Author Topic: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations  (Read 26189 times)

john haueisen

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Re: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2009, 07:01:43 PM »
Gaby,
Let me welcome you, as have others, to the GustavMahlerBoard.
I want to strongly second the recommendations and comments of Amphissa and Sperlsco regarding the Bernstein DVD set.
The sound is remarkably good, and we can not minimize the value of SEEING Bernstein conduct and experience Mahler.  Watching Lenny always reminds me of the biographical comments of those who saw Mahler conduct.  They were drawn into the music by the conductor's (Mahler's) dedication, confidence, enthusiasm, and pure joy in sharing with the audience his love for music.

If not soon, I hope that sometime you will get a chance to see the Bernstein DVDs.
--John H

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2009, 12:17:23 AM »
I fully agree with that. The DVD of M8 with Benstein is particularly great (comes with the 7th). The 8th was perfomed in Vienna's much larger concert hall, Das Konzerthaus (high a huge pipe organ).

Barry

Offline gabyb

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Re: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2009, 02:26:01 PM »
Thanks everyone,

I just got Bernstein's M4-6 DVD off ebay, for 9.99 I figured it was a no brainer.  I also got Chailly's box set, as they were basically giving it away at 26.99.  What do you all think of Chailly's cycle?

GB

Offline Russ Smiley

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Re: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2009, 06:12:23 PM »
I'm probably alone in my assessment of the set, but though sumptuous highlights abound, I eventually sold it.

There were a few symphonies that suited my personal preferences from start to finish, namely the 1st, 9th, and 10th.  (The 9th has a very slow final movement, that sometimes puts me off, but other times seems just right.)

Of the others, I often found myself preferring other recordings (presented earlier in reply #2 to this thread) either in toto (2nd, 7th, 8th) or in particular, critical-to-me details.  For example, in the 6th I prefer a more agitated heftig at the start, A/S order, and 3 hammers at the end;  in the 5th I prefer a more heroic solo horn in the Scherzo; and I like a magnificent but not-that-slow conclusion to the 3rd.  I'm on the fence with the 4th though I very much like the quality of Bonney's voice.

My 2ยข
Russ Smiley

Offline Amphissa

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Re: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2009, 08:41:51 PM »
As box sets go, the Chailly is pretty good overall. The audio of the set is above average. Some of the performances are quite good.

Don't get put off by folks here. When you've heard hundreds of recordings of every symphony and have developed personal tastes for the exact way each symphony must be played in order to be satisfactory, it is impossible to find one set that has a great  performance of every symphony.

I think people here would criticize Mahler himself conducting his own symphonies, because he'd have the inner movements of the 6th in an order different than they preferred, or too many or too few hammer blows, or not enough organ in the 2nd, or not enough cowbell, or too fast or too slow, with tempi too fluid or too rigid, or whatever.

Since it has good audio and reasonably priced, the Chailly set is a good way to get going. All of the performances are adequate, some are very good. Compare the performances to other recordings that you pick up. If you get the Mahler bug, as many do, you'll end up trying a lot of different recordings and eventually deciding what sounds "right" to you. Most people here have a bunch of full sets and hundreds of individual recordings, and they've decided on the 2 or 3 recordings of each symphony that they like best. But a year later, many will have a different favorite. If you drop in at that other Mahler discussion group, you'd find that their choices would be quite different.

"Life without music is a mistake." Nietzsche

Offline Russ Smiley

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Re: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2009, 02:48:01 AM »
Don't get put off by folks here. When you've heard hundreds of recordings of every symphony and have developed personal tastes for the exact way each symphony must be played in order to be satisfactory, it is impossible to find one set that has a great  performance of every symphony.

Amphissa is quite right: I offer my opinion only for 'calibration' purposes and not to be dismissive of others.

Eventually, when one reads enough commentary from different opinion holders, one can decide whether the reviewer is a) consistent and b) aligned or not with your own opinion and biases.  Some reviewers give priority to 'the sound', others to 'the concept', some to the strings, others to the percussion, some to 'the details'.  Some savor 'intervention', others detest it.  I cringe at every horn flub; others are clearly unaware or unfazed.  I suspect that what suits me with my biases may be the antithesis of what suits someone else on this list: a recommendation from me might serve a stay-away-at-all-cost signal to someone else!

Whether intended or not, reviewers here help me decide what recordings I choose to buy if I haven't already made a decision.  (Frankly, I sought out this list because I had read so many of Barry Guerrero's opinions at Amazon and found his comments generally consistent with my own preferences.)  This certainly isn't an exact science: strong recommendations here and elsewhere still lead to the occasional disappointing purchase.  However, I'm glad and fortunate to have many more opinions and observations to consider.  Lastly, as it has been stated elsewhere, we are truly spoiled with the vast and increasing number of alternatives.

Enjoy your Chailly set!
Russ Smiley

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2009, 12:01:45 AM »
The Chailly set is very good. No doubt.

Offline gabyb

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Re: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2009, 05:37:29 PM »
Just thought I'd mention, the store I bought the Chailly set from still has some, on ebay, they didn't put Chailly's name on the listing tiltle for some reason.  Anyway, for 26 bucks, I figure it's a great deal (item#300326593543) .  No connection to the seller whatsoever.  I'll let you know how I like it when I get it.  I really like the Zinman M6, btw, though I've yet to make it to the last movement.

GB

Offline Amphissa

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Re: New Here, New to Mahler, Would love some Recommendations
« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2009, 11:23:47 PM »

I really like the Zinman M6, btw, though I've yet to make it to the last movement.
GB
 

 ;D I can say that about almost every recording of the 6th  ;D
 
"Life without music is a mistake." Nietzsche

 

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