Author Topic: Segerstam M3  (Read 3190 times)

Offline akiralx

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Segerstam M3
« on: June 20, 2008, 09:15:35 AM »

Picked this up last week and have listened a few times - I really like it.  His account of i may be may favourite of all, with a great Southern Storm section in which there is more instrumental detail then normal.  The slowish tempi for ii and iii may be an issue for some but I find it quite persuasive. 

The vocal movements are very well done at more orthodox tempi, and the performance is capped by an account of the finale that is excellent: the gentle tempo at the start has a sense of restraint which is very moving.  Segerstam increases the tempi very skillfully at various points; this is a very persuasive reading for me. Very fine Chandos recording.

I wouldn't recommend this M3 as a first choice over, say, Kobayashi, but as a further investment it makes great sense owing to the alternative interpretation.

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: Segerstam M3
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2008, 09:28:47 AM »
The first and third movements are excellent, as is the mezzo in the fourth movement (forgot who it was). I have only two complaints. First, I don't care for the unusually slow tempo for the second movement. Sinopoli tried to do something similar with the 2nd movement as well, and it just didn't work. And second, I'm a bit bothered by some the extreme tempo contrasts in the sixth movement. In particular, I'm not crazy about how Segerstam drastically increases the tempo at the symphony's very last cymbal crash - the climax of the long brass chorale. That said, however, the concluding section is excellent (where the two sets of timpani go back and forth on the tonic and dominant notes). As you stated, I would also take Kobayashi - and number of other ones - over Segerstam. But Segerstam's best moments are extremely good indeed. One could do far, far worse (Haitink/CSO sure comes to mind).

Barry

Offline akiralx

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Re: Segerstam M3
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2008, 02:43:02 PM »

Yes, the slow tempi work better in iii than in ii.  Throughout I like the way some of the subsidiary woodwind come out of the texture. 

Now I must scour eBay for more of his cycle... think there's his M2 out there, but I'd prefer one of the middle period, maybe a M6 - to convince me that I don't just dislike the work.  Noseda's rather frenetic BBC PO live performance has soured it for me.  Too much Shostakovich-like cacophony in that one...and SACDs from Gergiev, Abbado and Eschenbach haven't done it for me.  MTT is my favourite so far.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Segerstam M3
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2008, 04:08:56 PM »
The only Segerstam Mahler I heard were M6 and M9. The M9th in a broad tempo and exaggerated dynamic range was very good. But I recall I didn't like the M6th at all (I listened to it only once though). But the 3rd, 4th, and 5th all have been praised by the critics.

John,

Offline sperlsco

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Re: Segerstam M3
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 10:57:50 PM »
I am a big fan of Segerstam's Mahler, not necessarily as a first choice recommendation to someone, but certainly as a worthy alternative.  I found the individual M3, M8, and M7/M9 at Berskhire Record Outlet some years back, and eventually purchased the entire boxed set cycle from somewhere else. 

You mention that "Segerstam increases the tempi very skillfully at various points".  That is a perfect summation of how he conducts Mahler.  His overall tempi and timings are rather slowish, but he knows when to speed up, and especially how to play up the dynamics.  I compare that to Maazel, who is just S-L-O-W and inflexible in his Mahler (with the exception of his M9 DVD with the BRSO). 

BTW Segerstam's endings to M2 and M8 MUST be heard! 

Scott

Offline sbugala

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Re: Segerstam M3
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2008, 02:45:26 AM »
I liked his 3rd, 7th, and 9th, too. 

I also liked his Chandos Sibelius cycle quite a bit.  However, I like his Ondine Sibelius cycle even more.  It got me to thinking how his Mahler conducting has evolved.  Generally, I'm loathe to see most conductors get a second stab at a cycle, because it rarely seems worth it these days.  Segerstam is the one guy who might deserve a second chance. 

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: Segerstam M3
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2008, 04:43:18 AM »
BTW Segerstam's endings to M2 and M8 MUST be heard!

For my taste, Segerstam still has the greatest ending to the "Resurrection" symphony of anybody. Although, it's fair to say that Ivan Fischer runs him awfully close, and without the added tam-tam roll on the very last chord.

What Segerstam does with the ending of M8 - a series of crescendoing tam-tam and bass drum rolls - is certainly impressive and very different, but I don't find it to be an improvement over what Mahler actually wrote. For me, it's a little too much like rolling a bowling ball down a very long lane, and smacking a bunch of pins at the end of the run. I prefer the constant roar of a 727 on take off, by keeping the bass drum roll consistent throughout this concluding passage (as written, in other words).

Offline sperlsco

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Re: Segerstam M3
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2008, 05:33:42 PM »
I liked his 3rd, 7th, and 9th, too. 

I also liked his Chandos Sibelius cycle quite a bit.  However, I like his Ondine Sibelius cycle even more.  It got me to thinking how his Mahler conducting has evolved.  Generally, I'm loathe to see most conductors get a second stab at a cycle, because it rarely seems worth it these days.  Segerstam is the one guy who might deserve a second chance. 

I haven't heard his Chandos Sibelius cycle, but I love the Ondine one (at least S1,2,6,7 -- I've yet to make an effort to get into Sibelius' other symphonies).  From what I've read, his Chandos cycle is similar in conception to the Chandos Mahler cycle, so it really WOULD be interesting for Ondine to give him another crack at it -- and I don't believe that Ondine even has a Mahler cycle!!
Scott

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: Segerstam M3
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2008, 08:09:27 AM »
and I don't believe that Ondine even has a Mahler cycle!

Correct. But Ondine does have a recording of Alma Mahler's complete songs - orchestrated! - sung by Lilli Paasikivi.

 

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