Author Topic: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)  (Read 388 times)

Offline John Kim

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Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« on: September 14, 2021, 08:01:48 AM »
https://youtu.be/8dwkp8EINsc

I don't know if this was posted before, but I like it better than the DG release which was also recorded around the same time. For one thing, Bernstein handles the 1st movt better. For example, he holds the climactic bar at the height of Alma's theme in the coda a bit longer than he did in the DG performance (which he more or less rushed) and this gives a better integrated, more cohesive feeling.

John

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2021, 03:21:44 PM »
It's interesting that we've found better performances of late Bernstein's Mahler than are on his DG cycle. For example, that Proms 5th with Vienna is clearly superior. I wonder how and why DG chose the recordings they did.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2021, 05:18:35 PM »
Erik

Yes, I too find Lenny's Proms M5th better.

John

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2021, 05:25:23 PM »
I listened to Lenny/VPO/DG M6th 1st movt again. Compared to the live broadcast he clearly *rushed* through the movement. I mean, not in tempo but in the dynamics, tempo shifts, and phrasing. The overall impression I get (again) is that the opening movt feels unsteady, uneasy, and too volatile with too much impetus. This doesn't work for me because the rest of the performance aren't like that.  I much prefer the performance on the radio broadcast in which all 4 movts fit together more cogently as a whole. His old NYPO M6th is also preferable in this sense.

John
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 05:35:08 PM by John Kim »

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2021, 06:20:03 PM »
I do also prefer his original NYPO studio 6th, and to my ears it’s still one of the best around. The first movement is a bit quick for my taste; I tend to prefer when conductors translate the energico aspect into weight and strength rather than just speed.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2021, 06:27:01 PM »
Erik,

Yes, Lenny's old NYPO M6th I is fast. But so is his Finale (in mood as well as the tempo) and this makes his interpretation cogent and consistent. BUT on the DG recording, I. is fast and unsteady whereas IV. is not and this makes his new interpretation inconsistent and incoherent, although on the radio broadcast it feels far less so.

John

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2021, 06:36:37 PM »
Totally agreed. Lenny’s DG finale is over 33 minutes, which is among the slowest on record next to Sinopoli’s and Gielen’s live 2013 account. That Gielen recording is like the Klemperer M7 of Mahler Sixths.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2021, 06:44:11 PM »
It is as though TWO different conductors did the opening movt. & Finale on two different days, like Bernstein did I. and Gielen did IV. That's how the Bernstein/VPO/DG M6th sounds to my ears. His NYPO recording and even his earlier VPO performance (available on video) don't sound as such and I much prefer them over the DG one. But I like the radio broadcast on Youtube too.

John

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2021, 07:18:04 PM »
Well, I can now see why DG chose to put this particular I. over the I. on radiobroadcast: the Vienna brass stumbles once or twice in the latter^

BTW I find the Scherzo in the broadcast too superior to the one on DG. It has more menace and spooky feeling in the trio section and near the end.

John
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 07:20:24 PM by John Kim »

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Bernstein/VPO M6th live (1988)
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2021, 11:35:48 PM »
I think you hit the nail on the head. Bernstein took less chances on the nights that DG was recording them. DG being DG, they didn't want any brass 'clams' anywhere (yet, miscounting mistakes in the percussion seem to be OK with DG). Anyway, this issue is precisely the reason I'm no longer such a big fan of Lenny's late DG cycle.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 11:46:51 PM by barryguerrero »

 

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