Author Topic: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha  (Read 832 times)

Offline barryguerrero

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« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 06:33:03 AM by barryguerrero »

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2020, 07:48:07 PM »
Samples are on Presto

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8813784--mahler-symphony-no-7

I really like the sound quality. Nice, balanced textures. Timings look good.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2020, 11:45:47 PM »
Aaaahhh, you've been watching for that too. You beat me to it!   :P    .    .   .  I like the intro to the first movement. The start of the scherzo sounds great. Is it just me, or do the woodwinds not sound all that great at the start of the second movement (Nachtmusik I)?

Anyway, in case you don't want to wait a month, this site has a video of Bloch's entire M7 performance. I assume they fixed the one or two of the very minor mistakes I caught for the CD. The second half of the finale goes completely 'nuts', as it should. One thing that Vaenksa did that Bloch (or anyone else) doesn't do:  Because Vaenska took the first movement at a slower than normal pace, he doesn't need to speed up when the first movement's main theme returns near the end of the finale. In fact, Vaenska may even very slightly ritard the tempo there. He's the only person I've ever heard do that and I think it really works. Vaenska may be 'cooler' in many respects, but I think his overall 'game plan' is very well thought out.

https://www.askonasholt.com/artists/alexandre-bloch/

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2020, 03:35:18 AM »
Somehow this whole album was uploaded to YouTube! But only the scherzo is available for me to listen to. When I click on the others it says they’re unavailable.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_n0Sf4svoeqbHI7gzq1cPl_39X42OhAfhM

I’d recommend listening soon before/if it gets taken down. Or maybe the rest will soon become available. I’ll keep checking.

The scherzo sounds good!

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2020, 03:49:21 AM »
Interesting side note, Bloch is the principal guest conductor of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker. Ádám Fischer also started his Düsseldorf cycle with M7.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2020, 06:30:11 PM »
My guess is that the other four movements will be made available at Youtube after the release of the cd and downloads. I don't know if Alpha product shows up at Spotify or not.

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 04:30:03 PM »
I listened to these Presto samples again because I’m so excited about this recording, and I think you’re right about the woodwinds not sounding too great at the beginning of the second movement... but I kind of like it! It makes it sound a little spooky. Reminds me of the finale of Symphonie fantastique where the Eb clarinet deliberately sounds grotesque.

I hope the bells and cowbells are as loud here as they were in the concert performance.

It’s also nice to hear that people are finally playing the tenor horn rhythms correctly at the beginning of the symphony. Vänskä’s guy did it, Á. Fischer’s did it. Now Bloch’s guy.

Funny enough, I have been revisiting the Rattle/Birmingham M7 and I think it’s fantastic. I don’t usually warm to Rattle’s Mahler.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2020, 02:46:42 AM »
We'll see. My problem with Rattle's EMI M7 is that the mandolin is practically inaudible in Mvt. IV. Also, I'm not a fan of using Paiste tam-tams in the finale of M7. They simply don't speak quickly enough for what's happening in the music.

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2020, 03:15:09 AM »
That’s a good point; I never noticed the lack of mandolin... probably because it isn’t even there! Boulez has my favorite Nachtmusik II. It’s actually a proper andante. If the bells and cowbells were more audible in the finale the Boulez might be my favorite M7. I even like how fast he takes the second movement: it is, after all, allegro moderato followed by “molto moderato (andante).”

My other top choices are Tilson Thomas/LSO (great finale), Stenz, and Vänskä.

I could never get into either of the Bernsteins. I appreciate them as historically significant, but I just don’t agree with some of what he does. I was never a fan of the weird “Bernstein bowtie” thing he does with the dynamics in the very last bar of the symphony. It kind of ruins it for me.

The Gielen studio recording is very good too, I just don’t care for his finale or the harp glissandi during the “moonlit” episode of the first movement. Sounds like crap.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 03:17:21 AM by erikwilson7 »

Offline Vehemence

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2020, 02:17:27 PM »
For me, in the 7th, I'm finding Zinmann and Tonhalle slowly making it's way to the top spot. It's the most cohesive 7th I've encountered. Many don't like Zinmann because he plays pretty straight with his interpretations, but that's what I really like at this point in my life. I've never felt that Mahler needed much intervention on the part of the conductor. And, there are certain sections in his recording that, personally, can't be topped. It's also nice that the recorded sound is exceptional, and not spot mic'd to death like Vanska. They sound a like a real orchestra, not a collection of musicians that's been recorded.

My other favorites are Inbal with the Czech Philharmonic, Kubelik/New York Phil, and Gielen/Berlin. It's nice to have so many choices these days.


Offline erikwilson7

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2020, 02:57:18 PM »
I’ll have to check out the Zinman. I haven’t really gotten around to his cycle yet besides the M8 which is very good.

I also tend to like my Mahler straight and to-the-point. As such, I’ve been digging the Boulez recordings lately. I just want to hear well-played Mahler in great sound that stays true to the score and doesn’t wallow. Another reason I like the Gielen, Ádám Fischer, and De Waart recordings too. And Kubelík!

You’re right Barry, there’s Mahler for every personality these days.

EDIT: whoops, I didn’t check who posted that previous message. Anyway, I agree, Vehemence.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 05:58:53 PM by erikwilson7 »

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2020, 12:37:30 AM »
I like the Zinman M7 as well. My ONLY complaint - a very minor one - is that the back-half of the finale could be more unbuttoned. The middle section of the first movement is beautifully done. Overall, I think the Vanska has a bit more personality. More importantly, I think Vanska does a best job than anyone, of making Mahler 7 a gradual traversal from darkness to light. But I could very easily live with the Zinman.

I think Zinman's M3 is very good also. I know it's a favorite with John Kim. He easily has the best recording of the Carpenter 10th. And, if it just had some better vocalists and bigger tam-tam smashes at the end, I think Zinman's M8 would easily be my favorite. I've been thinking of adding the Zinman non-SACD box to my collection, since it's quite inexpensive to begin with.             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
https://www.amazon.com/Zinman-Conducts-Symphonies-Classical-Masters/dp/B079JPHJZ4/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=mahler+david+zinman&qid=1600476959&sr=8-4                                             
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 12:57:35 AM by barryguerrero »

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2020, 01:11:28 AM »
I just listened to the Zinman M7. It really is good! After first listen I can already tell it's one of my favorites. Probably the best M7 scherzo I've heard. You're right about the finale. It's technically proficient, but the last few minutes don't excite me as much as, say, Stenz. Vänskä has a similar problem to Zinman with the finale, but I like Vänskä's a bit more.

This has probably been discussed elsewhere, but how do you feel about Vänskä's quick 8:42 third movement? Mahler says "Fließend, aber nicht schnell"  (double underlined, actually).

Offline John Kim

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2020, 01:15:52 AM »
Overall I very much like Zinman's cycle, especially the 3rd & 6th (among the best out there), the 7th, 8th, and the Carpenter 10th. Zinman's 9th is pretty good too but I wish the playing were better and more focused and recording were less distant.

As Barry pointed out, the Carpenter is my preferred version of Tenth although all editions sound similar to me. Litton's Dallas Tenth which is also based on the Carpenter is excellent too.

John

Offline Vehemence

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Re: A French Mahler 7 with Alexandre Bloch on Alpha
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2020, 12:47:32 PM »
I saw Zinman do the M6 when I was in Leipzig 9 years ago. Best concert I've heard with my own two ears. Longest ovation I've been a part of, too.

 

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