Author Topic: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'  (Read 264 times)

Offline barryguerrero

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Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« on: July 27, 2020, 07:54:33 AM »
Until the world hits the reset button, how appropriate that the 'Mahler boom' should end with Mahler 10 in America (Vanska/Minnesota - the next item to be released), and Mahler 9 and 6 in Europe (Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf). Perhaps it's even more appropriate that Mahler will continue to 'boom on' in Asia - the one continent where classical music is expanding, as opposed to shrinking.

I'm not counting new recordings of all the 'reductions' that are out there. For me, those aren't Mahler. Your thoughts.

Online erikwilson7

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Re: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 04:50:35 PM »
Interesting topic!
It seems Mahler won't be performed again for quite some time, besides his smaller works like lieder and, as you mentioned, arrangements and reductions.

Are you certain that Vänskä/Minnesota didn't capture any more recordings in their cycle beyond Mahler 10? They have 3, 8, and 9 left to go. I wonder if remote recording is off the table. I don't even know how it'd work.

Let's also not forget about the Ádám Fischer/Düsseldorf Mahler 2, probably coming out before the Mahler 6.

I'm also wondering about any Mahler recordings that were captured just before the outbreak. Will we perhaps see any more pop up from Roth/Gürzenich? Harding/Swedish Radio? Netopil/Essen? Gergiev/Munich? A Feltz Mahler 9? I feel like there were quite a few ongoing projects. I'd love to see the Alto label remaster the rest of the Gergiev/LSO cycle too. The 7 and 8 sound excellent.

In short, I think there's still more to come for a year or two, but there will definitely be an absence of Mahler symphonies for the foreseeable future. And to be frank, I'm kind of okay with it. I always love more Mahler, but we have a treasure trove to sift through.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 04:56:53 PM »
I'm sure that's true for any of us here - we've been very spoiled for the last four decades. I certainly have tons to listen through again. I've been feeling guilty about not digging out the Inbal/Czech Phil. M7 I have, for instance.

BTW, are you really noticing a difference between the Alto remasterings and the original LSO Live issues of Gergiev's Mahler?

Online erikwilson7

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Re: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 05:10:36 PM »
Maybe it's a placebo effect, but I always found those original LSO recordings to sound dry, and these Alto remasters sound fuller (especially in the bass end) and sharper to me. The LSO brass shine a bit more too, I think. It's subtle, but it makes a difference for me.

I feel bad for admitting this, but I've never listened to Inbal's Mahler. The Czech Phil recordings aren't available on YouTube or Spotify. I've only heard great things, and I know I'm missing out on a real "Mahler conductor," if you accept that term. What's the consensus on his Frankfurt and Tokyo cycles?

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 05:22:39 PM »
They're both very good. Over the last two decades, friends have sent me 'burnt' CD-R copies of at least two of the Tokyo ones: M6 and M8. Both are very good. I just wish Inbal could have done more in Prague - not that there was anything wrong with the Tokyo orchestras.

While everyone was excited about Bernstein's DG cycle in the 1980's - myself included - I really think the Bertini and Inbal cycles were the two strongest contributions of that time. I've lost my taste for Bernstein's DG remakes, for the most part. The DG M5, good as it may be, is NOTHING like the performance I saw them do in S.F.  I've been liking the Carnegie Hall issue of Bernstein's earlier Columbia performances.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 06:16:50 AM by barryguerrero »

Online erikwilson7

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Re: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 04:23:06 AM »
I’ve personally never been a fan of either of the Bernstein M5s. His DG one is just too manic and a bit sloppy and dragged out for my taste. Even though Bernstein “gets” Mahler, some of this choices in the DG cycle are too extreme for me. A 28-minute finale to M3? An actual boy soprano in M4? A 30-minute finale to M9? No thanks.
The only ones I still listen to from that cycle are 1, 2, and 6. I made a playlist of the Columbia recordings and substituted those three DG recordings and the DG M5, and I’m very satisfied. It’s my “ultimate Bernstein Mahler” playlist.

Back to the original topic though, what’s “not Mahler” about performing reductions and arrangements? I do agree that sometimes it doesn’t work. I did like what Petrenko and the Berlin Phil did with a chamber version of M4 a couple months ago. I could also maybe, just maybe, imagine a chamber Das Lied. It’s basically already orchestrated that way.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 05:17:00 AM »
It's just me. I'm not a fan of the reductions. In my opinion, the one for "DLvdE" truly stinks and is nearly pointless. Others may feel otherwise.

If I had a good friend playing in a performance of a reduction, I might go hear it - assuming they're playing in a smaller acoustic, like a church. But I won't buy a recording of a reduction. To me, that just isn't Mahler.

Online erikwilson7

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Re: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2020, 05:34:12 AM »
Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t buy a reduction recording either. I listened to the recent Michelle Castalletti chamber M10 and it was scored well but I couldn’t understand why it was necessary. Now I guess there’s a reason, ha.
In general, I do agree that reducing the Mahlerian orchestra misses the whole point of the music. We live in strange times, though. Is reduced Mahler better than no Mahler?

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2020, 06:01:17 AM »
Castalletti has some great salvos on the tam-tam, sprinkled here and there. The problem is, they're all in the wrong places (nearly all)! I wrote a review of it at Amazon and discussed that point in detail. In my opinion, he particularly botches the second scherzo (movement IV).

Speaking of Mahler 10, the Vanska will have to really knock my socks off to get me to buy it. Two reasons: 1). I don't need yet another recording of the Cooke version and, 2). it would have to be incredibly good to actually be better than the recent T. Dausgaard/Seattle S.O. one.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 06:13:53 AM by barryguerrero »

Online erikwilson7

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Re: Appropriate endings to the 'Mahler boom'
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2020, 08:08:05 PM »
Yes, it’s going to be hard for anyone to top the Dausgaard. Very rarely do I ever say, “this recording is the best Mahler __” without hesitation.

 

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