Author Topic: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013  (Read 476 times)

Offline Vehemence

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M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« on: January 28, 2021, 02:13:33 PM »
I was trolling through Amazon the other day and came across this little box-set of Micheal Gielen performing 2 M6's. One from 1971, and the other from 2013. The reason for the purchase, outside of being a Gielen fan, is the 2013 interpretation. It's basically 95 MINUTES LONG! That's an obscene timing. It's about 20 minutes longer than the '71, and 8-9 minutes longer than the 6th found in the Gielen box-set. Call me curious.

My first thought, before even putting this on, was that it would be something like Klemps M7, glacial, and entirely too broad. Having a feeling of just putting it down on record while being near the end of life. It sounds tired. However, this M6 is an entirely different beast, at least to me.

What Gielen does here is an exercise in concentration, both by Gielen and the orchestra, and showing us 40+ years of experience with the score. I know, I know, you say that this can't work, it's an ABOMINATION! IT IS! But, it is enthralling from the opening march. I don't know if I've encountered a more thought out performance. The tempo relationships are masterful, the dynamics and the balances between the instrument groups are outstanding. At the tempo he takes this work, everything matters. It's all laid bare, and Gielen gives us every little thing in a very organic way.

The tension throughout the entire performance never flags. Each tick up or down in the tempo brings more. He does something very similar with his dynamics, small little changes here and there upping the ante. This builds through the entire work, finally releasing in the finale. This is not to say that he doesn't hit the climaxes in the earlier movements, more that he is judging them against the final payoff. The entire performance is masterful.

The SWR Baden-Baden plays the pants of this work. Their commitment to Gielen's vision is wholly evident on this disc, they truly played for the man. Though, I'd be curious to know what the orchestras thoughts where after the first rehearsal.

Finally, this recording is a left fielder. Will it take the place of my current favorites? No, but it will hold a special slot on my shelf.

Online erikwilson7

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2021, 06:29:07 PM »
Thanks for posting about this. I listened to parts of it on Spotify back when it was released, but after reading your review I was compelled to revisit it because I'd since grown an admiration for Gielen's Mahler.

Wow, this is the darkest-as-death, heaviest Mahler 6 I've ever heard. And you're right: it's not just slow for the sake of being slow. It's slow and wuchtig (heavy), and dark as hell. This recording brings out those characteristics of this music better than I've ever heard, even more than Bernstein did with the VPO (a recording I don't personally care for). In all respects, it's like the polar opposite of I. Fischer's Budapest recording which is softer, lyrical, and a bit quicker and lightweight overall.

Amazing sound quality too, even on Spotify. And the brass sounds incredible. I'll probably end up buying this now. It's the ultimate apocalyptic Mahler Sixth.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2021, 10:12:10 PM »
I'm sure this is very good! After all, it was a Salzburg audience they were playing for. For the type of M6 performance you're describing, I'm satisfied with the Barbirolli EMI one which is included in my copy of EMI's 16 disc, "Mahler - The Complete Works" box set.

I'm more curious to know what you thought of the OTHER M6 performance in your Gielen set   .    .   .   the faster one?

Offline John Kim

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2021, 05:10:30 AM »
I have both recordings and love them both!

The 2013 version is really slow but I never feel the tempo dragging because Gielen and his orchestra concentrate so intensely and sharply from start to finish.

John

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2021, 12:06:24 AM »
Sorry guys, I just can't hang. I checked this out at Spotify. A 28 minutes opening movement?    .    .    .   A 16 minute scherzo?  .    .    .   A finale that lasts for nearly 38 minutes!    .     .    No thanks. I don't care how much concentration there is. I don't if Gielen was studying for the BAR exam, this just isn't for me. I refuse to be a card carrying member of the 'slower is better' fan club. If they issued the faster performance on to an inexpensive single disc, I may get interested in that.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2021, 12:09:08 AM »
Looking at Amazon, I see now that the applause took the last two minutes of the finale, so it's not so terrible. Still,   .    .    . 

Online erikwilson7

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2021, 01:38:36 AM »
I don’t think slower is better. I don’t think Gielen does either. He takes a normal 15:47 for the Andante. To me, Gielen finds a purpose in having some of the music be slow and extremely heavy/dark.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2021, 02:22:59 AM »
Fair enough. I still won't partake, because I have too many M6 recordings now and I'm waiting for an eventual Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf one (I love their M9).

Online erikwilson7

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2021, 02:54:21 AM »
Oh, me too. For sure. Overall I prefer a quicker M6. My ideal timings would be like something around 23:00, 12:30, 15:00, 29:00 = 79:30

I’m just appreciating this artistic interpretation.

Very much looking forward to the À. Fischer M2 and M6. I have a feeling those will both be single disc. Fischer said he wouldn’t record M10/I because it would be pointless to put on disc alone (he also said he wouldn’t record a full M10). That makes me think he is being conscious of disc cost for the record label. In other words, if he can do a single disc M2 and M6, he’ll do it. The only one on multiple discs so far has been the M3, because it must be.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 03:08:35 AM by erikwilson7 »

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2021, 07:14:55 AM »
One thing I like about the Barbirolli M6, is that he leaves out the expo. repeat. If you're going to do the first movement at a very slow tempo, then leave it out. That's my preference.

Online erikwilson7

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2021, 02:06:33 PM »
Agreed, and that’s the one thing I don’t like about Levi’s. Fast and no repeat comes out to a 17-minute first movement. Otherwise it’s a fantastic recording. It makes it unique, at least!

Offline Vehemence

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2021, 05:30:53 PM »
I'll spin this from time to time, that's for sure. Generally, I too prefer swifter tempos. Who doesn't like what Kondrashin does with this work. To me, I think its cool that Gielen tried to do something so different than the norm. Jarvi recorded an insanely fast M7, and while it's surely not a top tier choice, it does give some very interesting perspective into the work. It's a night time run, with monsters chasing you instead of a nice moonlit stroll through garden.

The variety of interpretation is one of the things I enjoy most about collecting all of these recordings.

Online erikwilson7

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2021, 05:36:10 PM »
I couldn’t have said it better myself

Offline John Kim

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2021, 07:07:53 PM »
 Vehemence

I couldn't agree more.

John

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M6/Gielen/Salzburg 2013
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2021, 08:31:33 PM »
Then I'll be the A-hole and disagree with all of you. Anybody can go fast all the way through a performance, and anybody can go slooow all the way through a performance. ANYBODY. It doesn't matter if they have the concentration of Einstein. It takes zero intelligence to take a 90 minute symphony at a one, sort of basic level of tempo; slow or fast. I'm not knocking Gielen. I'm saying two things. A). I don't need it because slow performances don't appeal to me and I already have the Barbirolli, and B). If you're going to do the first movement really sloooow, then don't take the expo repeat! Personally, I think it's dumb to take the contrasting "Alma" passage at a slow tempo. That's just me. There - I couldn't have said it better myself.

 

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