, of its type.

G2 I left till last because it's quite different.  The singer is quite operatic, and even chooses ff at moments that most other singers choose pp.  Surely not right.
This version is also interesting and unique (in the 11 versions I've heard) in the way it handles the gear-change in the middle ("Ach nein!").  Most performances make this point a musical change of mood, the start of part 2.  This version takes this one line much slower, effectively smoothing the gear change and unifying the song.  That makes sense to me, I like what they do here, but - the singing is not my taste at all.  4th of 4.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 24, 2014, 03:28:20 AM
My vote is for G4.

G1.flac: Feels slow; love when violin comes in. I’ve never paid such close attention before. I have a feeling this is one I’ve liked in the past.

G2.flac: I immediately get a sad feeling as the singer starts; so far, I prefer this to G1.

G3.flac: Hard to get started, then low volume. I like it but not as much as G2. I like any version of Mahler’s Second Symphony, of course, so I’m biased. I think it’s the actual voice I like least. The orchestral part may be my favorite, but G2.flac still has my vote.

G4.flac: My favorite. The instrumental portion is delightful, and so is the singing.


I will therefore put the following ranking, if it's ok with you :

G4 > G2 > G3 > G1
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 24, 2014, 03:30:28 AM
Thanks for your votes, Jay F, aukhawk !
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Madiel on February 24, 2014, 04:23:52 AM
Yes, there is absolutely no need to click on any of the banners asking you to download something besides the file. It's common enough for file-sharing sites to try to offer you such things, and to offer them in bigger and brighter fonts than the actual thing you came to download, but you can in fact simply download the file with the music in it.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Jay F on February 24, 2014, 08:14:42 AM
I will therefore put the following ranking, if it's ok with you :

G4 > G2 > G3 > G1

Yes. That's correct. I missed the part about putting them in order of preference. Sorry.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: nachtalberich on February 24, 2014, 05:54:58 PM
C1:  Older sound, but still good.   Slow, heavy tempo, very romantic.  Heavy voice, very matronly..a little hard-edged and heavy on the vibrato. 

C2:  Good sound, some background noise (live?).  Tempos more to my liking.  I’m not sure this is as much a dirge as others make it.  Anyway, I like this pace.  This one also has a lighter singing voice, much better and more rounded tone.  I feel this is more Vienna and less Germany…whatever that means.  :-)

C3:  Like C1 slower tempo and more dirge like.  Very recessed sound…singing especially.  Sound is very compressed on this one…even the orchestra is quite recessed.   Singing less weighty than C1, but weightier than C2…still rather matronly, and not necessarily in my wheelhouse.

C4:  These are OLD sonics.  I’m thinking 78-era and live to boot.  Lots of coughing.  Probably my second favorite singer of the lot, after C2.  If this had improved sound (or if it wasn’t recorded at a stomping and coughing convention) , it probably steals the show. 

C2->C4->C3->C1
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 25, 2014, 10:39:38 AM
All votes have been transmitted in group B. I will therefore reveal results and the identity of the eliminated version today, in a couple hours.

Votes on other groups will go on until Sunday (or before, if there are no more votes to wait for).
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Pim on February 25, 2014, 11:24:32 AM
So, will there be bonus points for group B candidates, now that we so diligently voted? :P
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 25, 2014, 12:17:30 PM
No but you have the right to listen to as many groups as you wish :D
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 25, 2014, 01:45:55 PM
1st Round Results

Group B

9 on 9 votes already given, and nothing could change in this group with a few more, so, here are the results, a little in advance on the end of this round.

Final Ranking

In this group, version B1 was behind from the start and never had any chance to come back in the game. The 3 others are almost always preferred. Here are all votes in a single table (http://img11.hostingpics.net/pics/449466mahler1B.jpg) (the bottom part, with the average ranking, is not decisive, except if there is a conflict between preferences), and the final ranking :

1. B2 --> seeded for next round
2. B4 --> qualified
3. B3 --> qualified
----
4. B1 --> eliminated

B3 is also quite far behind B2 and B4, this weakness might indicate it will be difficult for B3 not to be eliminated in the next round. (About that, I will compare all groups in the end, and the differences between 1st and 3rd and 4th versions : in case there is a big difference of average ranking in some groups between 1st and 3rd, and a small difference in others between 1st and 4th, I might qualify one or two versions ranked 4th and eliminate 3rds. I hope it is clear. Well, we'll see that later if needed.)

Version B1
William Steinberg, Kölner RSO (live), 10 sept. 1965

Anny Delorie (mezzo-soprano) / ICA Classics (2011)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Oc5SOILGL._SY300__PJautoripBadge,BottomRight,4,-40_OU11__.jpg)

This was one of the first releases by ICA Classics in 2011, with the help of the WDR archives. This CD was really highly praised by critics around the classical world.

You eliminated it though. Not for its sonics, despite it being a little ancient live recording, it is recorded in a very comfortable stereo, very detailed. But the Urlicht is not its main strength, with Anny Delorie too heavy on the vibrato, and a weird throaty voice. Still, the tempo is good, respectful of Mahler's indications.

If this version is really great (I highly recommend it to all lovers of this symphony), it is mainly for its 1st movement, an epic voyage, with a Cologne orchestra electrified by Steinberg, and impressive with precision. The finale is also a great moment of fervour.
Steinberg knew how to make an ensemble he was conducting for a night sound at its best. But you judged his Urlicht below expectations. And as I said, without a great Urlicht, there is no great version. But don't miss it, listen to it one of this days, you might be really captivated.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: kishnevi on February 25, 2014, 05:25:11 PM
Okay, I'm ready to give an opinion regarding Group D

First place: D3
Third: D1/D2 (tie)
Fourth: D4

In D3, the pacing and the vocal palette were fairly close to my mental idea of what is perfect for this movement.
In D4,  pacing was too quick and singer's vocal tone too earth mother-ish
In D1, nothing was wrong,  but nothing seemed particularly above the rest.
In D2, same situation as in D1

The only one of the four for whose sake I would indulge myself in a temper tantrum if it is eliminated, would be D3--and counterintuitively, it would be D4 I would prefer to advance in preference to D1 and D2,  because it was distinctive, even if in a way I don't like,  whereas D1 and D2 didn't seem to be distinctive in any way--which is why I describe them as "tied for third" instead of "tied for second".

Am I correct in thinking only D1 was live out of these four?  It was, at least, the only one in which I heard stage and audience noises.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 25, 2014, 05:47:46 PM
No, you are not correct on this, but more on that later ;)

Apart from that, a few performances that are described by participants as rushed might be in fact quite close to what Mahler intended and asked for when he specifically wrote Nicht schleppen (don't drag) on the orchestral accompaniment...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: kishnevi on February 25, 2014, 06:26:41 PM
No, you are not correct on this, but more on that later ;)

Apart from that, a few performances that are described by participants as rushed might be in fact quite close to what Mahler intended and asked for when he specifically wrote Nicht schleppen (don't drag) on the orchestral accompaniment...

Ah, but we know better than Mahler what sounds good.... :P

And "dragging" is (to me) as much a matter of meter as of actual speed:  a moderate pace with almost no accented beats drags more in my ears than a slow pace with strongly accented beats
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 25, 2014, 06:45:24 PM
Here are my comments for Group H:

H1 – Nice balance here. Horns have a lovely sound. The tension is quite good with the appropriate solemnness. Quite attractive voice. Just beautifully done.   Ranking: 1

H2 – This singer has a bit more vibrato, which I don’t love. Another lovely brass passage though. Yeah, the slightly heavier voice and vibrato isn’t ideal. Orchestra plays just beautifully though, making me want to hear the rest. I don’t mind the slower tempo.   Ranking: 2

H3 – Really rolls her r’s. Brass are not as beautiful, but play ok. Another live one. I like the voice, but doesn’t quite have the same level of solemnness and tension as in #1. I am reminded a bit more here of a Strauss opera – more intensity and drama. Is this what you want here? Hmmm.    Ranking: 4

H4 – Much faster tempo. This really creates a different atmosphere – again more dramatic. In this sense, it is more similar to H3. Oi, the vibrato is quite fast and a bit less attractive, though the singing itself is ok.     Ranking: 3

SO

For me, H1 is the clear winner. The most beautiful sound and I think the closest to the style that Mahler calls for here. H4 is interesting, and perhaps for that, I could place it second. The singing among the remaining three is generally pretty good, though I preferred the atmosphere in H2, which is ultimately why I will place it second instead. I think H4 is just a bit too pushed for my tastes. But I would understand if someone preferred this approach –it has its plusses. H3 was the laggard for me by quite a lot, but not at all bad.

Favorite to least favorite: H1, H2, H4, H3.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 25, 2014, 06:50:49 PM
Ah, but we know better than Mahler what sounds good.... :P

And "dragging" is (to me) as much a matter of meter as of actual speed:  a moderate pace with almost no accented beats drags more in my ears than a slow pace with strongly accented beats

This is why Urlicht raises more questions than one could initially anticipate.

Mahler says "Sehr feierlich aber schlicht (Choralmässig)", meaning "very solemn, but simple", which is already kind of an oxymoron. "Like a choral", which suggests something religious, or at least spiritual, in the atmosphere. Then he asks Nicht schleppen, which complicates things a little further.

This is a very subtle equilibrium that is asked for between solemnity and simplicity, and between religious inspiration (which corresponds to the meaning of Urlicht in the dramaturgy, Mahler presenting it like the song of an Angel for the hero buried in the first part, Totenfeier) and this permanent lightness which needs not to schleppen the music...

After listening to all these Urlichts, I am less and less satisfied by all of them (and all others too, of course). The ideal Urlicht is really difficult to realize.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: kishnevi on February 25, 2014, 07:09:15 PM
This is why Urlicht raises more questions than one could initially anticipate.

Mahler says "Sehr feierlich aber schlicht (Choralmässig)", meaning "very solemn, but simple", which is already kind of an oxymoron. "Like a choral", which suggests something religious, or at least spiritual, in the atmosphere. Then he asks Nicht schleppen, which complicates things a little further.

This is a very subtle equilibrium that is asked for between solemnity and simplicity, and between religious inspiration (which corresponds to the meaning of Urlicht in the dramaturgy, Mahler presenting it like the song of an Angel for the hero buried in the first part, Totenfeier) and this permanent lightness which needs not to schleppen the music...

After listening to all these Urlichts, I am less and less satisfied by all of them (and all others too, of course). The ideal Urlicht is really difficult to realize.

Like everything, it has to be just right.  But I beg to differ about solemnity and simplicity being an oxymoron---for me,  something that is truly solemn will tend to be simple (although of course simplicity is not the only element of solemnity!), and religious inspiration is full of lightness. * The balance is therefore actually a matter of artistically faking simplicity and ethereality, but not faking it too much. 

*Which is why I love Baroque churches for their architecture and art, but would never worship in them even if I was  a Christian.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: zauberflöte on February 25, 2014, 08:12:34 PM
Group D, from top choice to last

1. D1 My favorite by a wide margin. Loved the slow tempo, and I don't always. Also the horns in the beginning, Voice balanced nicely with orchestra, which is rare in a Mahler 2 recording, gives me hope for the fifth movement where the voice should sound as if it's just one of many at first slowly rising over the rest, something I've only heard in a live performance.
 
2. D3 Second and third choice are both lovely though nothing about either stands out. Singer a little more in control in D3 which gives it the edge.
 
3. D2. A bit prosaic, perhaps, but still lovely in all. Wonderful singer, though a hint of wobble at the end.

4. Pretty sure I know this performance. The Urlich doesn't work for me. Singer too much the stentorian battle ax. Orchestra sound too dry. Not one to linger over.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Wanderer on February 26, 2014, 12:11:25 AM
My results for Group F, in order of preference:

1: F2, closely followed by...
2: F1, then following at quite some distance...
3: F3, and a parsec or so away...
4:F4

Very much liked F2 and F1. Wobbly voice in F4 (and in a lesser degree, F3) worked against it the most.


Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Drosera on February 26, 2014, 11:40:28 AM
Group C:

C1 Manages dignity and gravitas without being slow. Not a perfect voice, growing uglier under pressure, but the singer and the conductor are well in tune.

C2 It aims for simplicity, but appears to forget about all the other aspects necessary for a great Urlicht.

C3 Nicely atmospheric orchestral playing, but every time the mezzo starts singing, things get far more prosaic. This is a rather geriatric sounding angel. Not a pretty sound, nor an involving singer.

C4 Oh, what a difference a great mezzo makes! This is supposed to be an angel singing and she certainly sings all the authority of an angel. (Very obvious who she is.) Odd insecurities from the brass. Very natural give and take in the conducting, perfectly in tune with the singer. Gorgeous.

C4 is special, C3 and C1 okay, C2 a failure.

So my order is:

#1: C4
#2: C1
#3: C3
#4: C2

I would be glad to listen to another group now, if you would like me to.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: zauberflöte on February 26, 2014, 02:27:32 PM
I noticed I forgot to actually name my fourth and least favorite, though process of elimination would have gotten it.
My order was: 1- D1; 2-D3, 3- D2; 4-D4
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 27, 2014, 02:10:47 AM
Group C

Final ranking

12 voters, and a clear ranking but not a humiliation for C2. The preferences are sometimes close : C2 is last and C4 is first, but the comparison C2/C4 ends with 5 against 6 votes.  Here is the compilation of results (http://img4.hostingpics.net/pics/508763mahler1C.jpg) and the final ranking :

1. C4 --> seeded for next round
2. C1 --> qualified
3. C3 --> qualified
----
4. C2 --> eliminated

It's very interesting to see that C4, despite unsatisfying sonics and public noise, comes first in this group !

Version C2
Maurice Abravanel, Utah Symphony Orchestra, 4/1967

Florence Kopleff (mezzo-soprano) / Vanguard (or box-set : Music Concepts)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61NG2q6sHpL._SY300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BvgWrOl-L.jpg)

A pioneer version, the Resurrection by Maurice Abravanel stands, almost 50 years later, as one of the strong points of his cycle. A version that I've been insistantly asked to include, and I thought it would be a good challenger after my pre-listenings. It is eliminated without shame, with a good average ranking (2,83, when B1 was eliminated with 3,44).

In this Urlicht, the best thing is that Abravanel keeps a good tempo, a little fast, which is very respectful of the Nicht schleppen on the score (even if this has not pleased to everyone). You also liked the oboe, and 2 different voters (Sylvain-Strauss on classik and John F on CMG) thought they had recognized the soloist from the Wiener Philharmoniker (I thought this coincidence was quite noticeable).

Weaker points are a voice that most of you found insufficiently expressive, despite a nice childish tone), acoustics at the same time too far and not very comfortable, and an orchestra that lacks subtelty in general.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: fridden on February 27, 2014, 12:17:37 PM
My vote for group G


From bottom to top:

G2 -> Sound is good, and I like the singing but it is sooo slow.
G1 -> This feels better as far as tempo is concerned. I am not too fond of the singing here though. And the sound is not top notch either.
G3 -> This is pretty slow as well, but I like it. It has a better sense of flow than G2 and the sound is pretty good as well. I like the singer as well.
G4 -> My favorite. The sound is good, the singing is good and the tempo feels for me just right, there is more feeling both in the playing and the singing.

So G4->G3->G1->G2

/Fredrik
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Papy Oli on February 27, 2014, 03:12:44 PM
Quick vote for Group D



Close at the top between D2 and D3, but D2 edges it

Then a big gap until D1 and D4 - both too wobbly and/or weird.

D2 > D3 > D1 > D4

Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: aukhawk on February 27, 2014, 03:24:56 PM
I'm glad to see that wobbly does not go down well in these circles.  I thought it was just me.  :-\
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: kishnevi on February 27, 2014, 07:15:55 PM
Three out of three GMG listeners placed D4 last.   I'll be interested to see whom we ganged up on.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Madiel on February 28, 2014, 04:17:03 AM
No, you are not correct on this, but more on that later ;)

Apart from that, a few performances that are described by participants as rushed might be in fact quite close to what Mahler intended and asked for when he specifically wrote Nicht schleppen (don't drag) on the orchestral accompaniment...

Just curious, is this on the printed score? Wikipedia only tells me that the movement is marked "Sehr feierlich, aber schlicht". Very solemnly, but simple.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Madiel on February 28, 2014, 04:42:22 AM
Anyway, I'm ready to make my comments on Group A. But first let me make a general comment, having familiarity with some of Mahler's works but not this particular one: what a lovely piece of music. Well up to the standards of the best Mahler songs that I know.

Right, here goes.

First choice, by a small margin: A3. To me there's something lovely about the singing here, and the performance in general. There's nuance, but also a lovely warmth to it, and a kind of ecstasy in the latter section of the poem.

Second choice: A4. Oh, that brass at the beginning. It's so achingly sad!! In fact the whole first section up to "Je lieber möcht' ich im Himmel sein" makes me want to weep, and I think this voice contains an element of melancholy longing throughout. At the end of the day, the difference between this and A3 is really just that A3 makes me feel uplifted and is the version I'd be more likely to want to repeat. Whereas A4 is for wallowing.

Third choice: A1. This is enjoyable enough but doesn't have as much contrast between the different parts of the song. It's all at a similar emotional level, and doesn't bring out the angst of "Der Mensch liegt in größter Not! Der Mensch liegt in größter Pein!" versus the hope of the second half.

Fourth choice, and clear loser for me out of this group: A2. The problem is the balance. All I can hear is the voice. It's a very nice voice, but Mahler does absolutely lovely orchestration in his song accompaniments, and it's just drowned out.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 28, 2014, 06:39:15 AM
Just curious, is this on the printed score? Wikipedia only tells me that the movement is marked "Sehr feierlich, aber schlicht". Very solemnly, but simple.

Yes. It is actually on the entry after the first verse. So the interventions of wind instruments without the voice are supposed not to be too slow.

Thanks for your vote in A2. We are now waiting for Que and ChamberNut to vote, but if the current result is confirmed this first round would be the time for a big, and even maybe a very big surprise.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on February 28, 2014, 06:39:43 AM
Three out of three GMG listeners placed D4 last.   I'll be interested to see whom we ganged up on.

Votes are over in group D, so results tonight :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Que on March 01, 2014, 09:31:49 AM
Thanks for your vote in A2. We are now waiting for Que and ChamberNut to vote, but if the current result is confirmed this first round would be the time for a big, and even maybe a very big surprise.

Here are my results for group A

A1 The singing is somewhat matronly and melodramatic, lacks some emotional vigour, the playing is pretty slow but detailed, nuanced and warm. A contemporary recording IMO.

A2 More intense singing in this recording, bringing the message about the condition humaine home. The playing has more fervour but sounds a bit recessed in the background. All in all, nice.

A3 The brass sounds rather "brilliant". The singing has a nice pulse, is intense and excellent, but emotionally somewhat detached - is this Schwarzkopf? Wonderfull playing, old school conducting. This might be the winner...

A4 A rather muffled voice, and once again matronly and a lot a swooping, yikes… And my, my, what is the playing slow…. Message to Mahler conductors: slowness does not give the music more "weight" or intensity, it doesn't, really... ::)

Conclusion: A3 is an easy winner here, followed by A2, A1 and A4. :)

Q
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 01, 2014, 01:31:15 PM
Votes are over in group D, so results tonight :)

I know, I'm late. But I have problem as I have two versions (D1 and D4) absolutely equal at the third place. So I have to think how your votes could eliminate one of these two (there are several methods for the Condorcet method, in such cases), or think about eliminate both... or none... and how it would reflect on the following rounds.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 01, 2014, 02:05:22 PM
I'm still waiting for the following votes :
- madaboutmahler : group E
- TheGSMoeller : group F
- Pat B : group F
- NorthNYMark : Group H
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony
Post by: Jay F on March 01, 2014, 02:17:20 PM
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 / -

Cosi, why are some of our names in red, and some in black?

Thanks,
Jay
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 01, 2014, 02:24:24 PM
Cosi, why are some of our names in red, and some in black?

Thanks,
Jay
The red highlighted people are all from GMG. The others are from other forums.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Jay F on March 01, 2014, 02:27:35 PM
The red highlighted people are all from GMG. The others are from other forums.

Thank you, mc. I would not have guessed that. Isn't maestro b one of our own?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 01, 2014, 02:42:26 PM
Thank you, mc. I would not have guessed that. Isn't maestro b one of our own?
Maybe. But maybe the name was also used at a different forum by someone else. Or maybe he/she posts here and somewhere else under the same name?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 01, 2014, 03:38:41 PM
Yes a maestrob is voting on CMG...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 01, 2014, 03:51:55 PM
Group D

Final Ranking

12 voters, and the result was very close until the end, with D1 = D4 : six voters prefer D1 to D4, six others prefer the contrary. All other methods (Tideman method, mean ranking, number of first positions) confirm, though, that the last and eliminated version is D1. Here are the details (http://img15.hostingpics.net/pics/990832mahler1D.jpg) and here the ranking :

1. D3 --> seeded for next round
2. D2 --> qualified
3. D4 --> qualified
----
4. D1 --> éliminated

The 2 versions at the bottom both had trouble with their acoustics, but D4 was worse, a mono recording not very flattering, while D1 had just an overall feeling of being recorded from quite far. D2 and D3 are close at the top, both voted first by 4 participants each.
Noteworthy is the fact that all 3 participants on GMG did put D4 last. This was balanced by better votes on classik (among them, 3 first places).

Version D1
Bernard Haitink, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 25 December 1984

Jard van Nes (mezzo-soprano) / Philips

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_xoI63IK5Wn4/SxW_zarfdeI/AAAAAAAABA4/sP5xQTst0-E/s1600/MHaitinkKM.jpg)

I generally don't like Haitink, but I prepared this exercise seriously and re-discovered him with a few very good versions among the 6 that have been released if I count well. This Christmas 1984 concert might be the best. An exceptional orchestra quality, less mistakes than in most studio versions, and everything just seems exactly in place. Of course Haitink is as always a little cold, this version doesn't seek tension or fire but is still wonderful and captivating.

It has been out of print for a long time. The sonics are not ideal, but ou get used to it when listening to the whole thing. The, the Urlicht might not be the best moment, but it has still this simple solemnity that Mahler asks for.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Pat B on March 02, 2014, 01:53:18 AM
Group F:


F1. Fast pace. Wind and ensemble imperfections and the acoustic give the impression of a live recording. Nice good voice with contrasts between sections.
F2. Nothing really stands out, just really solid all around. My favorite voice along with F1. I wish I could hear the glockenspiel (but even in the others it comes and goes).
F3. Voice is less to my taste than F1 and F2 and is very forward in the recording. Some sections sound push-pull.
F4. There are some nice details (I like the clarinet at Etwas bewegter) but the singing is just too operatic for me.

Ranking:
F2 > F1 > F3 > F4
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Pat B on March 02, 2014, 02:30:23 AM
And, now that I've gone back and read the other votes, I am surprised to find that my ranking was exactly the same as Wanderer's, and my criteria was fairly similar to aukhawk's, and had 3 of them in the same order as him.

Whereas in the Waldstein comparison I was far from the consensus.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Que on March 02, 2014, 02:47:05 AM
Comments on groups B, C and D are now readable.

Q
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: madaboutmahler on March 02, 2014, 09:25:57 AM
Such a beautiful piece.... heavenly  0:)

Group E
1 - I loved this. The singer was perfect for me, so beautifully expressed, with masterful handling of dynamics, able to give such sublime 'subito' effects. The orchestra was so warm, making me wonder what it would be like in the rest of the symphony.. The dynamic of the string accompanying the voice were so unbelievably soft, meaning the harmonies were quite hard to make out sometimes, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just makes you feel like floating on a cloud heading towards heaven.. 9/10
2 - Well this is a contrast! What a different voice, and a more full sound from the strings. I do think the opening wind/brass section could have been a bit less rushed, and that the oboe solo a while later could have had a bit more vibrato. This overall seems like more of a tragic account, perhaps staring up at the clouds from lying on a field instead of floating midair.. full of urges and desire. A few more liberties taking with the score, but still very beautiful. 7/10
3 - Another more full account, the voice isn't my favourite, some notes are a bit too forced for this movement I feel. Not as felt as the other two before, but some very nice wind playing, including the oboe solo and piccolo duet. 6/10
4 - Generally I don't think soft enough, the voice is just too present.. and a bit too straightforward and unfelt. 5/10

All performances had their moments, and it must be impossible to make this divine movement anything less than beautiful. But for me E1 was extraordinary, and by far the most felt and powerful of the lot, even whilst being the most understated. So it goes like 1, 2, 3, 4!!
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: zauberflöte on March 02, 2014, 10:12:25 AM
D1 was my favorite. Oh well. But I thought someone else was conducting. I'm not a Haitink fan in Mahler either. I didn't mind the sound as much as others did and won't discard Haitink so readily now.
But the Urlich movement is tricky in any case. I've heard great ones only to be disappointed in the rest of the performance, and vice versa. 
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 02, 2014, 03:09:12 PM
Group A

Final ranking

11 voters, and a crazy scenario : all versions were very close at first, then A2 lagged behind, then it came back and in the end the ranking is impossible only with preferences, as it gives me the following : A1 > A3 > A4 > A2 > A1 etc., as you can see (http://img11.hostingpics.net/pics/748513mahler1A.jpg). Furthermore, average rankings are very close (between 2,27 et 2,64 !)
Consequence : I rank versions according to average ranking and number of first positions, but no version is eliminated. The procedure for the 2nd round will be very marginally modified to play with 25 instead of 24 versions.

1. A3 --> seeded for next round
2. A1 --> qualified
3. A4 --> qualified
4. A2 --> qualified
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: kishnevi on March 02, 2014, 06:34:44 PM
well, my favorite came in first, so I can't complain.  But I do have  procedural question:  what exactly do you mean by "seeded for the next round" and "qualified"?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Madiel on March 02, 2014, 07:38:38 PM
Well, amongst all the Group A confusion, nice to see that I was close to the 'average' opinion!  ;)

Seriously, though, I think one factor could be the nature of my A2 criticism. Which was to do with the recording far more than the music-making. The scores of that one, in particular, may have been heavily influenced by whether people were perturbed by the recording balance, like me, or weren't bothered by it.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: aukhawk on March 03, 2014, 01:35:13 AM
The recording is part of the package.  Especially for a composer like Mahler where a variety of orchestral sonorities is very much a part of his signature style.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 03, 2014, 02:04:59 AM
well, my favorite came in first, so I can't complain.  But I do have  procedural question:  what exactly do you mean by "seeded for the next round" and "qualified"?

Well, I'll do groups. Every version in first position will be drawn first, so that none of these versions are in the same group. I think seeded is the appropriate word for that in English ? (In France we say "tête de série")
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 03, 2014, 02:10:07 AM
Group F

Final ranking

11 voters, and a clear result that eliminateds F4. Only one voter (draffin, on classik) ranked this version first (and he did recognize it). 6 voters, more than half the total, ranked it last, as you can see (http://img4.hostingpics.net/pics/451878mahler1F.jpg).

1. F2 --> seeded for next round
2. F1 --> qualified
3. F3 --> qualified
----
4. F4 --> éliminated

The heavy lyricism of the singer in F4 was obviously the main problem for voters. It is also interesting to see F2 ahead, preferred to every other version by a majority of voters.

Version F4
Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic, 16-21 April 1987 (live)

Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano) / DG

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51oe6EIeowL.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CMHNZEMRL.jpg)

The elimination of this version is a proof of the very demanding nature of this comparison and of the jurys. It is still a great version, from an indispensable cycle. It is in this case eliminated without glory. Let's wait for the next rounds, to see what happens with the 3 others, that might not have been expected ahead of Bernstein...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 03, 2014, 02:38:58 AM
Group G

Final ranking

One thing is clear in this group, it's the elimination of G2, with an average ranking of 3,25 (not far from the 3,44 of the despised Steinberg in group B). The rest is not that simple as you can see (http://img4.hostingpics.net/pics/820154mahler1G.jpg) and, as it is not deciding anything, I leave G1 and G4 ex aequo, 2nd.

1. G3 --> seeded for next round
2. G1 --> qualified
2. G4 --> qualified
----
4. G2 --> eliminated

G3 was really liked by many of you, and never voted last. It will be interesting to follow it during the next rounds and see if you underline the same qualities (others, as Siegmund on classik, raised doubts on the quality of the orchestra...)

Version G2
Gary Bertini, Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester, 29 Apr. - 4 May 1991

Florence Quivar(mezzo-soprano) / EMI

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XM9c79aaL._SY450_.jpg)

It is a little sad to see this version already leaving the comparison, as it is very convincing and powerful in the first and last movements. The central movements are less convincing, and can be perceived as a little anonymous. It is the main critic here, with the singing that was described as far from natural.
Still a great cycle, though.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 03, 2014, 02:41:54 AM
Still waiting for a couple votes before I can reveal results in groups E and H, and start the second round :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Jay F on March 03, 2014, 06:40:47 AM

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51oe6EIeowL.jpg)

The elimination of this version is a proof of the very demanding nature of this comparison and of the jurys. It is still a great version, from an indispensable cycle. It is in this case eliminated without glory. Let's wait for the next rounds, to see what happens with the 3 others, that might not have been expected ahead of Bernstein...

I'm glad I wasn't in group F. This is one of my favorite versions, and I'd hate thinking I voted it out of the contest.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Wanderer on March 03, 2014, 07:10:04 AM
Yup, I never liked Christa Ludwig in that recording. Bernstein is good overall but this is not a benchmark recording for me. Same goes for Bertini. I'm not familiar with the other ousted versions.

Now, time for round 2. Bring it!  8)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 03, 2014, 07:22:15 AM
I haven't taken part in this Blind comparison, but I'm following the results with much interest; wow, I'm very surprised to see Bernstein's recording has already been left out in the first round, it's one of the most beautiful versions of that symphony I've ever listened to and my favourite.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Pat B on March 03, 2014, 07:56:26 AM
The heavy lyricism of the singer in F4 was obviously the main problem for voters. It is also interesting to see F2 ahead, preferred to every other version by a majority of voters.

Version F4
Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic, 16-21 April 1987 (live)
Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano) / DG

No surprise there. I haven't even heard that recording, but the tempo was a giveaway. For me, Ludwig was the problem. Aside from just not being to my taste, her singing is neither feierlich nor schlicht.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 03, 2014, 12:13:40 PM
Group E

Final Ranking

As you can see clearly (http://img11.hostingpics.net/pics/374160mahler1E.jpg), E4 is eliminated with en almost perfect unanimity ! On 14 voters, 14 prefer E1 to E4, 13 prefer E2, and 13 again prefer E3. I've never seen such a thing in this kind of exercise...
I anticipated this was one of the most difficult groups, with group A and group H. But whereas all 4 versions in A stayed close, here it had consequences against one of the 4.

1. E1 --> seeded for next round
2. E2 --> qualified
3. E3 --> qualified
----
4. E4 --> eliminated

E1 finishes also very clearly ahead, with an average ranking of 1,29. 12 voters on 14 dit put it first ! It will be a clear favourite for the rest of the competition...

Version E4
Klaus Tennstedt, London Philharmonic Orchestra, 20 Feb. 1989 (live)

Jard van Nes (mezzo-soprano) / LPO live (2010)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51EqZ2JXkuL._SY300_.jpg)

This is a little heartbreaking for all those who, like me, admire Tennstedt. This is still a superb version, but it has been wiped off in Urlicht. Too slow, so slow that it is boring : this is the main critic for everyone. And indeed it is slow and it lacks life. Maybe Tennstedt was gathering energy for the superhuman finale that would crash on the London audience a few minutes later...

This version is of course a miracle in concert and one of the most beautiful Resurrection on CD. But it is a little monolithic, it sometimes lacks tension. Anyway, these issues are clearly more obvious in this movement.

This is also the second elimination for Jard van Nes, after Haitink 1984. That's harsh for her, here she was not really aimed by critics...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: kishnevi on March 03, 2014, 05:45:28 PM
I'm glad I wasn't in group F. This is one of my favorite versions, and I'd hate thinking I voted it out of the contest.

"One of my favorite versions?"
Heck,  it's my favorite version.  Period. 
Well, that's the purpose of "blind listening" of course.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 03, 2014, 06:12:46 PM
But I think there is an issue in starting with this movement (at least for me). I would not use this movement to make a purchasing decision. I might use it to remove voices that offend me from the pool, but that is really the extent of it. My choice would hinge much more on other movements. So even in my group, though I had a clear preference and ranking, I would not eliminate any of them from my own purchasing decision based on what I heard, because this movement is simply not as critical for me. I'd rather live with less than perfect here than in other movements. Of course, it would be nice to have both, but given a choice, that is how I lean.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Jay F on March 03, 2014, 06:49:47 PM
"One of my favorite versions?"
Heck,  it's my favorite version.  Period. 
My other favorites include his first New York recording (the one not released on CD until it was made a part the Bernstein Century series). There's one by Solti I like, also not his first CD version. And the one in the "Klemperer Legend" series on EMI.

And then Abbado has a couple of nice ones.

This is one of those pieces it's hard for me not to like, no matter who's performing it.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: aukhawk on March 04, 2014, 01:16:21 AM
But I think there is an issue in starting with this movement (at least for me).

I agree but was still happy to sign up for the game knowing the rules from the outset. 
However because of this, when trying to assess the various Urlichts (I listened to two groups) I tried to weight my choices using at least 50% the orchestral contribution.  (Not always easy - in some recordings the voice is so far forward it's very difficult to hear the orchestra at all.)  Having done that, as it turns out, both of my 4th places have been eliminated.  I'm certainly sorry to see Bernstein go, but in that group there were two others that, to my ears, had a better orchestral contribution.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 04, 2014, 01:36:24 AM
I know not everyone was happy with starting with Urlicht. But actually, I do not agree with saying that this movement would be less important than another one. Or that in this movement, people can do what they want and the indications of the score don't really matter. Or that, because it is short, let's just not care.
Then, there were technical reasons (it was much easier to start with a short movement, otherwise I could not have selected 32 versions, or the jurys would have been really small).
Of course this movement alone cannot decide of a purchasing decision. But then, we could say the same of the other two central movements. Then, we'd be left with versions good in the first and last movement, which is too frequently the case in critics recommendation in Mahler. And even then, there are versions that anyone should have because of their first movement only, or their last movement only...
The purpose of this comparison is to try to define a consensus on one version, and it demands that the Urlicht is also part of the decision. Actually, starting with it is less decisive : imagine if we had started with first and last movement, we'd be left with a dozen great versions, then we'd have decided what is the best of the best based on Urlicht ?

I also advise you to wait, because you might have good surprises with the other versions still running ;)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 04, 2014, 02:19:50 AM
Groupe H

Classement final

No news from NortNYMark (and from Olivier on classik), so here are the results.
As you can see (http://img15.hostingpics.net/pics/750276mahler1H.jpg), 10 voters in the end, but the results are very clear, no ex aequo, no paradox.

1. H1 --> seeded for next round
2. H4 --> qualified
3. H2 --> qualified
----
4. H3 --> eliminated

H3 is eliminated then, but not that far from the others. But nobody placed it aheade of his ranking. H1 is on the contrary first for 6 of 10 voters, deserved first place then.

Version H3
John Barbirolli, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, 5 Apr. 1970 (live)

Birgit Finnilä (mezzo-soprano) / EMI-IMG (2002)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518wNowTYJL._SY450_.jpg)

The orchestra is certainly not perfect, neither is the singer. Actually, by beginning with the Urlicht, it was quite obvious this version was condemned to elimination. Still, this is a beautiful interpretation, by a great mahlerian. He is not really known in this symphony, but here is imo his best attempt.
It's a little difficult to find, but if you see it, don't hesitate and grab it.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 04, 2014, 02:59:14 AM
2nd Round
I. Allegro maestoso (Totenfeier)

Informations will be sent by private message, check regularly your messages. I need you to listen to versions and rank them by order of preference. You can also rank versions ex aequo if you can't decide between them.

Vote is open until Sunday 16 March evening, midnight CET (Paris).

And of course, anyone can still join the comparison at any point !

Methodology

From 32 versions in the first round, we are now playing with 25 (and not 24 as initially planned, as a consequence of the no-elimination decision in group A).

The first movement is of course a lot longer than Urlicht, so I planned to stay with 8 groups of 3 versions. But to take this supplementary version into account, we'll have 9 groups : 7 groups of 3 plus 2 head-to-head.

Versions have been all mixed and renamed, so that any guess on their identity will be of no use. Groups are named from I to Q. Groups J and L were drawn to have only 2 versions.

Versions that were seeded have been drawn first, one in each group. In addition of the 8 versions ahead of their group, the best second (according to average ranking) is added to have 9 seeded versions. It is B4 (average ranking : 1,67).
Seeded versions : A3 - B2 - B4 - C4 - D3 - E1 - F2 - G3 - H1
All versions were drawn, and their positions in the groups too, so everything is really random.

One version will be eliminated in each group, so we'll keep 16 versions in the 3rd Round. Then, we'll start the knockout phase, with head-to-heads only. This is Rio already...

Juries

Each group will be listened to by 4 voters, except one group with only 3 (group Q, randomly chosen). Of course, I count on all of you to listen to other groups afterwards, too.

Groupe I : Resigned / Pim / Burbage, John F
Groupe J : Schmürz, aurele / Wanderer / barney
Groupe K : Horatio / nachtalberich, Papy Oli, Drosera / -
Groupe L : Siegmund, warren60 / Jay F, TheGSMoeller / -
Groupe M : Asinius Pollion / Pat B, Jeffrey Smith, mc ukrneal / -
Groupe N : eleanore-clo, Pipus / zauberflöte, NorthNYMark / -
Groupe O : draffin, gilles78 / madaboutmahler, aukhawk / -
Groupe P : Olivier, math, Sylvain-Strauss / orfeo / -
Groupe Q : kegue / Que, fridden / -

Note : if you participate and you don't see your name, just tell me so that I correct my mistake !
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Madiel on March 04, 2014, 04:08:58 AM
Oh goody, I'm flying the GMG flag all on my own!

Well, at least until people start deciding they have time to listen to more than one group...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 04, 2014, 04:24:47 AM
I know not everyone was happy with starting with Urlicht. But actually, I do not agree with saying that this movement would be less important than another one. Or that in this movement, people can do what they want and the indications of the score don't really matter. Or that, because it is short, let's just not care.
Then, there were technical reasons (it was much easier to start with a short movement, otherwise I could not have selected 32 versions, or the jurys would have been really small).
Of course this movement alone cannot decide of a purchasing decision. But then, we could say the same of the other two central movements. Then, we'd be left with versions good in the first and last movement, which is too frequently the case in critics recommendation in Mahler. And even then, there are versions that anyone should have because of their first movement only, or their last movement only...
The purpose of this comparison is to try to define a consensus on one version, and it demands that the Urlicht is also part of the decision. Actually, starting with it is less decisive : imagine if we had started with first and last movement, we'd be left with a dozen great versions, then we'd have decided what is the best of the best based on Urlicht ?

I also advise you to wait, because you might have good surprises with the other versions still running ;)
Please understand, I am not complaining at all. And I made a clear delineation between purchasing decision and this (which is a listening exercise). And I was also clear that this was for me and should not at all be applied further. But I disagree with you when it comes to a purchasing decision, where this movement is not weighted so much as I explained (for me). When it comes to choosing the 'best' version, I don't mind starting with Urlicht.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 04, 2014, 04:40:53 AM
OK, anyway I hope you'll be pleased with the 3 versions in your group for this first movement :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Madiel on March 04, 2014, 05:05:20 AM
There's a special challenge in reacting to music you're hearing for the first time and trying to react to the performance...

Especially when it's over 20 minutes long!

I'm listening to my first version (won't say which one) and I'm simultaneously thinking I enjoy this music but that it could perhaps sound a little more dynamic. But how dynamic did Mahler want it to be? I've no idea, yet. It'll be fascinating to see whether one of the others in this group catches my imagination in a way that this version isn't.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Pat B on March 04, 2014, 09:00:39 AM
Versions have been all mixed and renamed, so that any guess on their identity will be of no use.

You have thought this through! But I hope that as more get eliminated, you will identify their early round labels. In my case, I'll want to know F1 and F2, whenever their times come.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Jay F on March 04, 2014, 09:03:20 AM
You have thought this through! But I hope that as more get eliminated, you will identify their early round labels. In my case, I'll want to know F1 and F2, whenever their times come.

+1. I would eventually like to know all of the versions you had us vote on. And thanks, Cosi. This is fun.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony (1st round until march 2)
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 04, 2014, 09:11:43 AM
You have thought this through! But I hope that as more get eliminated, you will identify their early round labels. In my case, I'll want to know F1 and F2, whenever their times come.

Of course ! Each time a version will be eliminated I will tell both labels.

And after this second round, we'll start a stimulating knockout phase. You can already see the table I prepared (http://img15.hostingpics.net/pics/794871mahlertableau.jpg) (I'll translate it later but I guess it is quite easy to understand) : the results of this round will be crucial for the next round clashes...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Jay F on March 04, 2014, 12:01:20 PM
L group: L2 > L1
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: eleanore-clo on March 04, 2014, 03:35:36 PM
Hi Cosi

As you have proposed it, I would like to continue the blind comparaison.

Best regards
eleanore-clo
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 04, 2014, 05:39:23 PM
Thanks eleanore.

For this message to be understandable by everyone, a short explanation. As a consequence of differences with the administration of classik that might not be very interesting to develop here (they concern the rules of this comparison and the "blind" parameter), I stopped the comparison over there and invited all those who want to continue it to join GMG. So there might be a few other newcomers. Not all of them can follow a conversation in English though, so it is possible that they will contribute to this comparison with a vote by personal message (that I'll display with the results).

I hope nobody is unhappy with this situation.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: kishnevi on March 04, 2014, 05:57:08 PM
[puts some oil on his very rusty French]
Bien venue a tout les nouvelles citoyens de GMG.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 04, 2014, 07:11:25 PM
Thanks eleanore.

For this message to be understandable by everyone, a short explanation. As a consequence of differences with the administration of classik that might not be very interesting to develop here (they concern the rules of this comparison and the "blind" parameter), I stopped the comparison over there and invited all those who want to continue it to join GMG. So there might be a few other newcomers. Not all of them can follow a conversation in English though, so it is possible that they will contribute to this comparison with a vote by personal message (that I'll display with the results).

I hope nobody is unhappy with this situation.
Hi Cosi

As you have proposed it, I would like to continue the blind comparaison.

Best regards
eleanore-clo
Welcome! We have been enjoying the blind listenings, so it will be interesting for us to see more of the opinions posted here.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Que on March 04, 2014, 11:24:14 PM
[…] invited all those who want to continue it to join GMG. So there might be a few other newcomers.

The more, the merrier... 8)  Bienvenue à tous! :)

Q
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: eleanore-clo on March 05, 2014, 05:29:02 AM
Hi

I don't know pratices of this forum. On the french one, you have to hide the results of the comparaison. That's why I will use a white font.
Please, can you help and tell me what is the right method ?

The classement is :

I propose :
N1 : Very good sound. Magnificent cellos and trumpets. A strong and noticeable tension. The waltz is full of melancholy
N2 : A symphony which reminds me Beethoven. Very serious. Maybe it lacks of fantasy and dynamism.
N3 : Quick, Quite speedy. It lacks of soul. Clarinets seem to be shy. The violins too.

1) N1
2) N2
3) N3

I don't speak english very well. SO I want to apologize for possible mistakes.

Kind regards
Elanore-clo
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Madiel on March 05, 2014, 05:56:06 AM
Hi

I don't know pratices of this forum. On the french one, you have to hide the results of the comparaison. That's why I will use a white font.
Please, can you help and tell me what is the right method ?

We are doing the same thing here. So you are right.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 05, 2014, 06:28:59 AM
Hi

I don't know pratices of this forum. On the french one, you have to hide the results of the comparaison. That's why I will use a white font.
Please, can you help and tell me what is the right method ?

The classement is :
Kind regards
Elanore-clo

Exactly, white font is the right method :)

Thanks for your vote.

The Beethoven comparison for N2 is interesting, as is the lack of spontaneity by comparison with N1. Comparing these 2 versions specifically is interesting, actually, I think there are quite many common elements between the two, differences are easier to point out as a consequence.

Would you like another group ?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Pat B on March 05, 2014, 09:43:58 AM
I don't speak english very well. SO I want to apologize for possible mistakes.

No need for apology. Your English is fine -- certainly much better than my French!

Anyway, welcome to gmg.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: eleanore-clo on March 05, 2014, 09:48:11 AM
Hi Cosi
Thank you for your kind offer of testing a new group. Unfortunately I am quite busy this week. If an opportunity presents itself before 16th March, I'll post.
Kind regards
Eleanore-clo
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: aukhawk on March 05, 2014, 02:20:35 PM
In my group, it was easy to pick the outstanding one.  However in some ways picking the 3rd of 3 is more significant, as only one is to be eliminated.  So I have to spend a bit more time listening to the two recordings I really don't like very much  ::)   ;)
The reviewers' dilemna, I suppose.  I'll be done within the next 24h, Cosi.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 05, 2014, 02:24:48 PM
OK... But maybe we could already know which is your favourite ? Just to fuel the discussion a little, and coz I'm really curious  :P
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: aukhawk on March 06, 2014, 02:57:48 AM
Vote for Group O

My plan was to listen to the opening section (5 minutes or so, up to where the harp walks up the scale) from each of these, and also from each of the 3 versions I have - and then go back and listen to the entire thing for each group member.  However ...

     O1 > > > O2 >= O3

O1 - ... However O1 grabbed me straight away, and I couldn't stop at 5 mins, it had my attention from start to end.  I like this better than any of the 3 versions I have. 
Although the orchestral playing has impressive precision and attack in the opening, at other times it is affettuoso but not too much so, this to my ears is a very authentic echt Mahler sound.  (But I'm no expert!)  Then the dramatic staccato section (around 13-14 minutes) is sharp as a knife. 
The recording is full of close detail, good if not quite demo-class.  I shall have to know who this is, and I do hope they've recorded the 7th!

O2 - I ended up listening to O2 and O3 twice, to separate them for 2nd/3rd place.  It didn't help ...
O2 starts fast, not really what I would call a funeral pace. Later, and especially in the second half of the movement, huge liberties are taken with the tempo.  This turns out to be a very interventionist conductor - not really my taste, but the results are persuasive.  What is lost though, is that implacable march-like tread that should carry you through the music, from start to end.
The recording is dry and with a wiry strings quality.  All things considered, I could hazard a guess at ...

03  Slow start (it does speed up later), and ragged ensemble among the basses.  It's catching - later the brass fluff their lines - if I were unkind I'd suggest maybe this orchestra would have got on better without a conductor.  Other than that it's a fairly straight-ahead interpretation, with many similarities to a version that I have which is often cited as a prime recommendation. 
Live I think, and in a big acoustic - I wouldn't be surprised if this were a recording in the BBC Legend series or similar.  Nicer, fuller sound than O2, though lacking in close detail - again very reminiscent of '70s BBC broadcasts.

All very interesting - much better than I expected because this isn't really among my favourite Mahler symphonies.
I'll have time to do another group if you want to send me one, ta.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 06, 2014, 03:39:12 AM
Please, as long as they're whited out, don't hesitate to share your guesses or the similarities you think about :)

I'll send you group P then ! :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: aukhawk on March 06, 2014, 05:18:18 AM
1.  Well, I wouldn't want to look a complete idiot!  :-\
O1, someone like Gielen maybe?  O2, possibly Bernstein/NYPO/60s.  O3 has similarities to my Klemperer/Philh.
2.  Got them, thanks.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 06, 2014, 06:26:57 AM
1.  Well, I wouldn't want to look a complete idiot!  :-\

You would certainly not, as recognizing conductors is a very difficult game. Your guesses or comparisons are indeed, at least, very interesting. I can't say more for the moment but I'll certainly remind these references when announcing results for these 3 version.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: aukhawk on March 06, 2014, 02:34:11 PM
Onimous  Oh No!  :-[ :-[ :-[  damn!  (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/Smileys/classic/facepalm.gif)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: kishnevi on March 07, 2014, 01:56:58 PM
My decision on Group M.  Very clear loser here.

Preference M3 over M2 over M1

Reasons:

M1--flaccid and lack of tension for most of the movement;  the conductor seemed to have gotten confused and thought he was performing the second movement.  This recording proves that not all live performances are more intense than studio recordings.   There was some sublimity,  but the sort of c. 1800 sublimity of tourists experiencing the Alps on the horizon.

M2 and M3 much better paced, with tension and appropriate darkness.   M2 was marginally better in pacing,  but the difference between old recordings and modern ones did have an impact, and made M3 have a better impact on me.  I definitely want to know what performances they are, because if I don't have them (a very likely possibility with M2, since I have almost no "historical" recordings of Mahler beyond Walter's 1938 and a Mitropolous set) I will want to get them.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 07, 2014, 03:53:22 PM
Thanks Jeffrey.

About group M :
I think this is how I would have ranked these versions too. Of course I don't know how I would have reacted without knowing who is behind each, but this is kind of what I think of these. Not at all what I really expected in the votes, though, because of the sound quality, but M2 is doing far better than I thought, in the first votes.

Do I send you another group ?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 07, 2014, 06:40:43 PM
Here are my comments for Group M:

M1 –   A lot of intensity, with perhaps a bit too much staccato in the early stages. But they mean business. Yet somehow I am not at all satisfied. I think they lack forward propulsion in quite a bit of it, particularly early. It’s a shame, because they do have a beautiful sound. I think they lack the overarching lines and connections.  Ranking: 3

M2 –  Older sound. Here we have a much tighter pacing and it makes a difference. But really, I am not in love with this one either. Playing is a bit ragged at moments and this really takes away from it at times (and strangely it is not in the places you might expect it to be).But at least I can hear them getting some of it right. Ranking: 1

M3 – Oi. I was really hoping for a quite nice one. This one isn’t it either.  This one makes some really impressive use of sound. But there is not enough nuance. For example, at the start, you have the upper strings creating this lovely tension, while the lower strings play a melody over it. Here, the strings don’t have any nuance – they play soft and then loud and then back. There is no build up or a feeling that they are breathing. The shifts are just too abrupt and harsh. This is just one example, but is the problem I have throughout.   Ranking: 2

To be honest, none of them should go through in my opinion. The first lacked propulsion and was a bit like a lump of lead (even though timing was not the slowest of the three). The second had technical issues, something that usually buries a performance for me, but I can hear them trying to get the piece across (and in some places succeeding). The third lacks nuance and detail. I hope these aren’t one of the three I own (though two have already been kicked out!).

So, with great reluctance, I have my order: M2, M3, M1.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: eleanore-clo on March 07, 2014, 10:41:56 PM
Hi Cosi

It's OK for a new group.

Kind regards
Eleanore-clo
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 08, 2014, 02:39:13 AM
Here are my comments for Group M:

...

About group M
3 voters and 3 different rankings, but there is one characteristic, which is that the three of you are not at all voting against M2 as I feared. And it is interesting to see it ranked 1st by 2 voters (Asinius Pollion and you) and second by Jeffrey. A couple more votes, and the identity of the eliminated version could also become quite clear...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 08, 2014, 02:39:50 AM
Hi Cosi

It's OK for a new group.

Kind regards
Eleanore-clo

Group L for eleanore :)
+ group O for mc ukrneal 8)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: kishnevi on March 08, 2014, 10:05:56 AM
About Group M.
M2 is musically strong enough to get past the bad sonics.  Plus I've heard a lot of recordings that sound far more "historic" than M2.  It's also true that computer speakers may minimize differences in sonics that might be far more apparent on a true sound system.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: aukhawk on March 08, 2014, 11:43:43 AM
Results for Group P - and comments now added below.

I quite like all these, but  [edit - NB changed my vote]   P3 > P1 > P2

P1 - played very straight - the music is dramatic enough and this conductor sees no need to over-egg it.  It's an approach that I approve of in principle, however having heard some other versions that do lay on the extra drama, I must say some of them are very persuasive.
The recording is good, though I'm guessing not very modern, in an acoustic so big there's a bit of slap-echo.

P2 - highly articulated, very pointy in the dotted rhythms.  The lyrical sections are languid, the staccato section very dramatic.  Feels slightly lightweight in comparison with many others, but this may partly be the recording which is good and close, more orchestra, less hall.

P3 - everything about this is big and weighty - the interpretation, the orchestra (basses digging away remorselessly), the rich and reverbrant recording, an overall impression of immense gravity.  Taken very slow, any heroic brass sections are skimped over quickly, and then it's back to those doom-laden grave-digging basses.  The final section is very much in the same world as Rachmaninov's (much later) Isle of the Dead.  Possibly not what Mahler had in mind.
I could easily enjoy this version (if enjoy is the right word) as a standalone tone poem.

End.  Phew, exhausting.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: eleanore-clo on March 08, 2014, 03:35:58 PM
Hi

L1: violins give dark, tragic and a wonderful color, they spendidly drive the movement, powerful brasses .
L2: quite artificial, sometimes it’s difficult to feel the links, a succession of effects. Doesn't it lack of soul ?
L1> L2

Kind regards

Eleanore-clo
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 08, 2014, 06:44:15 PM
Here are my comments for Group O:

O1 –  Well now. This has got my attention.  The detail is great in the early going (and later too – I love the way it flows and ebbs). There is clear propulsion, detail and great playing. Oh wow, my pulse is racing here. Intense! Full blooded! Yes!  This one has so much detail, it is just ‘right’. The playing is stellar and there is so much to hear in this performance. Masterful.  It’s a 10 for me (unless one of the others beats it). This conductor really shows you the overarching line, but at the same time doesn’t lose the intensity of the moment (and shows us so many details). My love of M2 is re-established! I think what I love most is the restraint and the anticipation.   Ranking: 1

O2 – Oh yes.  Another good performance. The overall timing is exactly the same timing as the previous O1. It also has a lot of the same qualities that O1 has. It is perhaps a bit more aggressive (mostly on the climaxes), but overall quite good. But it lacks a certain reverent atmosphere that the first attains. It doesn’t quite hold the propulsion that the first does. Still, it is miles above any in group M. Excellent!   Ranking: 2

O3 – Less sure in unison at the beginning (something I noticed in other places too, along with some minor execution issues in the playing), which reduces its effectiveness. But still, there is much more detail than in any of the M group. So I feel this is the weakest in the O group, and yet it is still pretty good indeed. It has, perhaps, a bit more analytic approach. The balance doesn’t seem quite ideal either (with some instruments not quite shining like they can).  Ranking: 3

I decided to do this one as soon as possible after the M group, while everything was still fresh. What a difference. O wipes the floor with the M group (in this movement at least). O1 was amazing. It was well executed and so natural. The clear winner for me.  O2 was also very good, but a hair more aggressive and less organic (a bit more pulling and pushing of tempos). Still, I’d have no complaints to have this one in my collection. O3 didn’t quite engage me as much and seemed a bit less intense (though the underlying pulse was visible, so to speak).

From First to third: O1, O2, O3.  
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 08, 2014, 06:54:57 PM
Great.

About group O
2 votes for the moment, and aukhawk and mc ukrneal have exactly the same ranking, and close comments :) Well, let's wait a little before jumping to conclusions, but anyway I guess O1 is starting well, and O3 is already in difficulty.

Will you have another one, Neal ? I'm sure this group has only strenghtened your appetite :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 08, 2014, 07:30:28 PM
Will you have another one, Neal ? I'm sure this group has only strenghtened your appetite :)
Ok. But tomorrow is the last day I can do it. So just one more (famous last words)...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Wanderer on March 08, 2014, 11:57:46 PM
Group J:

I liked both versions very much. No pacing problems, both equally heroic.  J1 gets a slight edge because of being a tad more succinct (mainly during climaxes). However, the more I listen to J2 the more I see there’s nothing wrong with it (compared to J1). So while I considered ranking J1>J2 at first, I feel like I would like to see them both advancing to the next round, so final ranking from me is:

J1=J2.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: aukhawk on March 09, 2014, 03:14:38 AM
About Group O

O2 – ... The overall timing is exactly the same timing as the previous O1.

Yes - to the second, if you time the audio (rather than the track timings).  However, the internal timings are quite different - O2 gains more than half a minute on O1 in the first five ...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 09, 2014, 03:21:54 AM
I had not even noticed that. Funny coincidence. The difference in the result is even more interesting when you consider that tempi alone do not make an interpretation (even if, of course, tempi are not all the same in the course of the movement).
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: aukhawk on March 09, 2014, 04:06:07 AM
Very true.  Of course peeking at the track timings does de-blind the test to some extent.  If I am predisposed towards slower performances (as I am*) - then if I look at the timings beforehand (as I do**) I am going to be biased straight away.  An honest tester would not peek until after listening  ;)

* on the principle that if it's music I like***, a slower performance will last longer and so extend my pleasure
** mainly to quickly check that none of the test samples are likely to be a version I already know
*** if it's not music I like, then I probably won't be listening to it at all - so on that basis, I could say, slower is always better  :-\
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 09, 2014, 02:16:08 PM
Wanderer joins group K, and aukhawk will listen to group L if he finds the time and the wish to do so ;)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 09, 2014, 06:12:37 PM
Here are my comments for Group I:

I1 – Didn’t like the longer than usual pauses – didn’t add anything and disturbed the flow.  I find this a bit more willful with some relatively small oddities, but they really break up the flow. The playing is on the more aggressive side. The slower sections lose intensity for me in their build ups. It’s good, but doesn’t take it that next level for me.    Ranking: 3

I2 – This one also has some slightly longer pauses at the start, but then seems to get into it. Here is another version where there is not so much nuance (again with the upper strings, as an example – loud, soft, biting, etc., but not really anywhere in between). The pacing is more to my liking than I1. There is also some technical issues (noticed it with the lower strings). The middle section is more enjoyable, in part because the pace seems to move forward more. It has a tendency to hit you over the head, but it does make for some very exciting moments.   Ranking: 2
 
I3 – Some balance (and recording) issues, but the nuance is quite a bit better. The crescendos and the overall flow are better. What I can’t understand is how this was recorded. It sounds like a warped record at times, which really is irritating (but does not have an old/dated sound, so a bit odd). I can hear one speaker is stronger than the other, so perhaps something happened in the engineering (it does seem to come to get better as it goes along).  If you can ignore that, a wonderful performance (good pacing and detail).     Ranking: 1

I3 just gets the feel of the piece so well, that I feel the performance is still better than I2 or I1, despite some sound issues. The difference between I2 and I3 is negligible. In the end, the performance of I3 is just so much stronger (across the board), that I went with it.

Ranks: I3, I2, I1.   
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 10, 2014, 07:15:45 AM
Great, thanks ! :)
If you finally find the time before the end of this round, be sure to ask for some more ;)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: nachtalberich on March 11, 2014, 07:34:45 PM

K1:  Opening seems fleet, very briskly paced. Some brassy intonation..shrill in parts.  Seems a little too rushed, nice string playing, but mediocre sound.  Never seems to catch fire.  Excellent dynamic range though.  Weird balance though…at times.  Live(?)  Simply lacks gravitas.

K2:  Much more to my liking.  Authoritative opening, with better brass and woodwind sound than K1.  Also, not quite as rushed as K1.  A very nice balance in the orchestral playing.  Excellent handling of the finale.  Good sound with nice dynamics and color.  Not sure I know this one, but I’m intrigued to find out who it is.

K3:  Pretty bad sound right out of the gate…loads of reverb.  Live performance with it’s share of coughing and other extraneous noises.  Having said that, this was an electric performance.  The shortest of the 3, but didn’t feel that way.  Great dynamic, forceful playing in the opening.  Still lyric where needed.  Excellent playing and conducting throughout.  My favorite despite the sound.   

K3->K2->K1
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: aukhawk on March 12, 2014, 05:18:11 AM
Group L

   L1 > L2
That said - I've listened to three groups and neither of these would have done very well in either of the other two groups.  In their very different ways, neither of them finishes making you want to pause and draw breath before before moving on to the next movement. Neither of them is helped by their recordings, which both sound dated.

L1 - opens slow, with basses somewhat lacking in attack, but soon speeds up. I like the lyric section which moves along unfussily but by the next transition the words 'indecent haste' are forming in my mind.  This is the fastest 'blind' version I've heard (though one in my own collection is faster) and it doesn't really offer anything in compensation - the net result at the end is just ordinary, like a first run-through with a youth orchestra. 
The recording is dry, and rather opaque - hard to hear instrumental details.

L2 - the start is just static, and throughout this version lacks energy, except for briefly in the dramatic section (around 15 minutes in, in this very slow reading - the slowest I've heard). The overall sense at the end is one of tired resignation.  It's a view certainly, but I prefer the more muscular accounts.
The recording is unfortunate in that it does the basses no favours at all.

I was interested to read in Wikipedia, that Mahler indicated that in performance there should be a gap of 5 minutes after this 1st movement, before continuing.  One version in particular, out of the 8 'blind' I've heard plus 3 more that I have, certainly had me wanting to draw breath.  Well, for 2 minutes anyway, I'm not sure the modern attention span is up to a 5 minute break, everyone would be getting their phones out!
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: zauberflöte on March 12, 2014, 08:22:16 AM
OK Second round, group N

Preferences in order:
N2
N3
N1

To be honest, none of the performances really got to me. I've come to like the first movement performed slowly because it allows for all kinds of contrasting details and emotions. N2 came the closest to that and there were times I was carried along, buffeted and battered. But there were other moments where the energy just stopped. But for me clearly the no. 1 choice.
N3 was the fastest so maybe I liked it more than N1 only because it was over sooner. But the orchestra was tighter in N3 and seemed to have a bit more energy. But I couldn't get excited about it.
N1. Playing was perfunctory.
I listened to these recordings several times each. Only N2 improved with age.

I'd happily ask for another group but I see we are running out of time. But with the weekend coming I think I could do it.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Papy Oli on March 12, 2014, 01:07:27 PM
Group K

A very brief vote.
Completely underwhelmed by K1, gave up halfway through it.
K2 is nearly close to perfect for my personal test and references points on this movements.Can't wait to see which version it is.
K3 was fairly close to the mark as well (great impact) but for me was let down by a poor finishing.

K2 > K3 > K1
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 12, 2014, 02:28:57 PM
Group O for nachtalberich.
Group P for zauberflöte.
Group Q for Papy Oli.

I'm gathering more and more votes and things are getting clearer in most groups :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: kishnevi on March 12, 2014, 05:07:58 PM

I was interested to read in Wikipedia, that Mahler indicated that in performance there should be a gap of 5 minutes after this 1st movement, before continuing.  One version in particular, out of the 8 'blind' I've heard plus 3 more that I have, certainly had me wanting to draw breath.  Well, for 2 minutes anyway, I'm not sure the modern attention span is up to a 5 minute break, everyone would be getting their phones out!

The liner notes for several recordings I have note that intention of Mahler, and more than one recording that spill over onto 2 CDs keeps the first movement on CD 1 and the others on CD 2 so a listener can arrange that pause for themselves if they want.   Conversely,  aren't the last three movements written so as to flow one into the next, even if not formally specified "attaca"? 
The DVD of Chailly leading the Gewandhaus in fact includes such a pause, although I'm not sure how long it lasts:  Chailly steps down from the podium and stands next it for the duration of the pause, before returning to the podium to start the second movement.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: aukhawk on March 13, 2014, 01:02:08 AM
Hmm, well I hadn't spotted that 'common knowledge' before.  As I said in one of my whited comments, I'm pretty happy with this 1st movement as a standalone piece of music.  That's as a recording of course, I wouldn't be walking out of the concert hall!

I do also sometimes dip into other (recorded) Mahler symphonies, notably the 7th I like to listen to just the inner three movements which are perhaps my favourite of all Mahler.  His music is after all 'variable', by which I mean that in any symphony and for any listener, there will be some sections that are liked more than others. I'm well aware of Sir Thos. Beecham and others deriding the 'bleeding chunks' approach but, having listened to recorded serious music for over well over 50 years, I find it's the humble remote control that has really altered my listening habits.  It's no longer a question of trying to reproduce the concert hall experience.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Drosera on March 15, 2014, 04:29:24 AM
Group K

K1: Restrained opening and continues in the same vein. Not bad at all, but rather faceless and occasionally superficial. Keyword: Well-mannered.

K2: Very well proportioned performance. Very detailed too, apparently from a conductor who is intimately familiar with the score. Rather deliberate pauses take some getting used to, but do work. Keyword: Beautiful.

K3: Completely different approach. Goes for the big picture in broad strokes. But such exciting strokes. Keyword: Exciting.

K2 and K3 are so different in their approach that I will rank them equally. (I believe that was allowed?)

Result: K2 == K3 > K1
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Wanderer on March 15, 2014, 06:02:12 AM
Group K

Just the raw results:

K3 > K2 = K1
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Pat B on March 15, 2014, 10:40:36 PM
Well, this is the longest blind comparison I have done. I had more trouble with it and am almost reluctant to vote, but here goes.

Group M

M1: I liked this fairly well on its own, but on repeated listens I felt that some of the phrasings were not completely convincing, and some of the climaxes were, well, anticlimactic.
M2: A live recording from the mono era, faster than my preference, and, I think, holding a relatively steady beat. This is what I would expect Toscanini to sound like, if he ever performed Mahler, which he did not. On first listen I thought this was clearly at the bottom, but I have reconsidered that and moved it ahead of M1.
M3: My favorite all the way through. The slower tempo builds more tension than M2 and the phrasing and rubato works better than M1. This also has the best sound.

M3 > M2 > M1
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: fridden on March 15, 2014, 11:59:57 PM
Group Q

This have been very difficult. And the more I listened, the more difficult it became to select my favorite.

My voting is:
Q1
Q3
Q2

At first Q1 was the version I rated last, but as I have been listening it has moved its way to the top. It is very slow at times, but the differences between the slow and quick moments makes it very dramatic, and it has a real weight in the recording.

Q3 was in the beginning my favorite. It is a good recording, and good version

Q2 was too tame for me. It feels like just a run through without passion.



/fridden
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Madiel on March 16, 2014, 12:08:01 AM
Well, with all these people who've done multiple groups, I better my put votes in for group P.

Favourite is P1. The key thing is that it's got a sense of momentum and drive that sustains the length of the movement, and a good sense of drama. I think this approach works well for the first movement of a symphony.

In the middle is P3. This performance takes a different approach, with a slower and more somber feel. But it has quite a lot of colour and atmosphere.

Least favourite is P2. While not bad, it feels unexciting. It didn't have moments that grabbed my attention like the other performances.

Again, as someone who's never listened to this symphony before, it is marvellous music and some recording is going to go on my shopping list. I just don't know which one that might be yet!
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Pim on March 16, 2014, 02:07:24 AM
For me, I3 stood out immediately. It's the kind of suppressed hysteria I like in Mahler. The recording is of an awkward 'stereo on steroids' type however, like they were testing the possibilities just after its introduction. But musically the best to my taste.
I2 was good, just missing that spark a bit, but I liked it especially in these 'just wandering around' passages in Mahler (e.g. just before the brief harp moment around 5:30).
I1 wasn't bad either, but just a little bit pale in comparison.
I3 > I2 > I1
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: zauberflöte on March 16, 2014, 08:35:53 AM
Group P

1. P3. Most contrast brought out most drama.

Second and third place tough but in the end: 

2. P2. Taught, exciting. But standard.
3. P1. Very good. Tried a few things but within the speediest framework of the three it didn't quite work for me.
 
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 16, 2014, 04:23:46 PM
Thanks for all your votes, I'm just reading all of your marvelous comments :)

I need more votes though, 1 or 2 in every group... So, who's ready for some more ?

Also, I'm still expecting the following votes :
- TheGSMoeller in group L
- NorthNYMark in group N
- madaboutmahler and nachtalberich in group O
- Que and Papy Oli in group Q

Of course we'll take the time we need to finish this round before progressing to the next one :)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Jay F on March 16, 2014, 04:36:24 PM
Thanks for all your votes, I'm just reading all of your marvelous comments :)

I need more votes though, 1 or 2 in every group... So, who's ready for some more ?

Also, I'm still expecting the following votes :
- TheGSMoeller in group L
- NorthNYMark in group N
- madaboutmahler and nachtalberich in group O
- Que and Papy Oli in group Q

Of course we'll take the time we need to finish this round before progressing to the next one :)

I'll vote some more.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Madiel on March 16, 2014, 11:56:44 PM
I'll do another one so long as I have several days, at least, in which to do it.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: zauberflöte on March 17, 2014, 04:19:23 AM
I could do more, but I'm away for the next two days. I'll have my computer with me but can't make promises. I'm home all day Wednesday so I could have results Wednesday night. 
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: nachtalberich on March 17, 2014, 06:30:29 AM
Here are my choices for group O.  Sorry for the delay on the second set.

O1:  Nice initial pacing, seems a little fast.  Pretty sure this one is a studio recording.  Nice sound overall.  Extremely lovely take on the interlude…very ‘spring like’ and has a subtly some lack.  Great woodwind playing in that section.  Very majestic re-entrance of the second theme.  Good strong version all around.

O2:  Sort of a mellow opening.  Just doesn’t seem to catch fire in the first few minutes.  Good overall sound, but very laid back playing.  Good overall sound, and also studio, I think.  A bit shrill on the recorded strings/brass sound…almost sounds like early Karajan-esque digital.  An OK performance, but not for me.

O3:  This had the slowest, weightiest opening of the O groups.  More recessed sound, and not at all ‘bright’ like the O2 recording.  Nice playing, but some (seeming) intonation issues in the brass. Another very nice, melodic interlude in the second section.  Nice control/structure on the ending section and really overall.  This is probably my favorite version of this set, just slightly ahead of O1. 

O3->O1->O2
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 17, 2014, 07:40:01 AM
zauberflöte in group M
Jay F and orfeo both in group N
Pat B in group O

I'm still 7 votes short or so...
nachtalberich, how about another group ? Everypne ?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: kishnevi on March 17, 2014, 08:59:12 AM
send me one, on the understanding that the earliest I get back a vote to you would be Wednesday evening (that is, late PM 3/19 US Eastern time)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 17, 2014, 03:12:09 PM
zauberflöte in group M
Jay F and orfeo both in group N
Pat B in group O

I'm still 7 votes short or so...
nachtalberich, how about another group ? Everypne ?
I can do one more group later this week.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 17, 2014, 04:10:43 PM
Cool ! So Jeffrey takes group P, and neal takes group Q ! Thanks... and I hope for more volunteers ;)
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Jay F on March 17, 2014, 06:21:45 PM
Group N:

N1 > N3 > N2

And I would be happy to do another set.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 18, 2014, 02:52:59 AM
Great, group I then, for Jay F
+ group J for eleanore.

:)

I'll start to reveal eliminated versions as soon as all votes are completed in each group.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: eleanore-clo on March 18, 2014, 07:28:33 AM
Hi

J1: sometimes it seems almost superficial, some effects, a waltz full of nostalgy, lacking punch. Featureless. Brasses seem to be sad. So are the violins.

J2: very accurate, lots of details, boisterous waltz, sometimes lack of soul, very rhythmic, full of life and energy, like a sunny day

So
1) J2
2) J1

Kind regards

Eléanore-clo
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Jay F on March 18, 2014, 08:21:46 AM
Group I:

I2 > I1 > I3

Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 18, 2014, 10:11:27 AM
Thanks :) Group J is next for you !
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Papy Oli on March 18, 2014, 12:37:00 PM
For Group Q, only through my personal reference points for that movement :

Q1 > Q3 > Q2
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Jay F on March 18, 2014, 02:10:27 PM
Group J:

J2 > J1

J2 sounds familiar, perfect, just the right speed. My imprint version?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: zauberflöte on March 19, 2014, 05:48:48 AM
Group M

Easiest group for me to determine place, mostly because one in the group, M2, didn't really belong. It sounded like the East Jebip High School  Marching Band doing a quick run through  before the big game. No sense of drama, just plow through the notes. And who needs orchestral cohesion?  The audience will figure it out

The other two were fine though neither knocked my socks off.

M1 seemed to build drama the better of the two

So... in order:
M1
M3
M2
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 19, 2014, 06:59:08 AM
Thanks zauberflöte, I therefore declare votes closed in group M, and results will come in the next hours.

By the way, I still need at least one voter (in group L). Also, there are several voters who seem just gone (at least for the moment), for instance madaboutmahler, Que, NorthNYMark, TheGSMoeller... So it might be better as a security if some of you would still listen to a last group...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: fridden on March 19, 2014, 07:03:02 AM
I can listen to group L

/Fridden
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Madiel on March 19, 2014, 07:13:12 AM
Not sure I can do another group, as listening to each recording takes over an hour...

...can I just make one general observation as someone new to this music. Quite a few of these conductors don't seem terribly interested in making the Allegro maestoso sound like it's actually an Allegro. I was taken by surprise (pleasantly) when one recording felt like an Allegro - the fact that this was novel was what made me take a look at the score to check!!
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 19, 2014, 07:24:00 AM
That is actually an interesting remark. The "maestoso" is not supposed to neutralize the "allegro" and transform it in and Andante (or worse)...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 19, 2014, 04:12:01 PM
Second round results

Group M

Five voters and as you can see (http://img15.hostingpics.net/pics/296725mahler2M.jpg), there is a clear eliminated version, that is M1. Everything is clear here :

1. M3
2. M2
3. M1

Version C1 / M1
Bernard Haitink, Concertgebouw Amsterdam (Mahlerfeest, live, 5 May 1995)
Jard van Nes, mezzo soprano

(http://www.hansvanderwoerd.nl/ontwerp/images/affiches/Mahlerfeest_nivo-1.jpg)

This beloved version (for many listeners at least) is eliminated, as was Haitinks previous 1984 Kerstmatinees version with the same soloist in Urlicht (D1). I really thought this version could pretend to be close to the finals, but its coldness, its too serious and too neat approach was what displeased to voters, despite excellent sonics. We'll now see if M3 and M2 can keep this good run in the next round.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: kishnevi on March 19, 2014, 05:33:19 PM
So I voted Haitink down twice!  Hmm, maybe I shouldn't be in a hurry to get that Haitink Edition after all.  Although I seem to remember his CSO recording (on CSO Resound) as being a good one.

Very well.  For my second group this round

Groupe P

P2 was too sunny and optimistic.  P1 and P3 captured what I think is the correct emotional tone, with P3 being somewhat more intense.

So P3>P1>P2
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 19, 2014, 05:41:07 PM
Here are my comments for Group Q:
Q1 –I like the phrasing here, which is what I am understanding is so key to my enjoyment of the movement. It is a bit slack in its tempo (and lacking in pulse), which reduces the tension a bit. It’s a very good version nevertheless, and played well too. This one allows you to sit back and enjoy the journey (really luxuriate in it).  Ranking: 1

Q2 –More staccato at the beginning, which I find damages the overall line as well as the ebb and flow. It is less nuanced. It seems less forceful as well even after cranking up the volume. Didn’t really like this one as much (though not the worst by a long shot). Much faster too, and with some nice contrasts in tempo between the different sections.    Ranking: 2

Q3 – Lower strings seem blander to me at the start. There is not much being done with the music. It’s like they are playing the notes, but they have no feeling behind them (lifeless phrasing). And the dynamics are static (pretty much throughout), when so much more can be done here. This one is also more sudden/jerky in its tempo changes. I feel little connection between sections and the flow and ebb is just not there. It just feels like it lumbers along. A dud for me.  Ranking: 3

Pretty easy to order this one. Q1 was dynamic and though it didn’t have the extra something to make it the best, you really could feel what the movement was about. Q2 wasn’t quite as good, and quite different, but still had a number of attractive qualities (even if hit and miss overall). Q3 wasn’t even in the same conversation – just lacked anything to hold my interest.

In order of preference: Q1, Q2, Q3.

PS: I have now listened to 12 performances and if I had to pick one of them, it would be O1. This one had it all for me.  
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Madiel on March 20, 2014, 04:06:12 AM
My comments for Group N.

For me there was a clear, clear winner after a couple of listens, and the tricky bit was deciding the other places.

First place goes to N3. And the primary reason is the one I alluded to in a previous post - this is actually an ALLEGRO!! The whole thing has wonderful drive and momentum as a result of having the basic pulse right. There are plenty of changes of speed as required, yes, but the opening theme sounds exactly Allegro Maestoso. As the first movement of a symphony, it's thoroughly convincing, and it made the others sound stodgy.

In second place, daylight.

In 'third' place, after much thought, I'll go with N2. Not without hesitation, because the opening is absolutely plodding. And the very end is absolutely horrible, completely lacking in any drama. But in between there's a decent amount of colour, and some of it's fast (including in places which make we wonder why the opening wasn't).

In last place, then is N1. Not because it's bad (except the ending poor again), but because too much of it is a bit dull. Wallpaper music. Even the annoyances of N2 beat that because there are compensations elsewhere. Not all of N1 is just note-spinning, but sizable portions of it are.

N3 >>>> N2 > N1



Right, now I'm going to have fun by seeing what other people said about this group, and finding out if any of you are Philistines.  :D

EDIT: Yes, most of you are, some moreso than others...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Pat B on March 21, 2014, 10:08:13 PM
Group O.

O1 and O2. Both good, and in good sound. I had trouble choosing between them after 2 full listens, then I spent some time comparing smaller sections, and even there my preference alternated between them. I think O1 nailed the climaxes a bit better, so I will give it a slight edge.

O3. I'm inclined to give some benefit of doubt to live performances, but at some point, sloppiness takes away from the power of the music.

O1 >(barely) O2 > O3

I prefer M3 over all of these.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: fridden on March 22, 2014, 11:08:17 AM
Here is my vote for group L


L1 - I liked this, it has good sonic, passion and drama. Its a close recording, with real bite in the strings. I am not sure this is a very recent recording though. The tempos feels for me just right, and the conductor and orchestra brings forth the various shades in the movement superbly.

L2 - I think this is a ok reading as well. The variation in tempos feels bigger than L1. But it doesn't connect between different sections as well as L1.

So my vote is:

L1 > L2.



/Fridden
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Cosi bel do on March 22, 2014, 04:06:19 PM
Thanks for your last votes.

I should be able to reveal results in group K and P today or on Monday (I'm a little busy at the time...).

I'm still waiting for NorthNYMark (group N), Pat B (group O), Que (group Q).

And anyone can still listen to some groups where votes could be useful ;) I actually quite need votes in group N for instance.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: fridden on March 22, 2014, 09:43:22 PM
I can listen to one more group.
/fridden
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Jay F on March 23, 2014, 01:18:05 AM
I can listen again, but I have already done group N.
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Que on March 23, 2014, 02:37:43 PM
My results for the group appropriately labeled…Q  :D

So here it goes:

Q1: An ominous, almost Wagnerian/(R.) Straussian style, start of this movement. It all sounds rather luxurious and lush. Not very heart ripping or soul searching, shouldn't be? ::) Conclusion: wow what a sound, and some great, meticulously tailored orchestral playing, but did this conductor get the memo? On what this music is about? I do not get the Mahler feel…and all. This could be easily Eine Alpensinfonie.

Q2: A swift, brisk opening, but again with some low intensity. This opening should grab you right by the throat. Winds are not impressive. The follow up of the different segment feels disjointed, the performance wanders around. Sloppy playing. No, no, let's forget about it.

Q3: Older sonics I had to adjust too after the previous samples. Might be a live performance since the recording balance is rather off. However the quality of the performance, of the three performances this is the one closest to what Mahler is actually about. Intense, melting and heart ripping string playing. But overall the orchestral playing is not all that perfect and groovy.. British orchestra in the old days? The brass is painful to listen to...

So, what to choose? Perfect execution of a performance that doesn't carry the message? (Q1) Or a more idiomatic performance in a somewhat crappy recording and not so perfectly executed? (Q3)
A though one…Q3, I guess, warts and all.

Final verdict: Q3, Q1 and Q2 last.

Q
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Drosera on March 24, 2014, 09:24:26 PM
In about two days I should have time again to listen to more groups. So if any groups still need evaluation then...
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Sergeant Rock on March 28, 2014, 08:30:40 AM
Cosi has been absent five days now. Should we be worried?

Sarge
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Jay F on March 28, 2014, 01:33:24 PM
Cosi has been absent five days now. Should we be worried?

Sarge

Who can say?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: fridden on April 01, 2014, 09:06:44 PM
Cosi has been absent five days now. Should we be worried?

Sarge

I am worried   :(

/Fridden
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Madiel on June 20, 2015, 06:43:47 PM
*bump*

So, this comparison exercise evaporated, which meant I never found which versions of the 2nd symphony were the ones that appealed to me.

Does anyone, by any chance, have any clues as to which recording was which?
Title: Re: Blind comparison : Mahler 2nd symphony [2nd round until March 16]
Post by: Pat B on June 21, 2015, 11:00:46 AM
*bump*

So, this comparison exercise evaporated, which meant I never found which versions of the 2nd symphony were the ones that appealed to me.

Does anyone, by any chance, have any clues as to which recording was which?

I think F2 is Oslo PO, Jansons on Chandos. But I haven't gone back and confirmed it.