Author Topic: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?  (Read 24449 times)

john haueisen

  • Guest
I know we've probably had polls (if not, we should) on this topic, but I'm sure a lot of us newbies would really enjoy what "the old graybeards" find to be their most essential Mahler works or performances.  Don't be shy.  We all know how hard it would be to limit ourselves to a single CD, but just for the sake of learning what others like, step up and shout out your favorite Mahler performance.

Offline John Kim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 06:59:51 PM »
Right at this moment, I'd pick

Yoel Levi/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Telarc Mahler Sixth

Recently I request to Telarc that they should reissue the recording with the first movt. exposition repeat (they originally recorded it with the repeat) reinserted and possibly in the hybrid SACD format. My fingers are crossed.

John,

Polarius T

  • Guest
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 05:40:41 AM »
I'm a newbie by board standards albeit one that comes with a graying beard so maybe I'll qualify nonetheless:

If there is only one Mahler recording to take along, it'll be Abbado &  BPO's M9 included in that Netherlands Radio "Mahler Feest" box set. Such a complete and absolute perfection is not heard elsewhere in the Mahlerography (unless perhaps in the same team's take for DG, which is similarly silencing).

In that same set there is also a really special performance of some of the Wunderhorn Lieder by, again, Abbado & BPO and Ann Sofie von Otter. I've listened through it attentively only twice, both times falling off my chair, and to be reliable the response should be replicated at least thrice. Yet I'm not even much of a fan of ASvO.

But indeed it can't be just one. The second one will be Klemperer's "Das Lied" (EMI, with Wunderlich and Ludwig) and the third one Abbado & BPO's M5 (DG) even if I need to swallow those discs to smuggle them in.

PT
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 05:42:12 AM by Polarius T »

Offline barry guerrero

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3928
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 06:13:13 AM »
Can I take a box? If so, I'd just take the Bertini box on EMI, and leave it at that. If a second disc were allowed, it would be the Delos one of Mahler 10 in the Carpenter version (Litton/Dallas S.O.).

Barry

Offline John Kim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 06:39:55 AM »
If a second disc were allowed, it would be the Delos one of Mahler 10 in the Carpenter version (Litton/Dallas S.O.).

Barry
Yes!! This one I forgot about - quite possibly the BEST recording of M10th regardless of the edition, as I have repeatedly asserted. Can't live without it ;D

John,

Offline John Kim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2008, 06:43:51 AM »
If there is only one Mahler recording to take along, it'll be Abbado &  BPO's M9 included in that Netherlands Radio "Mahler Feest" box set. Such a complete and absolute perfection is not heard elsewhere in the Mahlerography (unless perhaps in the same team's take for DG, which is similarly silencing).

PT
I second your choice. Yes, I agree this Abbado/BPO M9th is very, very special. I think it's even better than his later commercial recording on DG which is still fine but suffers from the mediocre sound quality (shame on you DG). Gee, I guess I'd need all THREE then - Levi M6th, Abbado M9th, Litton M10th :)

John,

Offline Jeff Wozniak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2008, 05:03:05 PM »
I've purchased and listened to an awful lot of Mahler in the past few years.  One recording that I always come back to is the 2nd Symphony by Bernstein on Columbia (now Sony).

I can't get enough of it.

Offline John Kim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2008, 11:27:27 PM »
I've purchased and listened to an awful lot of Mahler in the past few years.  One recording that I always come back to is the 2nd Symphony by Bernstein on Columbia (now Sony).

I can't get enough of it.
Oh yes, Lenny's first Resurrection is a hell of ride :o

John,

Offline Jeff Wozniak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2008, 06:58:36 AM »
And the SACD sounds SO much better.

Offline John Kim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2008, 09:38:42 PM »
Can anybody recommend another good M6 in addition to Levi's Telarc Sixth?
Other than the Levi, I'd pick,

Tennstedt/LPO/EMI (live, maybe OOP) - the most expansive but searingly intense and sometimes crazed M6th
Bernstein/NYPO/Sony - the sound is becoming out of date but no other conductor has captured the nightmarish mood and underlying tension as brilliantly as Lenny
Eschenbach/PO - an exemplary modern version in great modern sound

John,

Offline sbugala

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 309
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2008, 10:29:38 PM »
Well, I'd need a turntable because it's Mehta's LAPO Mahler 5th. Maybe I like it so much because I got it for something like a quarter, but it blows away most on CD (including it's CD remastering.)

Offline John Kim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2008, 02:38:53 PM »
Can anybody recommend another good M6 in addition to Levi's Telarc Sixth?
Mariss Jansons's RCO recording is also pretty good both musically and engineering wise. The playing of RCO is so aptly transparent and natural that it almost sounds eerie, sometimes :o

John,

Offline Jeff Wozniak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2008, 04:50:12 PM »
Please excuse my ignorance on this matter, but is it really possible for an LP on a turntable to sound better than a CD?
Did the CD remastering lose something, or the LP somehow capture something else?


Depends on who you talk to.  I believe alot of LPs sound better than the CD.  Especially newly remastered ones by companies like Analogue Productions, Classic Records, Speakers Corner, etc.  For me alot of it has to do with the "naturalness" of the sound (probably not a real word, but hey...).  It gets you closer to actually being present at the recording session IMO.  SACD does a better job than regular CD in that regard, but it still doesn't compare to a great sounding LP. This is especially true in classical and jazz where acoustic instruments are featured. 

One example: I have a single-sided 45RPM LP of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven".  Everybody has heard the song a thousand times, yet when I play it for people their jaws drop.  It's as if you are listening to the tune for the first time.

Some people will tell you LPs rock, and others think digital is the way to go.  The only way to find out for yourself is buy the necessary equipment, or find a vinyl freak who will share the joys of analogue with you. But be forewarned: good sounding vinyl is often quite expensive.  It's not unusual to pay 2 or 3 times as much (or more) for the LP over the CD.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 04:59:43 PM by Jeff Wozniak »

Offline John Kim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2008, 09:07:33 PM »
John,

Get the Jansons/RCO M6th by all means. It may not shake you on your first hearing but don't give up, as Mahler's music often comes into life in different moods and directions. You'll admire and love the playing of the Royal Concertgebouw Orch.; it's pretty much their show despite Janson's decent conducting.

If you love the Jansons then I'd recommend Ichiyoshi Inoue/New Japan Phil./Exton recording. It may be currently OOP but with a little luck you might be able to get one copy somewhere. IMO, this one the most prefect musical structure of this great piece. With Scherzo coming in II, each movt. is beautifully proportioned in terms of small sections that connect each other to make the whole, and the entire symphony as a whole holds as logically and aesthetically well as I can imagine. Except for the Levi, I know of no other version that gives me such a sense of uniformity and logicality. Be warned, however, there is a minor mistake in timpani in IV. in the development section. I won't go into the detail because I don't want to spoil your listening experience.

John,



Offline sbugala

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 309
Re: What is your single "must-have on a desert island" Mahler work?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2008, 10:01:38 PM »
Please excuse my ignorance on this matter, but is it really possible for an LP on a turntable to sound better than a CD?
Did the CD remastering lose something, or the LP somehow capture something else?


Depends on who you talk to.  I believe alot of LPs sound better than the CD.  Especially newly remastered ones by companies like Analogue Productions, Classic Records, Speakers Corner, etc.  For me alot of it has to do with the "naturalness" of the sound (probably not a real word, but hey...).  It gets you closer to actually being present at the recording session IMO.  SACD does a better job than regular CD in that regard, but it still doesn't compare to a great sounding LP. This is especially true in classical and jazz where acoustic instruments are featured. 

One example: I have a single-sided 45RPM LP of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven".  Everybody has heard the song a thousand times, yet when I play it for people their jaws drop.  It's as if you are listening to the tune for the first time.

Some people will tell you LPs rock, and others think digital is the way to go.  The only way to find out for yourself is buy the necessary equipment, or find a vinyl freak who will share the joys of analogue with you. But be forewarned: good sounding vinyl is often quite expensive.  It's not unusual to pay 2 or 3 times as much (or more) for the LP over the CD.

Nicely put.  One caveat.  If you have access to some good book fairs/thrift stores/record stores you may pay significantly less for some great Mahler on LP than on CD.  I picked up the aforementioned Mehta M5 for a quarter, and as far as I know, the discmate, the Adagio to M10, has never been released on CD.

When done right, LP's bring a more tactile sound to music.  It's funny Jeff should mention jazz. I like using the LP version of Brubeck's Take Five as a test record for friends.  Most agree that the striking of the cymbals and drums sound more genuine than the CD. You can hear the brushes as they brush across the surface of the drum. The CD is nice, but not as musical. 

I won't evangelize too badly on the merits on vinyl, but if anything, it's a nice way to pick up stuff that languishes out of the catalogs even today. 

Regards,
Steven