Mahler Survey

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maestrob
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Mahler Survey

Post by maestrob » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:57 am

It's been some time since we've discussed Mahler's Symphonies, and we have many new members who are posting regularly, so I thought it wise to bring up the topic again and ask "What are your favorite recordings?" There's been a great deal of activity with new issues: Have any of them replaced your former favorites?

For the record (pun intended :D ), here are mine:

I: Nezet-Seguin, Bernstein/Vienna DVD

II: Solti/London, Abbado/Lucerne DVD

III: Fischer, Bernstein/NY, Solti/Chicago

IV: Szell/Cleveland/Raskin

V: Solti/Chicago, Abbado/Lucerne DVD

VI: Barbirolli*, Abbado/Lucerne DVD

VII: Solti/Chicago, Bernstein/NY, Abbado/Chicago or Berlin

VIII: Bernstein/London, Solti/Chicago

IX: Walter/Columbia Symphony

*Barbirolli starts off just a tad too slowly, but soon pulls together an extremely fine performance, IMHO.

Comments.......?

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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by RebLem » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:06 pm

1-3 Segerstam
4-Tabakov, Sofia Philharmonic, and Bernstein DG with boy soprano.
5-Barbirolli.
6-Tennstedt, Bernstein DGG
7--Kubelik
8--Solti, CSO.
9--Bruno Walter, VPO, 1938.
Das Lied--Ferrier, Walter.
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by david johnson » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:02 am

1 - Leinsdorf/Boston
2 - Klemperer/Philharmonia
3 - Horenstein/LSO
4 - Reiner/CSO
5 - Solti/CSO
10 - Ormandy/Pilly

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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:12 am

I want to hear more about these "many new members." Don't we wish. Lurkers, da, members, nyet.

Recently I stumbled across a program of a major orchestra that has programmed "Mahler's Tenth." Unfortunately I cannot now find the link. You tell me, because to my shame I can't tell you.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Lance
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by Lance » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:04 pm

This is really a tough one to respond to. There has been much great Mahler on discs. While my personal favourites are numbers 1 through 3, number 4 also in the favs list, I have many complete sets and equally as many individual recordings of each symphony.

I would comment that No. 3, for yours truly, was the very best with James Levine and the Chicago Symphony, Adolf Herseth, trumpet and Marilyn Horne, mezzo. That version always leaves an incredible impression on yours truly. There are others that are outstanding as well.

Also, I tend to favour any Mahler recording led by Bruno Walter, even the earliest going back to the 1930s. Das Lied with Ferrier and Walter is also at the very top of the list.

No. 2, the Resurrection, with Stokowski, on RCA was also a standout recording. But as complete sets go, my thumbs go up for Bernstein and the NYP on Columbia/Sony and the live set of Claudio Abbado on DGG.
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maestrob
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by maestrob » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:11 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:12 am
I want to hear more about these "many new members." Don't we wish. Lurkers, da, members, nyet.

Recently I stumbled across a program of a major orchestra that has programmed "Mahler's Tenth." Unfortunately I cannot now find the link. You tell me, because to my shame I can't tell you.
Mahler completed sketches for his Tenth Symphony before he died, but did not have the time to completely orchestrate all but the first movement. In 1967, given approval by Alma Mahler, the musicologist Deryck Cooke completed the score, and the premiere was given on Thursday October 12 of that year by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the Academy of Music. I attended the following day's Friday afternoon concert as a teenager. Ormandy/Columbia issued a recording of the music shortly after. My copy of the 2-disc set contains Ormandy's autograph. Since then, several other versions of X have been done with less success: I still consider Ormandy's rendition a benchmark, while most conductors (including Bernstein) prefer to record only the first movement.

I did not include X on my list above because of the prejudice against it: I think Cooke's restoration is a fine work, but others are offended by it. The recording has been in and out of print, and is currently available used on American amazon for those interested.

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THEHORN
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by THEHORN » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:59 pm

There are so many outstanding recordings of Mahler symphonies I find it impossible to choose favorites among them . But this is true of so many other composers with me.
Just to go alphabetically , all of these conductors have made memorable Mahler recordings:
Abbado,
Boulez
Bernstein
Barbirolli
Chailly
Dohnanyi
Giulini
Haitink
Horenstein
Inbal.
Klemperer
Karajan
Kubelik
Kletzki
Kondrashin
Levine
Mehta
Maazel
Mengelberg
Mitropolous
Neumann
Ozawa
Ormandy
Rattle
Solti
Sinopoli
Segerstam
Steinbergt
Scherchen
Thomas
Tennstedt
Walter
Zinman

And there are some other outstanding ones,
including the amazingly cheap budget set
by the relatively obscure Bulgarian conductor
Emil Tabakov with the Sofia Philharmonic .

diegobueno
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by diegobueno » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:04 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:12 am
Recently I stumbled across a program of a major orchestra that has programmed "Mahler's Tenth." Unfortunately I cannot now find the link. You tell me, because to my shame I can't tell you.
You could stumble across quite a number of programs by major orchestras doing the 10th, since it is being more and more recognized as a powerful composition in its own right. It's also become a tinkerer's paradise, allowing musicians to impose their own visions of what Mahler might have done had he lived to complete the work. There are at least 8 different completions circulating. I prefer Deryck Cooke's version, probably mainly because that's the version I got to know first, but also because it tries as much as possible to make a performable version of the symphony as it stood when Mahler died. The version by Joseph Wheeler also takes this approach, but I've not heard it.

The National Symphony will be performing the 10th (Cooke version) on March 1-3.

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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:01 pm

diegobueno wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:04 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:12 am
Recently I stumbled across a program of a major orchestra that has programmed "Mahler's Tenth." Unfortunately I cannot now find the link. You tell me, because to my shame I can't tell you.
You could stumble across quite a number of programs by major orchestras doing the 10th, since it is being more and more recognized as a powerful composition in its own right. It's also become a tinkerer's paradise, allowing musicians to impose their own visions of what Mahler might have done had he lived to complete the work. There are at least 8 different completions circulating. I prefer Deryck Cooke's version, probably mainly because that's the version I got to know first, but also because it tries as much as possible to make a performable version of the symphony as it stood when Mahler died. The version by Joseph Wheeler also takes this approach, but I've not heard it.

The National Symphony will be performing the 10th (Cooke version) on March 1-3.
I've always said that I learn ten times (joke intended) as much here as I can ever hope to impart.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

diegobueno
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by diegobueno » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:32 pm

If you're not familiar with the 10th, John, you've got to get a load of this: Right around the 19:00 mark Mahler unleashes the most ear-splittlingly dissonant chord in symphonic music. Nine different pitches at one time, but it's the way it's orchestrated that really packs the big punch. For maximum fun, start at the 17:45 mark.


Marc
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by Marc » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:05 pm

I very rarely listen to Mahler anymore, but for some 15 to 20 years of my life he was at least weekly bread and butter to me.
Which means that I don't know much about recent recordings, even though I sometimes listen to parts of newer stuff on f.i. YouTube.

Here's a list of performances that (among others, of course) are still very dear to me:

​1: Kubelik - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks [DG]
2: Stokowski - London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus / Margaret Price / Brigitte Fassbaender [RCA]
3: Haitink - Concertgebouw Orkest / NL Radiokoor / Maureen Forrester [Philips]
4: Kubelik - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Elsie Morison [DG]
5: Barshai - Junge Deutsche Philharmonie [Brilliant Classics]
6: Barbirolli - New Philharmonia Orchestra [EMI]
7: Solti - Chicago Symphony Orchestra [Decca]
8: Ozawa - Boston Symphony Orchestra / Tanglewood Festival Chorus / Various soloists [Philips]
9: Haitink - Concertgebouw Orkest [Philips]
Das Lied von der Erde: Jochum - Concertgebouw Orkest / Nan Merriman / Ernst Haefliger [DG]
10: Inbal - Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt [Denon]

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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:16 pm

diegobueno wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:32 pm
If you're not familiar with the 10th, John, you've got to get a load of this: Right around the 19:00 mark Mahler unleashes the most ear-splittlingly dissonant chord in symphonic music. Nine different pitches at one time, but it's the way it's orchestrated that really packs the big punch. For maximum fun, start at the 17:45 mark.

Thanks, Mark. I enjoyed that very much. However, you may be surprised at what struck me first. It does not seem like "typical Mahler" except in large portions. The beginning sounds a great deal as though he had been more influenced by his friend Schoenberg than he might have wanted to admit. I don't have the ear that either of those composers did, but I wouldn't be surprised if Schoenberg could have counted from one to twelve in the opening, as Milton Babbitt did to Roger Sessions with regard to one of his works when he objected to dodecaphonism.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

RebLem
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by RebLem » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:32 pm

My favorite Mahler 10th is the one by the St Louis Symphony Orch. conducted by Leonard Slatkin. He uses a completion by Remo Mazetti, Jr, not the familiar Cooke version.
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barney
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by barney » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:47 am

THEHORN wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:59 pm
There are so many outstanding recordings of Mahler symphonies I find it impossible to choose favorites among them . But this is true of so many other composers with me.
Just to go alphabetically , all of these conductors have made memorable Mahler recordings:
Abbado,
Boulez
Bernstein
Barbirolli
Chailly
Dohnanyi
Giulini
Haitink
Horenstein
Inbal.
Klemperer
Karajan
Kubelik
Kletzki
Kondrashin
Levine
Mehta
Maazel
Mengelberg
Mitropolous
Neumann
Ozawa
Ormandy
Rattle
Solti
Sinopoli
Segerstam
Steinbergt
Scherchen
Thomas
Tennstedt
Walter
Zinman

And there are some other outstanding ones,
including the amazingly cheap budget set
by the relatively obscure Bulgarian conductor
Emil Tabakov with the Sofia Philharmonic .
It might have been easier to list the great conductors who did NOT make fine Mahler recordings! But I've a lot of sympathy with this position because my favourites change according to mood. That is, to the extent that I have favourites at all....

maestrob
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by maestrob » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:41 pm

Marc wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:05 pm
I very rarely listen to Mahler anymore, but for some 15 to 20 years of my life he was at least weekly bread and butter to me.
Which means that I don't know much about recent recordings, even though I sometimes listen to parts of newer stuff on f.i. YouTube.

Here's a list of performances that (among others, of course) are still very dear to me:

​1: Kubelik - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks [DG]
2: Stokowski - London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus / Margaret Price / Brigitte Fassbaender [RCA]
3: Haitink - Concertgebouw Orkest / NL Radiokoor / Maureen Forrester [Philips]
4: Kubelik - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Elsie Morison [DG]
5: Barshai - Junge Deutsche Philharmonie [Brilliant Classics]
6: Barbirolli - New Philharmonia Orchestra [EMI]
7: Solti - Chicago Symphony Orchestra [Decca]
8: Ozawa - Boston Symphony Orchestra / Tanglewood Festival Chorus / Various soloists [Philips]
9: Haitink - Concertgebouw Orkest [Philips]
Das Lied von der Erde: Jochum - Concertgebouw Orkest / Nan Merriman / Ernst Haefliger [DG]
10: Inbal - Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt [Denon]
You rarely listen to Mahler nowadays? Wow! He's still bread and butter for me, and I listen to roughly one symphony every 10 days or so. Am especially interested in good new recordings as they come out, as few as they are.

I'll have to hear the recordings on your list that I don't have. Of those I know, I'm glad to see that we agree on Barbirolli's VI and Solti's VII. Where we disagree is with Inbal's X and Ozawa's VIII, neither of which live up to Ormandy X and, say, Bernstein's passionate VIII with the London Symphony on Columbia/Sony. If you haven't heard them, please do so posthaste! :D As for Das Lied VDE, I'm severely attached to Bruno Walter's second recording, with Mildred Miller being an outstanding mezzo that the conductor discovered and worked with extensively during his latter years. Haefliger also appears on the Walter recording, and he sounds inspired by working with the conductor who learned the piece at Mahler's knee, so to speak. Also, I do warmly recommend the new recordings I posted: it seems the great Mahler tradition has finally entered the canon, and for that we can be grateful.

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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by Marc » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:09 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:41 pm
[...]
You rarely listen to Mahler nowadays? Wow! He's still bread and butter for me, and I listen to roughly one symphony every 10 days or so. Am especially interested in good new recordings as they come out, as few as they are. [...]
Now that I'm old and grey, I've turned more and more towards 16th, 17th and 18th century music. Or chamber music from Beethoven's and Schubert's generation.
Let's just say that nowadays I appreciate the 'smaller' musical gestures far more than f.i. Mahler's huge Cries for Attention.

maestrob wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:41 pm
[...]
I'll have to hear the recordings on your list that I don't have. Of those I know, I'm glad to see that we agree on Barbirolli's VI and Solti's VII. Where we disagree is with Inbal's X and Ozawa's VIII, neither of which live up to Ormandy X and, say, Bernstein's passionate VIII with the London Symphony on Columbia/Sony. If you haven't heard them, please do so posthaste! :D As for Das Lied VDE, I'm severely attached to Bruno Walter's second recording, with Mildred Miller being an outstanding mezzo that the conductor discovered and worked with extensively during his latter years. Haefliger also appears on the Walter recording, and he sounds inspired by working with the conductor who learned the piece at Mahler's knee, so to speak. Also, I do warmly recommend the new recordings I posted: it seems the great Mahler tradition has finally entered the canon, and for that we can be grateful.

I agree with your positive remarks about Walter and Bernstein. They have made some very fine Mahler recordings. In a way, my 'list' is kind of a lottery. :)
For instance, I could easily have picked the 8th with Robert Shaw or Kent Nagano, or the 1st with James Judd & the (late) Florida Philharmonic. I also have a weak spot for the 9th that Solti recorded with the London Philharmonic. Of more recent conductors, ​I liked what I heard from Ivan Fischer so far.
But I don't think I'll be diving into much Mahler in the upcoming years. First, I have to check out Frescobaldi's and Froberger's harpsichord music. ;)

Marc
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by Marc » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:15 pm

barney wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:47 am
[...]
It might have been easier to list the great conductors who did NOT make fine Mahler recordings! [...]
And he's even forgotten Abravanel, Bertini, Fischer and De Waart. ;)

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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by diegobueno » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:39 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:16 pm
Thanks, Mark. I enjoyed that very much. However, you may be surprised at what struck me first. It does not seem like "typical Mahler" except in large portions. The beginning sounds a great deal as though he had been more influenced by his friend Schoenberg than he might have wanted to admit. I don't have the ear that either of those composers did, but I wouldn't be surprised if Schoenberg could have counted from one to twelve in the opening, as Milton Babbitt did to Roger Sessions with regard to one of his works when he objected to dodecaphonism.
You wouldn't be the first person to have that reaction. I think the first movement, the one movement that Mahler fully scored, has caused discomfort with numerous Mahlerians, who don't like to think that their composer might have breathed the "air from other planets" had he lived. We can never really know. But that opening viola passage is very tonally nebulous. You just can't know what key it's in or what key it's going to be in, until the whole string section enters in F# major. That chorale is also very chromatic. When I first heard it I thought "this sounds like Bruckner turned atheist".

barney
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by barney » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:52 pm

Marc wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:15 pm
barney wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:47 am
[...]
It might have been easier to list the great conductors who did NOT make fine Mahler recordings! [...]
And he's even forgotten Abravanel, Bertini, Fischer and De Waart. ;)
And he didn't mention me, conducting in my living room. Of course, he hasn't had the ill-fortune, as my wife has, of actually seeing me. But the sound that comes out of the speakers (Haitink or Walter or Bernstein or Solti or...) is actually pretty damn fine... :D

Marc
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by Marc » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:10 am

barney wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:52 pm
And he didn't mention me, conducting in my living room. Of course, he hasn't had the ill-fortune, as my wife has, of actually seeing me. But the sound that comes out of the speakers (Haitink or Walter or Bernstein or Solti or...) is actually pretty damn fine... :D
:lol:

Yeah, peacefully listening on the couch to a harpsichord, instead of conducting Mahler jumping around in my living room... maybe that explains why I'm gaining weight in recent years. :mrgreen:

barney
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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by barney » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:48 am

I actually conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra doing Beethoven 7 for about a minute. They were doing a promotion at the local station, giving passers-by a minute burst of conducting a chamber-sized group, and I was sent down to cover it. Despite my embarrassment - I had a lot to lose as occasional music critic - I had a go. I beat at a ridiculous speed, and by the time I realised they were actually following me, I only had 20 seconds left. But that last 20 seconds, of slower controlled conducting, remains one of my musical highlights! You feel like a demi-god.
Let's face it, professional orchestras are ridiculously good.

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Re: Mahler Survey

Post by Marc » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:32 am

barney wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:48 am
I actually conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra doing Beethoven 7 for about a minute. They were doing a promotion at the local station, giving passers-by a minute burst of conducting a chamber-sized group, and I was sent down to cover it. Despite my embarrassment - I had a lot to lose as occasional music critic - I had a go. I beat at a ridiculous speed, and by the time I realised they were actually following me, I only had 20 seconds left. But that last 20 seconds, of slower controlled conducting, remains one of my musical highlights! You feel like a demi-god.
Let's face it, professional orchestras are ridiculously good.

Nice anecdote!
Beethoven 7, with pro's following your beat, albeit for 20 seconds. As people in my environment would say: could be worse. ;)

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