Author Topic: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone  (Read 7001 times)

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2023, 04:30:02 AM »
Sorry to hear about your situation, Barry. I hope all the best for you.

Bychkov’s first two releases were amazing, especially that Fourth, so my hopes are still up.

Offline ChrisH

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2023, 03:12:45 PM »
After a couple of listens this past weekend, I find myself in somewhat in the same camp as Erik.

After listening to the very broad and, ultimate calm of the first movement, I wondered too myself if the Czech Republic had legalized cannabis. This has to be the most calm, relaxed playing of this work on record. It seems that almost all the accents in the tutti woodwind sections have zero bite. Ignoring almost all the accents. Everything is nicely separated, but it lacks any sort of character. Where is my horn trill!

The middle movements I liked. More character and atmosphere in these. The Finale just feels flat, but all of these Bychkov recordings come across that way in the large moments.

On the other hand, this may be the  best recorded M1 to grace my speakers. Hell, these may be the best recorded and engineered Mahler cycle I've yet heard. The solo bass opening the 3rd movement has never been captured better. The timpani, and all the subtle rolls and dynamics have never sounded as good. Los of good tuba! The texture and color in the paring of the woodwinds speaks so well. The aim of these recordings seems to be clarity and transparency for study, because everything is laid bare.

Personally,  I was very hyped for the 3rd and 7th. Now, I'm not so sure. After hearing the Bychkov M6 with New York, I was expecting a little more.

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2023, 03:49:17 PM »
After listening to the very broad and, ultimate calm of the first movement, I wondered too myself if the Czech Republic had legalized cannabis. This has to be the most calm, relaxed playing of this work on record. It seems that almost all the accents in the tutti woodwind sections have zero bite. Ignoring almost all the accents. Everything is nicely separated, but it lacks any sort of character. Where is my horn trill! 

Chris I think you put into words what I was trying to say much better than I did. It was mainly the first movement that was "boring" (Mahler "boring" is different than literal boring), but the finale was a bit flat for me too. There have been longer first movements (Honeck, Chailly I think), but if it's going to be over 16.5 minutes there has to be a lot of nuance to keep things interesting. At least the Czech Phil plays beautifully, but the simple beauty of the playing isn't enough to keep me engaged. It should be sounding like the Budapest Festival Orchestra; the strings have the ability to play that good, but if there's so little character then what's the point of conducting it so slowly? I got hints of this from their very deliberate finale of the Fifth, almost à la Barbirolli, but that movement is fun enough to keep me engaged on its own.

So far Bychkov's tempos have been an unpredictable mix: a very slow M1.I but average-paced following movements, slower than average M2 overall, "faster" Adagietto but deliberate M5 finale, average paced M4. I can't predict what his tempos might be for the remaining works, besides what we know from his past M3 and M6. Another recent cycle with tempos this unpredictable are Nott's.

I'm also still hung up on that damn piccolo being so loud in the finale, but I shouldn't lose the forest for the trees.


The middle movements I liked. More character and atmosphere in these.

You're absolutely right: I do think the inner movements were excellent, especially the third movement. It's honestly one of the finest I can think of and I should be giving it more credit.

On the other hand, this may be the  best recorded M1 to grace my speakers. Hell, these may be the best recorded and engineered Mahler cycle I've yet heard. The solo bass opening the 3rd movement has never been captured better. The timpani, and all the subtle rolls and dynamics have never sounded as good. Los of good tuba! The texture and color in the paring of the woodwinds speaks so well. The aim of these recordings seems to be clarity and transparency for study, because everything is laid bare.

I must not be hearing it with the right sound setup, but I'll trust you that it has exceptional sound quality. I'll retract what I said about the engineering since I don't have a fair way to judge it professionally.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2023, 06:15:03 PM »
Frankly, I'm not sure Mahler 1 has been bettered since Bruno Walter. There have been many equally good ones, and 'different' ones, sure. I think I just come to M1 with somewhat lowered expectations. I'm frankly kind of 'over' all the bombast in the Finale anyway. I had a lot of fun playing the cymbal part at the end of M1, once upon a time. It was in a gym, and there was some sort of podium just sitting there towards the rear. So I got up on that podium and played the concluding two pages by memory. That was a blast! I've played M1 on tuba several times as well   .    .    .   .  They make a big deal about the tuba solo in the third movement, but it really isn't difficult at all. The tuba part to M2 is a much, MUCH bigger challenge.

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2023, 06:29:41 PM »
M1 is my least favorite of the 11 symphonies. Even then, I'm still looking for a recording that really does it for me on all fronts. Bertini, Boulez, Nott, Harding, and YNS come close. If the Düsseldorfers played a bit tighter in the finale of their recording that would be another top contender for me.

This symphony might be one of the easier ones to play, but I really find it to be one of the hardest to make a "great" recording of, along with the Fifth and Seventh.

Contrary to the Fourth and Ninth, which I believe have been very lucky on record.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2023, 01:25:56 AM »
Very good points. No argument.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2023, 04:09:13 PM »
Believe or not, M1 is the most frequently performed of all Mahler symphonies and I do think it has received many fine, even great interpretations on records and in concerts. It was also my introduction piece to Mahler. My favorite ones are,

Bernstein/NYPO and RCO
Giulini/CSO
Kubelik/BRSO
Mehta/IPO (Decca)
Neumann/CPO
Muti/PO
YNS/BRSO

John

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2023, 04:14:17 PM »
I especially like the Bernstein/RCO, first Kubelík, Neumann, and YNS ones you listed there, John.

I wish Kubelík didn't skip the repeat in his scherzo. It's not a big deal though. With Mahler, all repeats should be taken. He rarely uses them, so when he does he has great purpose for it.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2023, 04:45:02 PM »
Barry,

Where did you hear that the next Mahler release by Bychkov/CPO will be M9th? I thought it would be M6th ...?

John


Offline barryguerrero

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Re: Bychkov/Czech Phil. M1 coming late Sept. on Pentatone
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2023, 09:33:23 PM »
I didn't hear that. I just thought they had performed M9 before M6, but I might have that backwards!   .    .   .     .  As far as I know, they have not performed M3, M7 or M8. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that. There certainly isn't a shortage of really good M7 recordings with the C.P.O. as it is. I only own Bychkov's M4 and M2 so far. I liked the M5, but not enough to add it to my ridiculous collection. The next one I'll definitely add will be M6, especially since Bychkov performs it Scherzo/Andante. It'll be sort of a souvenir of the OUTSTANDING M6 I heard Bychkov give with the Vienna Phil. roughly 10 years ago (maybe less). I will be very, VERY curious to hear what an updated M8 with the Czech Phil. would sound like. Hopefully Pentatone will put their best foot forward in recording it.

 

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