Author Topic: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf  (Read 788 times)

Offline barryguerrero

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M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« on: October 08, 2018, 03:49:29 PM »
.    .    .  best Mahler 3 in my collection. Adam Fischer conducts superbly. The Dusseldorfer Symphoniker captures the darked hued, rustic sound-world of Lederhosen and cuckoo clocks. It's not as overwhelmingly powerful as when you hear Pittsburg, Chicago or N.Y. play M3, but altogether more hefty and substantial than the Budapest recordings of Ivan Fischer. Less 'slick' than Berlin, but less 'weighty' than the VPO. Their sound-world is more on par with, perhaps, the BRSO. The clincher for me is the last five minutes of the finale. At the climax of the brass chorale - where the final cymbal crash is located - the trombones are balanced way forward, while riding on the cushion of a sustained 'roar' from the timpani and bass drum rolls. Horns come in strong, then the trumpets ride on top without sounding screechy or piercing. In short, a pyramid effect is obtained.

Timings are fairly similar to those of Ivan Fischer's M3, but the differences are telling. Adam Fischer/Ivan Fischer: I - 33:50/33:14; II - 9:16/10:08; III - 16:37/18:22 (the scherzo proper isn't rushed!); IV - 8:51/8:16 (A.F. doesn't sound the least bit slow); V - 4:21/4:00; VI - 22:53/21:30 (A.F. doesn't sound the least bit dragged out).

So far, I'm really liking this Adam Fischer series. It all makes sense: a Jewish conductor who loves and understands Haydn conducting in a city that had a reputation of being more tolerant and inclusive of its Jews, than many other German cities.

Offline Vehemence

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 07:02:39 AM »
I have been going back and forth about picking up this series. Maybe I'll pull the trigger on this 3rd.

Have you ever heard the ending of Neemi Jarvi's 3rd with the Scottish National Orchestra? It sounds like an organ! One of the most pleasing orchestral brass sounds I have heard on record.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 02:15:09 PM »
It's a very different sound. The German sound, particularly the trumpets, are much darker hued in timbre. The pyramid effect is dependent on the strong underpinning of the percussion (timpani and bass drum rolls). In this particular case, the trombones are miked more forward than usual, which I like. The Scottish brass section is much more like what one hears in British orchestras - a more brightly lit type of timbre. They shy away from large bore instruments and large mouthpieces (generally speaking), which helps in getting everything precisely in tune. I must say, I've never been that crazy about N. Jarvi's M3, but I'll take your point. I do have a dvd of Paavo Jarvi doing M3 with the Frankfurt R.S.O., which I truly do like. In fact, I like that dvd performance more than the Abbado/Lucerne one. The point being, I generally like the son's performances and recordings more than those of the father.

Offline Vehemence

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 06:08:17 AM »
I will have to hear this Adam Fischer ending for myself.

The history of rotary trumpet versus their piston brothers is a highly argued topic on many trumpet forums. When Mahler was conducting, this battle still raged on. In the 1830's the majority of the German trumpet players stopped playing the F trumpet, and moved to Bb. The Bb of the 1830's through the early 20th century, was nothing like the instrument we have today, it had much smaller bore, thinner sidewalls, and the mouthpieces were more V in shape. This gives you a very bright, brittle sound. This holds true for rotary trumpets, too. The sound that Mahler heard, regardless of style of trumpet, was very different than what we have today. When Mahler was in Vienna, the orchestra played Besson C piston trumpets, their switch to rotary happened sometime in the late 20's. Through most of the 1800's, much of the German orchestral trumpet playing tradition was split on what instrument to use.

Personally, I just like good brass playing. Regardless of type of instrument used. There are really good arguments on both side. Hell, Roger Viosin used to play Mahler 5 on D trumpet and produce a huge, dark hued sound. Players matter more than insturments.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 02:07:38 PM »
 "Players matter more than instruments". Yes and no. It's certainly true on the individual level. But I think different instruments tend to average out things when you're discussing a section of players.  For example, there's no arguing that the trumpets in Chicago or Cleveland sound different when they're asked to play on German rotary trumpets. The horn section of N.Y. sounds very different now that several of them are using the E. Schmitt triple horn (as opposed to all Conn 8D's). I can ALWAYS tell when a tuba has made a change in instrument, regardless of who they are.
 
I had read that Mahler generally preferred the F trumpet. He could be more than a bit dogmatic about these sorts of things. I'm guessing he liked a fat low register, and would like to hear some strain or effort for the upper notes - not sounding too easy to play.

Adam Fischer's M3 is now up on Spotify. However, to me, the sound isn't nearly as good as the cd. That's also a question of the systems used in my house.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 02:11:44 PM by barryguerrero »

Offline John Kim

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2018, 11:14:49 AM »
Currently, Zinman's on RCA SACD is my favorite. It is also Barry's favorite (albeit it may have shifted to the Fischer!). Barry, how does the Fischer compare to the Zinman?

John

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2018, 10:28:42 PM »
They're different. I like them both. I like the overall flow of Fischer a bit better. The sound is more transparent on the Zinman/RCA. The sound is darker hued on the Fischer, but the sound quality is still quite good. Zinman has the better mezzo, but I prefer Fischer's conducting in the IV movement. I like the overall shape of the A. Fischer the best of any. Zinman is no slouch though.

Offline Vehemence

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 05:49:24 AM »

I had read that Mahler generally preferred the F trumpet. He could be more than a bit dogmatic about these sorts of things. I'm guessing he liked a fat low register, and would like to hear some strain or effort for the upper notes - not sounding too easy to play.

Adam Fischer's M3 is now up on Spotify. However, to me, the sound isn't nearly as good as the cd. That's also a question of the systems used in my house.

Where did you read that? I'm curious. Having done bit of research on this, Ed Tarr's excellent book on the history of the trumpet is invaluable, I can't say I have come across that. The majority of trumpet historians feel the Mahler mainly wrote in F and Bb to keep the notes in the staves. His changes of key makes zero sense, especially when you start looking at something like the 7th which has 20 some changes from F to Bb in the 1st movement, and about 10 for the rest of the symphony. The old lead trumpet in the Concertgebouw during Mengelbergs tenure felt that Mahler didn't understand the trumpet very well. To be honest, I am in the camp that Mahler should be played on piston trumpets, but again if the playing is good, I could care les. 

Your thought on Mahler wanting strain in the upper register is something I have thought about for quite a while. I am with you on this one. Todays players make it sound too easy. Especially with the really difficult stuff, but players today are looking at this music from the time they are are in high school. Perhaps a bit of over familiarity with the music, too. Mahler would have been astonished at the level of brass playing found today. He might even have liked the very large bore instruments of today. What would he think of Joe Alessi playing the trombone solo?

I would argue that the I. Fischer Mahler 3 is one of the best recorded classical albums in my collection. It's a true wonder. The Zinman is no slouch and his cycle is one of my very favorites, but SQ wise it takes a back seat to many recordings.  I believe the Zinman cycle is the first to have a trumpet player use a carbon fiber trumpet!

Personally, I would love for every record reviewer who talks about SQ to post a picture of their set-up, and ideally a frequency response chart at their listening position. This, perhaps, sounds extreme, but could be very telling in what the reviewer is actually hearing at his seat. In most instances people aren't getting what truly is represented on the disc. You're getting a huge amount of audio information based on your room and the reflected sound.

EDIT: Where I went to high school we had the Greenleaf collection of instruments. These were given to the school by the old president of Conn. They contained many trumpets and trombones from the 1860's. These older instruments play and sound very, very different than horns produced from the 30's on. You could also play a serpent and an Ophicleide.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 06:00:24 AM by Vehemence »

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 06:01:12 PM »
Yes, and Beethoven didn't understand the violin, and on and on it goes. Standing around backstage with other instrumentalists, there's always complaining about how so and so composer didn't understand their bloody, pathetic instrument (fill in the instrument of your choice). The whole point is that new music challenges everybody, including the listeners.

A trumpet playing friend told me of Mahler's preference for F trumpet based upon his internet exchanges with other know-it-all trumpet players. He could be wrong. It really doesn't matter to me. I just feel that applying the modern, piston valve C trumpet to everything is not really an answer. They may be more secure in the upper end, but I find them lacking in the low end. A prime example of that is the trumpet solo in the third movement of Shostakovich's 8th symphony, which begins down low, then ascends. When Russian players use their Bb's on that solo, it sounds so much fatter. The lowest note should be equally as loud as the upper ones.

"Personally, I would love for every record reviewer who talks about SQ to post a picture of their set-up, and ideally a frequency response chart at their listening position. This, perhaps, sounds extreme, but could be very telling in what the reviewer is actually hearing at his seat. In most instances people aren't getting what truly is represented on the disc. You're getting a huge amount of audio information based on your room and the reflected sound".

What's the point when the same reviewers don't even know what the composer actually wrote? Besides, I don't really agree with the premise. Good sound should sound good on crappy equipment, as well as on expensive equipment. More to the point, there would be ENDLESS arguments as to what constitutes a good sounding stereo system (and what about the rooms themselves!). It would just lead to more elitism and endless debates. I do get your point - I'm just not sure it's truly a solution.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 06:11:22 PM by barryguerrero »

Offline John Kim

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2018, 10:58:14 AM »
Barry,

You are right! Adam Fischer's M3rd is a revelation, the finest recording of the work I've heard in years! This is a tremendous performance and recording. As you said, the darkly hued orchestral sound is really in its own class and is what carries this performance. Fischer's reading is fluent, flexible and warm but also huge in concept and execution. The recording sound is amazing too.

This one goes to the top of my list of M3rds.

John

Offline John Kim

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2018, 11:10:27 AM »
BTW is this a live recording?

There is a (small) horn blob around 19'30" of I.

John

Offline John Kim

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2018, 11:27:40 AM »
Here is what I wrote in my online review:

"Adam Fischer's Mahler Third is a revelation, the finest recording of the work I've heard in years! The darkly hued sonority of the Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra caught my attention right away, and is really what carries this performance. This ensemble is built from bottom to top and fits the Mahler bill perfectly - the golden brass, rich and dark strings, bright but ripened woodwinds, clear and prominent percussion. Fischer's reading is fluent, flexible and warm but also huge in concept and flawless in execution. In this regards and others, he is in the school of 'Grand in scale, minute in details'. The recording sound too is amazing, warm and vibrant with plenty of details.
This one now joins my list of Mt. Everest Mahler 3rds: Bernstein, Horenstein, Levine, Abbado, Zinman, and Fischer."

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2018, 12:16:13 PM »
Yeah, the playing isn't always spotless on these Adam Fischer performers, but the blemishes are always very, very minor.  They do sound 'spontaneous' and 'natural', while lending a sort of 'rustic' quality to Mahler's sound-world. Nothing is slick, artificial or imposed. I may skip the "DLvdE" (which is next), but I'm very curious to know if what they do translates for Mahler 8 (Spring of 2019).  I would that Mahler 6 from this team should be quite interesting.

Offline Freddy van Maurik

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2018, 05:41:24 AM »
... I'm very curious to know if what they do translates for Mahler 8 (Spring of 2019).  I would that Mahler 6 from this team should be quite interesting.

A friend of mine attended the Generalprobe for this M8, last July, and he was very happy with the playing and singing! The Düsseldorf Tonhalle is a former observatory, hence a circular hall, and Fischer had placed the choirs like this: children in the center (behind the orchestra), men on both sides of them, and finally the women on either side on the balcony. The result was a very clear, well differentiated choral sound; of course we'll just have to wait how this works out in the recording.
Next up are M2 and M9 (or the other way round, next January and April).

After reading several comments (all positive critiques), I decided to buy all available Düsseldorf/Fischer/Mahler-recordings (1, 3, 4, 5 and 7). Have yet to receive them, but I'm very curious indeed!

Cheers,
Freddy
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 04:04:00 AM by Freddy van Maurik »

Offline Prospero

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Re: M3 on C-Avi w/ Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2018, 02:31:16 PM »
A very beautiful M3. I would note both sonority of the strings and the flexibility of Adam Fischer's conducting that lets the music breathe. He comments in his note to the recording on the difference between the gut strings of Mahler's day and the post-WW1 metal strings of modern orchestras. He notes that playing closer to the finger board brings a softer  tone that can be reminiscent of gut strings. And there seems to be a sound world that is slightly more inward than say the full throttled Chicago or Berlin sound.

Also the voicing of balance of complex passages is very sensitive. Some will have heard that the famous timpani strokes near the end are part of the sound  picture, not dominating-- marked and played "f" ---not "ff" or "fff"

I would also speculate that there is an unusual trust between the orchestra and Fischer.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 04:04:21 PM by Prospero »